The little-known story of how Turkey was one of the only countries to come to the aid of Ireland during the Great Hunger will be the focus of a movie, “Famine.”
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Health, cleanliness and hygiene occupy a great part of Islam’s attention.
While some nations adopted such beliefs as abandonment of self-care and cleanliness to attain high spiritual ranks, Islam made it obligatory to clean oneself properly in preparation for daily prayers.
Caring for one’s hygiene is not only deemed a good habit in Islam but also rendered into rituals that constitute part of the faith itself.
As mentioned above, a Muslim is required to be clean when performing daily Prayers, which includes properly cleansing oneself after using the toilet and practicing ablution.
In some cases, a full body bath is obligatory such as after spouses’ intimacy.
Moreover, the great encouragement for cleaning teeth as shown in the hadiths below reveals to which extent Islam was careful even for the details of personal hygiene.
That is no strange for Islam cares about the wellbeing of the human both in the world and in the hereafter. A healthy strong believer is better in the sight of Allah than a weak one as the former is more qualified to fulfill the objectives of Islam and serve the humanity.
This collection of hadiths presents only some examples of Islam’s stance on health and hygiene:
Cleanliness is part and parcel of faith
1. Abu Malik Al-Ash`ari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Purity is half of iman (faith).“
Miswak is highly recommended
2. `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The miswak (a twig used for tooth brushing) cleanses and purifies the mouth and pleases the Lord.” (An-Nasa’i and Ibn Khuzaimah; authenticated by Al-Albani)
3. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“Were it not that I might overburden my my followers, I would have commanded them to use the miswak before every prayer.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Personal hygiene is a human nature
4. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Five practices are of the fitrah (natural disposition): circumcision, shaving the pubic region, clipping the nails and cutting the moustaches short.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Rituals on Muslims’ best day
5. Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Whoever takes a bath on a Friday and does it well, and purifies himself and does it well, and puts on his best clothes, and puts on whatever Allah decrees for him of the perfume of his family, then comes to the mosque and does not engage in idle talk or separate (pushing between) two people; he will be forgiven for (his sins) between that day and the previous Friday.” (Ibn Majah and authenticated by Al-Albani)
Keep environment clean
6. Mu`adh (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet warned,
“Beware of the three acts that cause you to be cursed: relieving yourselves in shaded places (that people utilize), in a walkway or in a watering place.” (Ranked sound, hasan, by Al-Albani)
7. Abu Dharr Al-Ghafari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah).” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
Using medicine is encouraged
8. Usamah ibn Sharik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:
I came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions were sitting as (quiet as) if they had birds on their heads. I saluted and sat down.
The desert Arabs then came from here and there. They asked: Messenger of Allah, should we make use of medical treatment?
He replied: “Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease, namely old age.” (Abu Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani)
Be strong and healthy
9. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a weak one, and both are good. Keenly pursue what benefits you, seek help only from Allah, and do not give up. If something befalls you, do not say, ‘If only I had done otherwise,’ but rather say, ‘Allah so determined and did as He willed,’ for ‘if only’ opens the door to Satan’s work.” (Al-Bukhari)
(Muhammad Fathi is the managing editor of the Shari`ah page, AboutIslam.net)
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