Thursday 5 October 2023

Prophetic Directive for Bodily Cleanliness (Hadith attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

There is saying attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that cleanliness is next to Godliness " الطھور نصف الایمان ". That is a man must keep himself and his environment clean, for an unclean body or environment provides a sanctity for germs and viruses and is heaven for diseases and ill health. 

It is for this reason that Islam lays immense importance to cleanliness. The five times ablution during the day is one step towards keeping the visible body parts clean. But the whole-body wash on Fridays before Jumu'ah congregational prayer and even after intimate contact between husband and wife. Even otherwise a smelly body, especially on account of grown-up armpit hair and pubic area give our bad smell and is felt especially in public and in humid and hot weather. The bodily cleaning also includes the trimming of moustaches and finger nails.

In order to ensure that believers maintain a clean and healthy body, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in one of his Hadiths has laid down a maximum time limits for cleaning of unwanted hairs both under armpits and pubic area. This directive is mentioned in Jami` at-Tirmidhi  (43 - Chapters on Manners/ كتاب  الأدب عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عليه وسلم / Chapter # 15 What Has Been Related About the Time Limit for Trimming the Fingernails and Taking from the Mustache / باب فِي التَّوْقِيتِ فِي تَقْلِيمِ الأَظْفَارِ وَأَخْذِ الشَّارِبِ ) as Hadith number # 2759:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:
"[The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)] fixed the time for us paring the mustache, trimming the fingernails, shaving the pubic hairs and plucking the underarm hairs - that we not leave it for more than forty days."

Arabic Text:
حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا جَعْفَرُ بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ، عَنْ أَبِي عِمْرَانَ الْجَوْنِيِّ، عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ وَقَّتَ لَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي قَصِّ الشَّارِبِ وَتَقْلِيمِ الأَظْفَارِ وَحَلْقِ الْعَانَةِ وَنَتْفِ الإِبْطِ أَنْ لاَ نَتْرُكَ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ أَرْبَعِينَ يَوْمًا ‏.‏ قَالَ هَذَا أَصَحُّ مِنْ حَدِيثِ الأَوَّلِ ‏.‏ وَصَدَقَةُ بْنُ مُوسَى لَيْسَ عِنْدَهُمْ بِالْحَافِظِ ‏.‏
Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

The directive lays down maxim of forty days for cleaning of under garment hair for grown hair are places where germs germinate or dirt accumulates including the pubic areas. Likewise, the out grown mustaches dip into water when drinking and pollute the water. The area under the grown nails also accumulates dirt which gets mixed up when eating food and germs get an easy path to one's body.  However, it should be remembered to never bite the nails as it is not only disliked and may lead to vitiligo disease in which white patches of skin appear on the body.

However, forty days is the maximum limit, A believer must have his unwanted hair removed and nails trimmed every Friday before the Friday noon prayer. And when leaving one's home, it is preferable to wear some perfume so as to stay clean not only to be healthy but also leaving a pleasant effect on people around us.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may refer to our reference page:  Etiquettes attributed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ   for more etiquettes as taught to us by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Please refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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