Cleanliness is next to Godliness as one of the good qualities. It is a part of our civilization. A man with dirty habits is far from civilization. So, with the progress of civilization man cleans himself more and more. He cleans his body mind and heart. He cleans all his actions and manners and his soul. This will lead him to the highest form of civilization. But on the cleanliness of body, depend all other cleanings. Hence, cleanliness is considered so important.

The expression “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” also raises the question of what GODLINESS is. Presumably, it is the situation of being Godley. Regardless of whether this is with Cream or not, it must mean “like (a) God”. A dubious virtue in itself, for various reasons, not least of which being that it would infer a person to be not averse to perpetrating upon people the type of cruel perils that insurance companies would like to insure people against

If we clean our bodies and limbs we will be free from many kinds of diseases. Clean food cooked in a clean pot and served in clean dishes, will give us health and happiness. If we clean our bodies regularly, our complexion will be brighter. We will look fit and smart. If we wear clean dress our minds will be happy. Cleanliness gives us a cheerful mind. We are more interested to write in a clean book than in a dirty one.

Hence, we write more and better. We like to read clean books. Hence, we read more and understand better. So, cleanliness brings us progress and improvement in all fields of activities and in all spheres of life. By cleanliness of body and limbs, cleanliness of all our articles of use, and cleanliness of our dwellings and soul, we gradually move towards divinity. Hence, there is a saying. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.

In order to keep ourselves neat and clean, we should properly take daily care of ourselves, of our articles of use, our dwellings and surroundings, and our neighborhood. We should clean our teeth and tongues two times a day in the morning and before going to bed. Besides, we should clean our mouths properly before and after each meal. We have to wash our bodies two times a day with soap and water.

We should clean our cloth and shirts with washing soap every day at the time of bath. We should sweep our house of all dirt. We must remove the filth and rubbish into a pit, dug out at a distance for this purpose. We should clean our bedding and lay them exposed to sun and air. We need to look at the proper drainage and sanitation work of our house and the surrounding.

We should wash our house and furniture with soda and water once a week. We should advise our neighbors to be neat and clean. Because we cannot be perfectly clean if our neighbors are dirty. We should wash our washrooms and urinals every day with chemicals like phenyl. We should get our hair cut and our nails pared at proper intervals. These are some important points to keep ourselves neat and clean.

Cleanliness refers not only to the way we tend to our hygiene but also to the care we take to maintain and cherish all aspects of our environments (inner and outer) within our control. Cleanliness is often a daily ritual in the house and soul of setting things to right, whether they are dishes, tools, or conscience.

It may refer to purging ourselves of the clutter and other impediments that prevent us from moving forward with our work and play. The act of cleaning did not refer to being “spotless”, but to the art of moving through the day making choices that increase the well-being and functionality of ourselves and those around us. It is reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said:“Cleanse yourself, for Islam, is cleanliness.”

Another saying of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is:  “Cleanliness invites toward faith, and faith leads its possessor to the Garden.” The Prophet (PBUH) placed a great emphasis on keeping the body, clothing, houses, and streets clean, and he laid special stress on cleaning the teeth, hands, and hair.

This emphasis on cleanliness is not to be wondered at in a religion that makes cleanliness the key to its principal form of worship, prayer, for the Muslim’s prayer is not acceptable unless his body, clothing, and the place where he performs his prayer are all clean.

In addition to this requirement, there are obligatory types of cleansing, either of the entire body in the form of bathing, or of those parts of the body which are exposed to dirt, in the form of ablution for prayer. The desert environment of Arabia and the nomadic life of its people were not very conducive to cleanliness and refinement, and most of them neglected these aspects.

The Prophet (PBUH), with his lively instruction and to-the-point admonition, gradually led them out of their uncouth habits and taught them refinement and civil manners. Once upon a time, a man approached Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with his hair and beard disheveled. The Prophet (PBUH) made some gestures as if asking the man to comb his hair.

He did so, and when he returned the Prophet (PBUH) said to him, “Is not this better than that one should come with disheveled hair, looking like a devil?” On another occasion, Prophet (PBUH) saw a man with bold hair and remarked, “Does he have nothing with which to comb his hair?” Upon seeing another man with dirty clothes he remarked, “Cannot he find anything with which to wash his clothes?”

A man came to Prophet (PBUH) wearing cheap-looking garments. “Do you have property?” Prophet (PBUH) asked him. “Yes,” the man replied. “What kind of property?” asked the Prophet (PBUH). “Allah has given me all kinds of wealth,” he said. The Prophet (PBUH) then said to him, “Since Allah has given you wealth, let Him see the effects of His favor and bounty upon you.

The Prophet insisted that people come to general gatherings, such as the Friday and the ‘Eid prayers, nicely dressed and well-groomed. He said, “if you can afford it, it is befitting that you wear garments other than your working clothes to Friday prayer.” Attention to hygiene is another aspect of Civilized Manners, which is an unknown concern in any other religion or philosophy before Islam. Cleanliness became an essential part of the rites and worship to such an extent that it is an inseparable part of the Muslim’s life.

The five daily Prayers are obligatory upon every Muslim, man, and woman. This Prayer is actually a pledge to meet Allah, the Exalted, from the rising of the dawn until the disappearance of the twilight in the evening. It is, in fact, a spiritual shower washing away sin five times a day. In this respect, Allah says: “And establish regular Prayers at the two ends of the day and when the night approaches, surely the good deeds blot out the evil deeds.”

This Islamic Prayer has uniqueness unlike the Prayer in other religions in that physical purification is a necessary condition. If Prayer is the key to Paradise then, likewise purification is the key to Prayer. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Allah does not accept Prayers without purification.”

This purification and cleanliness are of two kinds: purification from impurities and purification from the excretions of the penis, vagina, or anus. Purification from impurities purifies the body, the clothes, and the place in which one prays from any impurities such as the stains of the blood, dead animals and pigs, and the vomiting, urine, or excrement of human beings and animals. The other kind of purification does not mean cleanliness from something palpable. But rather purifying the inner one ’s self because it is an order from Allah.

A Muslim is obliged to make ablution if exposed to minor impurities. This means he must wash the areas of the body which are ordinarily exposed to dust and dirt and he should have a bath after menstruation and sexual intercourse. Moreover, these acts of purification are connected to recurrent natural stimuli which one must blot out through purification. It is also preferable, in Islam, for the Muslim to be eager to clean his body regularly, particularly when he meets his fellow Muslims in the congregational Prayers.

Bathing is also an act in which it is preferable to be performed before the Friday congregational Prayer as stated in the noble hadith. In other versions, the hadith goes to the extent of ordering one to perform bathing as part of the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the Muslim Society: “Bathing on Friday is obligatory (Wajib) on every adult!

By adult, he means a sane human being who is of the age in which his deeds are held accountable before Allah. Another hadith obliges the Muslim to perform Bath at least once a week saying: “Every Muslim should bathe once every seven days where he should wash his head and alt of his body.” The Sunnah has directed attention to taking care of certain parts of the human body such as the mouth. The means of cleaning it was the Swak which is easily found and used in the Arab Peninsula. In this respect, the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The Swak is a purifying agent for the mouth and it is a way of seeking Allah’s Pleasure.”

Concerning the hair, Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever has hair should care about it.” Thus the Prophet as the instructor taught the Muslims the importance of having a pleasant appearance which comes second in importance after the excellence of the inner self. Furthermore, he taught Muslims to wash their hands thrice on waking up before putting them in the water, saying, “For no one knows where his hands were during sleep.”

He also taught them to wash their hands after eating and particularly after eating meat. He went so far as to warn them against neglecting to wash their hands before sleep saying: “Whoever goes to sleep without washing his hands from the traces of fatty foods, exposes himself to illness and should blame no one but himself

The Sunnah stressed the importance of cleanliness in the house saying: “You must clean your houses and do not follow in the footsteps of Jews”. Moreover, the Sunnah instructed Muslims to maintain the cleanliness of the roads by lifting any harmful objects found on it. This is considered a Sadqa and is a means to rid the streets of impurities and filth.

Some Bedouin Arabs used to urinate on the roads or in the shade. The Prophet (PBUH) strictly warned them against it and considered it one of the reasons that provoked Allah’s curse and the people’s curse saying: “Beware of those acts which cause others to curse you: relieving yourselves in a watering place, on footpaths or shaded places.” They asked, “What are those acts?”

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Relieving oneself in the people’s walkways or in their shade”.These instructions in conjunction with the others were the first attempts, known in the history of mankind, to link human beings with the protection of the environment from harm in the name of religion.

This is due to several considerations in the Sunnah as well as the Qur’an. First, cleanliness is one of the qualities which Allah, the Exalted, loves. He says: “Surely God loves those who repent and He loves those who are always pure.” He also praised the people of Qaba’ and their love of cleanliness, saying, “A mosque which was founded upon piety from the very first day is more worthy be stood in.

In it is men who love to purify themselves, and God loves those who purify themselves.” Purification or cleanliness is considered an inseparable part of faith to the extent that some Muslims mistook the saying: “Cleanliness is a sign of faith” as a hadith. The actual authentic hadith in this respect says: “Purification is half of faith” Purification includes both moral purification and physical purification.

Moral Purification, where one is free from polytheism, hypocrisy, and ill manners, and physical purification, means private and public cleanliness. Second, cleanliness is the pathway to health and strength. Islam aspires health and strength of Muslims, preparing them to confront and overcome different circumstances and as ammunition for the Muslim group. The strong believer is better and Allah loves him more than the weak believer.

The Muslim is entrusted with his body thus; he must not neglect it until it becomes plagued with disease for the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Your body has a right on you.Third, cleanliness is a prerequisite to beautification or appearing in the way most loved by Allah and His Prophet. It is reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Allah is Beautiful and He loves beauty.”

After the Prophet (PBUH) said: “If one has an atom’s weight of arrogant pride in his he! he will not enter Paradise.” On hearing the Prophet’s words, a man said: “I like to wear elegant clothes and shoes or he said one likes to wear elegant clothes and shoes.” The Prophet commented, “Allah is beautiful and he loves beauty, arrogant pride means the denial of the truth and despising people.”

Allah, the Exalted says: “O children of Adam, adorn yourselves fully at every time of prayer.” And says: “Who had forbidden the ornament of God which He brought forth for His servants and who has forbidden the good things which he has provided?”  

Hence, `the Prophet forbade men going to the mosque in the clothes worn at work. Al-Hassan used to adorn himself by wearing musk and his best garments on going to the mosque. When asked about this, he explained: “I beautify myself for Allah’s Sake.” Then he recited, “Adorn yourselves fully at every time of Prayer.”

Lastly, cleanliness and pleasant appearance are characteristics that allow relationships to strengthen among people. The sane human being will try to avoid people who are unkempt. Hence, the Prophet emphasized the importance of bathing on Friday. Similarly, there is a prohibition on eating garlic, onion, leek, and food like it, before going to the mosque in order not to disturb others from the strong odor.

If one insists on eating them, then he is not permitted to enter the mosque and is deprived of the congregational Prayer. Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever has eaten garlic, should not approach our mosque and stay at home.”  And Al-Mughirah reported; “Whoever has eaten from this malignant tree, should not approach our mosque until its smell completely vanishes.” 

In reading the hadith, one becomes acquainted with the bad habits which prevailed amongst them, such as urinating in running and stagnant water as well as in walkways and shaded places. In this respect, the Prophet (PBUH) said: “None of you should urinate in still water and then perform a bath in it.” Another saying is: “None of you should urinate in stagnant water and then make ablution in it “.

As for the Christian monks, they renounced personal hygiene as part and parcel of the world of which they had rid themselves. This world included marriage, eating the best food, and similar pleasures. All the other religions and philosophies are based upon the belief that the human body is an evil entity that should be deprived of all the good things in life including cleanliness and ornaments.

It is really a matter of sorrow that most of our students are dirty. It is very sorrowful when we think that they keep dirty. Though they read science and hygiene. To make our countrymen neat and clean we should put ideals in public institutions. So, our students should learn to keep themselves clean regularly. The smell of clean earth is far sweeter than the fragrance of scents and essences. Hence Cleanliness is Next to Godliness and is a very good habit to adopt everybody.

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