It is not just the character traits of Prophet Muhammed ﷺ that are honourable and perfect, but also his blessed appearance and the way he took care of it. He encouraged cleanliness through his appearance and surroundings, such as his home and mosque. Striving towards being clean is a good starting point for you to begin your journey in following his sunnah as it will help bring you closer to Allah SWT:
“Allah is goodly and loves goodly; clean and loves cleanliness; generous and loves generosity; munificent and loves munificence” (Al-Tirmidhi).
It is not part of Islam to remain dirty hence the emphasis on performing wudu, ghusl, istinja, and tayammum in this religion. Think about it, would you want to appear in prayer in front of Allah SWT, the King of all kings, in a state of dirtiness, poor personal hygiene and bad odour? I think not!
Building your self-care routine:
Looking after our bodies is an amanah (trust) from Allah SWT as it is He who blessed us with these vessels. If you were given a car and did not maintain it in the correct way, such as using the wrong fuel type, not cleaning the windows/mirrors, and not checking the tyre pressures, the car would quickly become useless and would not last on the roads.
The same goes for our bodies. We cannot face the challenges this world brings with a weak body; therefore, we must look after it! The best type of self-care routine to follow is that of the Prophet ﷺ, and by having the intention of following his sunnah way in looking after ourselves, we can earn immense rewards! At Deenspiration, we like to call this “intention hacking”.
The following are some ways in which the Prophet ﷺ used to maintain cleanliness:
Anas RA said,
“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ would often oil his head and comb his beard, and frequently use a qina” (Al-Tirmidhi)
(A qina is a piece of cloth placed on the head when using oil to protect the turban). This is something that we can all easily do.
2. Oral Hygiene
The Prophet ﷺ said,
“Were it not that I feared overburdening my community, I would command them to use the tooth-stick before every prayer” (Al-Bukhari).
The siwak (tooth stick) is what the Prophet ﷺ used to keep his teeth clean and would do this multiple of times throughout the day such as before praying, when making wudu, before sleeping, after waking and at other times. To do this, I suggest getting two siwaks (you can buy them online or from any Islamic store). Keep a siwak in your bag for when you are out and keep one at home – this way, you will always have one nearby.
3. Outward appearance
It is reported that someone said of him,
‘I never saw the like of this man, nor anyone of a more handsome face or cleaner clothes’ (Abu Qarsafa).
When it comes to clothes, we must strive to look our best as the Prophet ﷺ said:
“When Allah grants his servant a favour, he loves to see the effect of this favour show upon the servant” (Al-Tabarni).
This does not mean we show off but that if Allah SWT has given you sustenance, then it is important to use some of that sustenance to wear good quality clean clothes and not things that are torn and patched up! Always try to look after your clothes and clean stains away. Remember that you are striving to be the reflection of our Prophet ﷺ.
4. Bodily scents
The greatest sign of the cleanliness of the body of the Prophet ﷺ was through the sweet scent of his blessed sweat which was finer than musk. I doubt we could ever say that about ourselves! Having a pleasant odour is essential and can be maintained by having showers and applying perfumes (note: women should not adorn themselves with beautiful scents in public).
5. Natural cleanliness
Abu Hurayrah RA narrates that the Messenger of God ﷺ said,
“Five things are part of one’s fitrah: shaving the pubic hairs, circumcision, trimming the moustache, removing the hair under the arms and trimming the nails.” (Muslim).
To do this, develop a schedule of these good habits, e.g., when you are going to have a shower. An excellent time to do these would be on the day of Jumu’ah, which will double up as another sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ!
By including these few simple tips into your self-care routine (combing your hair, using siwak for oral hygiene, wearing clean clothes, trimming unwanted hair and maintaining pleasant odour), you have taken a step closer toward the Prophet ﷺ. Alhamdulillah!
6. Maintaining your home and mosques
Our Messenger ﷺ was not just concerned with maintaining his appearance but also keeping his house clean. This is important because living amongst clutter can affect your mental state by causing stress and making you lose your ability to focus. How many times have you found your room so messy that you just could not get anything done? This is usually due to bad habits and can be more challenging to overcome. Instead, strive to:
• Keep a time schedule of when its best for you to clean. Some people prefer to do it in the morning to help kick start the day while others prefer to do it at night in preparation for the next day.
• Put things back in their correct location! Don’t be lazy (this one is for me!)
• Maintain a pleasant smell within your house by burning scents or through the use of musk.
We are not only responsible for our homes but for the mosques that we visit. The Prophet ﷺ was pleased with anyone who took the tasks of keeping the mosques clean. These are places of worship, and so it should be seen as each Muslim’s duty to keep the prayer areas clean for the sake of Allah SWT.
The next time you visit the mosque:
• If you see something knocked over, pick it up
• If you see wrappers/clutter on the ground- pick it up and throw it in the bin
• Bring a spare towel with you and wipe the shelves to remove any dust
• Always keep toilets and the wudu facilities clean
Find a time when the mosque is not busy so that these actions can remain between you and Allah SWT only.
Embodying the traits of the blessed Prophet ﷺ can be a challenging yet rewarding task. I hope Allah SWT protects you, brings you ease, and helps keep your focus on this journey of striving towards our beloved one. Use these tips as a start to your journey and slowly begin including sunnah acts into your daily lives one by one until they become a habit. Too much at one time can overwhelm you!
May you find these deeds on the Day of Judgement as a protection for you! May you be with the Prophet ﷺ in Paradise! May Allah SWT be pleased with you!