Tag Archives: cleanliness

Hygiene Inventions

Cleanliness is a part of faith and Islam lays great importance on cleanliness and hygiene. Wudu, using the siwak, etc. are all a part of Islamic practices to keep us clean and tidy. Personal cleanliness and cleanliness of the surrounding is emphasized for example; when we pray, an important condition for Salah, is a clean place. The Muslims knowing the importance of cleanliness have contributed a great deal to the present hygienic practices and objects of the world during the golden age, so let us read about some of them.

  1. Al- Jazari wrote a book called The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices which included robotic wudhu machines, which resembles the current water taps. What you had to do is tap the head to make water pour in eight short spurts, which was enough for one to do Wudhu.
  2. They made soaps by mixing olive oil with al-qali (salt like substance), it was boiled and then left to harden.
  3. Al-Zahrawi in his medical book Al-Tasrif dedicated a complete chapter to cosmetics called The Medicines of Beauty. He described beautification of hair, skin, teeth whitening and gum strengthening all within the boundaries of Islam.
  4. Al-Zahrawi included nasal sprays, mouthwashes, and hand creams, perfumed sticks rolled and pressed similar to roll-on deodorants.
  5. He also named medicated cosmetics like hair-removing sticks, as well as hair dyes and lotions for straightening curly hair.
  6. He also discussed benefits of suntan lotions.
  7. Al-Kindi wrote a book on perfumes which contained hundred recipes for fragrant oils, salves, aromatic waters, and substitutes or imitations of costly drugs.
  8. Muslim chemists also distilled plants and flowers, making perfumes and substances for therapeutic pharmacy.

These processes and ideas of the Muslims filtered into Europe via merchants, travelers, and the Crusaders.

Now we know the forebearers of hygienic practices and innovations!


Adorning Oneself

With all the talk about hijab and modesty it’s easy for muslimahs to forget that they have to look good beneath it all. Whilst we all enjoy comfort clothes like that baggy sweater, the ragged jeans, the house dress, or the frumpy t-shirt….these clothing items aren’t exactly appealing; they’re an eyesore!

We end up becoming natural walking disasters dressed like that underneath our abayas. The excuse we make…it’s comfy…and it’s cold…and it’s easy to wear these clothes…I totally understand you! Whilst every once in a while its ok to sneak in a pyjama under your abaya, wearing comfy clothes do no good to your inner fashionista! Plus after a while they begin to show through your abaya, and reflect on your outer appearance. Just like your character and personality is apparent on your face. Wearing an abaya that has picked up dinner’s smell, or that was stored under the mattress is horrid! There’s no other way to put it. It’s unbecoming of a woman…especially a muslim woman who represents her deen when she leaves the house. Our clothes have to be neat, tidy and representable. Isn’t it amazing how the man’s thawb is crisp, fresh from the ironing board or laundrette, whilst a woman’s abaya is creased beyond repair, covered in dirt as though she mopped the house with it, and to top it up; a few snags here and there!

Allah has blessed us all with beauty beyond a doubt. We all are amazingly stunning; and to tell the truth, with pretty clothes or not, make-up or not, our beauty radiates from our faces. To our families and selves, we are the most beautiful creature on earth without a shadow of a doubt (that sounds a bit vain…but nevertheless!) Despite this natural charm, it is Sunnah that we beautify ourselves, to enhance that God-given blessing. Remember Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty.

Ever heard the saying, ‘you are what you eat’? Well, you are what you dress, as in the way you dress reflects your personality and character. If all you ever where is drabs and your great grandmothers dress under your abaya…it means something about you. While we all don the abaya when we leave the confines of our homes; it is important that we maintain our image underneath the abaya.

Firstly it will help you to maintain your figure. Constantly wearing baggy comfortable clothes can make you lose sight of your waistline. Remember our bodies are an Amanah, and we have a duty to look after them.

Our hair is part of our body, so it is necessary that we look after it aswell. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever has hair, let him look after it properly.” (Abu Dawud) This narration is even more so for women, for whom beauty and elegance are more befitting. In another narration the Prophet likened unkept hair to looking like the shaytaan! The hair of a muslimah is one of our most important features and as such we should brush it, style it and nourish it.

Moreover, dressing-up betters your mood. It puts a spring in your step and smile on your face. On the other hand dressing in rags only makes you feel down and decreases your confidence. Dressing well paves the way to self-improvement, it makes you feel motivated.

Dressing smart also gains you respect. This applies to inside the four walls of the house as well as beyond it. If you dress down everyday with crinkly or dirty clothes, your family will view you as someone with a ‘careless’ attitude. This, over time will diminish their respect of you, as it appears you have little self-respect. The Prophet once saw a person whose attire was dirty, he (peace be upon him) said, “could this person not find anything with which to wash his clothes?” (Ahmad and An-Nisa’i) Cleanliness makes a woman more likeable to her family, friends and her social circle.

We have to look after ourselves, and adorn ourselves in the confines of our homes. Didn’t the prophet encourage a woman to put henna on her hands? Didn’t he tell the men when they returned from a journey to give the women time to fix herself up? In the painful rush of life, it’s important you pamper yourself every now and then. A woman should perfume herself, comb her hair and maintain her appearance. It’s important to look good, and be neat and tidy. Take care of yourself, and look good, otherwise you’ll look old before your time! Ibn Umar is reported to have said, “so long as this taking care of one’s outward appearance does not go to extremes, then it is part of the beauty that Allah has allowed for His servants and encouraged them to adopt.”

“Say: ‘Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for his servants and the good (lawful) things of provision?’ Say: ‘They are for those who belive during the worldly life (but) exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection.’ Thus do We detail the verses for people who know.” (Al-Araf 07:32)