Tag Archives: water

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!

 

Myths Regarding the Ka’bah

The ka’bah: the holiest muslim site on earth. Muslims revere it, and face it as a direction for prayer. It is a symbol of unity, unity of muslims, and unity of all previous prophets. Muslims would travel great distances to reach it, to see its magnificent sight, to touch its beautiful kiswa, kiss it and more.

However, there are many myths that surround the Ka’bah that has gained root amongst non-muslims, and ignorant muslims, and those who perhaps have never seen it.

Let’s begin with the first myth: Muslims worship the Ka’bah. This is far from the truth. Muslims worship one God, Allah. The Ka’bah is merely a direction faced in prayer, to unite muslims. Muslims do not bow or prostrate to the Ka’bah at all, they only bow and prostrate to Allah. Hence muslims can pray in any place in the world.

Muslims touch the ka’bah to imitate the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Some touch it out of awe and fascination at this great building that witnessed many great events in Islamic History. It witnessed, the Prophet Abraham, and Ishma’el and Muhammad peace be upon them. It is not mandated to kiss it, or cling on it, or wipe one’s face or clothes against it, rather these extreme practices have been done by some who are ignorant, or overly passionate.

Another huge misconception, is that the Ka’bah houses the idol Shiva Lingham which muslims worship. The inside of the Ka’bah is bare, there is nothing inside it. Every year the doors are opened to clean it and to welcome prestigious guests. This is often broadcasted on live television, and it is clear for all to see, that there is nothing inside the Ka’bah. Furthermore, muslims do not build or carve statues of any shape or form, as this is against the basic principle of worshiping Allah who is beyond human imagination.

Next up, no bird flies over the Ka’bah. Some believe that the ka’bah is so holy that no bird is able to fly over it, as though there is a radar system in place, preventing the birds. This is not true. Birds fly over the Ka’bah constantly, they perch on its edge, and do what birds do.

Others believe the Ka’bah hovers over the ground. It is not resting, nor rooted in the earth, but floating. It’s very easy to dispel this myth, simply look at the many images of the ka’bah that are available, look at video footage, and if you get a chance to go, have a peep. The Ka’bah is like any other building with a foundation on the ground.

Others hold the belief that the rain water that falls off the ka’bah is holy and has benefit. It is blessed, and so they collect it in a container, and bathe and drink it. I would strongly advise against this, firstly because there is nothing reported from the Prophet nor the salaf on the matter. And secondly, as mentioned previously, birds do what birds do, including leaving droppings. Hence the water that falls off the top of the Ka’bah is contaminated with bird droppings, as well as sand, and dust.

What myths have you heard?