Purity and Cleanliness

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan


Islam greatly approves cleanliness. According to the Qur’an: Allah loves those that turn to Him in repentance and purify themselves (2:222).

When man rues his mistakes and returns to the path of truth, this is called an act of repentance. As such, it purifies man’s inner self. Just as by using water we can cleanse the dirt from the body, so by repentance we can purify the soul—the inner-self. That is why Islam lays great stress on both these things.

According to a hadith: "Purity is half of faith." Similarly the Prophet of Islam once observed: "God is clean and loves cleanliness." (Ibn Majah)

Man is a creature who has been specially granted the quality of sensitivity. That is why man naturally likes cleanliness, and since Islam is a religion of nature, it lays great stress on cleanliness. Man’s body, his clothing and his home, should all be pictures of cleanliness.

It was due to the importance given to cleanliness that the companions of the Prophet used to bathe daily. According to Muwatta Imam Malik, Abdullah ibn Umar spoke of how his father used to take a bath before each prayer. In this way he used to bath five times a day. The third Caliph, Usman ibn Affan, used to bath daily (Musnad Ahmad).

The cleanliness of body and soul is one of the basic demands of Islam.


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