Why Islam Has Laid Emphasis on Personal Hygiene

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Every Muslim has to wash this way before performing obligatory prayers five times a day

Everything good that happens to you (o man) is from God, Everything bad that happens to you is from your own ac­tions.(Quran 4:79)

Allah loves his creation too much that he is concerned even with what we eat and put in our body.

“O Mankind, Eat of what is law­ful and good on earth.(2:168)

Muslims by and lare have ex­tremely high standards of personal hygiene, because Islam places great emphasis on both physical and spiritual, cleanliness and purifica­tion. While humankind in general usually considers cleanliness to be a pleasing attribute, Islam insists on it. Muslims are required to take care of their personal hygiene by as­suring that they are well groomed, and that their bodies, clothing, and surroundings are clean. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) informed his companions and thus all of us, about the importance of cleanliness when he said, “cleanliness is half of faith.” The Quran is more specific and says,

“Truly, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.” (Quran 2:222)

Islam insists on several practices to facilitate this. The private parts are washed after using the toilet and Muslims must pay particular atten­tion to being clean before praying. They wash their hands, face (includ­ing rinsing the mouth and nose) arms and feet a minimum of five times a day. Prophet insisted that believers wash their hands before praying ,before and after eating and upon waking up in the morning.

In current time, world has realized the personal hygiene with the spread of infectious diseases, out­break of swine flu, avian (Bird flu), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and now covid-19.

The challenge has multiplied with rapid globalization, easy and frequent air travel which allows diseases to spread rapidly between communities and countries. Infec­tious diseases control mechanisms will continue to be confronted by 21st century issues including global warming, conflict famine, overpopu­lation and deforestation.

Due to ongoing media atten­tion most of us are aware of the dangers associated with Covid-19. Around 3500 have died and around 1 lakh are affected.

Some basic measures are ap­propriate when trying to control the spread of any or all infectious diseases. These include meticulous hand washing, covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing and proper disposal of tissues and stay­ing home away from public places once contracted.

Islam takes into account the physical ,emotional and spiritual well being of individual and societ­ies although care of the individual is important, safeguarding communi­ties including its weakest members is given paramount importance.

More 1400 years ago prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) was teaching his followers the practices of personal hygiene which the world now is em­phasizing in the 21st century .

From the traditions of prophet we find evidences that clearly indicate Islamic stance on cough­ing and sneezing openly. Prophet instructed believers to cover their faces when sneezing and coughing. The most obvious affect of sneez­ing and coughing without covering the mouth is the spread of air born bacteria and viruses.

Infection control in Islam in­cludes isolation and even quarantine. Prophet Muhmmad (Pbuh) instituted strategies that are today implemented by public health authorities. He com­mended his followers not to travel places known to be affected with illness and he advised those in the contaminated areas and communities not to leave and spread the diseases further afield. He said, “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.”

The teachings and principles of Islam are designed to benefit all of humankind. Rules and recom­mendations for personal hygiene and cleanliness, promoting well be­ing of individual and communities. Infection control is critical aspect of Islamic hygiene.

Zahoor Dar

zah7296@gmail.com

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