Recommended practices of sound nature

Recommended practices of sound nature

source :Osoul Global Center

There are five practices also called ‘nature’s fine characteristics’ that each Muslim should perform to keep the best and most complete form. Practices and the reason behind them are explained in the article.

Recommended practices of sound nature

Recommended practices of sound nature (i.e. fitrah):

These practices are also called ‘nature’s fine characteristics’ because whoever does them maintains the natural course Allah wants for people so that they will be in the best and most complete form. 

:Abu Hurayrah quotes the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying

‘Five practices are part of sound nature: circumcision, shaving pubic hair, plucking armpit hair, clipping nails and trimming the moustache.’

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 5,889; Muslim, hadith No. 257

  • Shaving pubic hair: This is recommended for cleanliness. It may also be removed with hair removing products.
  • Circumcision: This means the removal of the foreskin that covers the head of a boy’s penis. It is very useful as it keeps the penis uncontaminated by the impurity of urine. It is recommended to have it done on the seventh day after birth, because it is quicker to heal. Female circumcision is practised in some countries, but unknown in the majority of Muslim countries. No hadith of good or authentic grade recommends it.
  • Trimming the moustache: The moustache should be heavily reduced, because this makes one better looking and cleaner. There are several hadiths urging the trimming of one’s moustache while growing one’s beard and taking care of it. A beard adds an element of dignity to man’s appearance and manliness. Many people today take the reverse attitude, growing their moustaches and shaving their beards. This is contrary to the Sunnah and to the clear recommendation to grow one’s beard.

:Abu Hurayrah quotes the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying

‘Cut your moustaches and grow your beards. Thus you contradict the Majians.’

Related by Muslim, hadith No. 260

:Ibn 'Umar reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said

‘Do the opposite of the idolaters: grow your beards and trim your moustaches.’

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 5,892; Muslim, hadith  No. 259

 Every Muslim should observe the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) guidance and choose a way that is contrary to the practices of the disbelievers. Moreover, Muslim men should make sure not to imitate women.

  • Nail clipping: Nails must not be left long. To clip them gives a better appearance and prevents the collection of any dirt that might accumulate under them. Some people, including Muslims, take no heed of this important Sunnah, letting their nails, or a particular nail grow long.
  • Plucking armpit hair: The removal of armpit hair is recommended either by plucking or shaving. It is cleaner and reduces foul smell.

It is clear that Islam urges us to attend to these practices as they combine cleanliness with purification and good appearance. A Muslim who attends to them has the best appearance, and moves away from the practices of unbelievers and ignorant people. Furthermore, he earns reward as he implements the requirements of his faith and follows the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) guidance.

Added to these five practices are brushing one’s teeth, rinsing one’s nose and mouth, washing the back of finger joints and washing private parts. 

:A’ishah states: ‘Allah’s messenger said

‘Ten practices are part of sound human nature: trimming the moustache, growing one’s beard, brushing one’s teeth, rinsing one’s nose, clipping one’s nails, washing the back of finger joints, plucking armpit hair, shaving pubic hair and washing private parts.’

Related by Muslim, hadith No. 261

Brushing one’s teeth: This is done by using a miswak, which is a tooth stick, or a toothbrush to clean one’s teeth and gums and remove any food trapped in between teeth. It also prevents bad mouth smell and is recommended at all times. The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged the brushing of teeth generally, without specifying a time for it.

:He also said

‘Had it not been for fear that I make things too hard for my community, I would have ordered them to brush their teeth before every prayer.’

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 887; Muslim, hadith  No. 252

Brushing one’s teeth is strongly recommended when one performs ablution, on waking up, when the smell of one’s mouth changes, before reciting the Qur’an or prayer and when entering the mosque or one’s home. 'A’ishah was asked what was the first thing the Prophet (peace be upon him) did when he came home. She answered: ‘He brushed his teeth.’ It is also strongly recommended if one has been silent for long, and when one’s teeth start to become yellowish.[1]

‘When the Prophet (peace be upon him) woke up for night worship, he started with brushing his teeth.’

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 245; Muslim, hadith No. 255

 Every Muslim is urged to be in his best shape and cleanliness when about to engage in worship.

Brushing one’s teeth ensures several benefits. Most importantly, it keeps the mouth clean in this life and it earns Allah’s pleasure in the life to come. 

:The Prophet (peace be upon him) said

‘Brushing the teeth cleans the mouth and pleases the Lord.’

Related by Ahmad, hadith No. 24,203; al-Nassa’i, hadith No. 5

Therefore, a Muslim should be keen to observe this practice and never to abandon it, as it is highly beneficial. Regrettably, some people may not brush their teeth for a month or two, either out of negligence, or because they are unaware of its benefits. Thus they miss out on Allah’s reward and the benefits it brings. They should remember that the Prophet (peace be upon him) always maintained this practice and ordered his community to follow his example. He would have made it obligatory, but he feared that some people might find it hard to maintain. Other benefits of teeth brushing have been mentioned, such as strengthening one’s teeth and preventing gum disease, as well as improving one’s voice and giving one a sense of refreshment.[2]

references

  1. Al-Dardir, Al-Sharh al-Saghir, vol. 1, p. 125.
  2. Al-Dardir, Al-Sharh al-Saghir, vol. 1, p. 125.

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