Muslim hygienical jurisprudence

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Hygiene is a prominent topic in Islam. Islam has always placed a strong emphasis on personal hygiene. Other than the need to be ritually clean in time for the daily prayer (Arabic: salat) through Wudu and Ghusl, there are a large number of other hygiene-related rules governing the lives of Muslims. Other issues include the Islamic dietary laws.

In general, the Qur'an advises Muslims to uphold high standards of physical hygiene and to be ritually clean whenever possible. For this reason in Muslim countries, bathrooms are often equipped with a Muslim shower situated next to the toilet, so that an individual may wash themself. This ablution is required in order to maintain ritual cleanliness.

Also because of ritual cleanliness, and again common to many Eastern cultures, many Muslims take their shoes off when entering mosques and homes.

Personal grooming

Personal grooming is also a matter of focus in Islam.[1] Allowing a beard to grow while trimming the moustache is emphasized with it being seen as mandatory by all respected scholars from the four major Madh'hab.[2]

Pubic and armpit hair must also be shaven.

Islamic cleanliness and hygiene

Cleanliness is an important part of Islam, including Qur'anic verses that teach how to achieve ritual cleanliness. Keeping Oral hygiene through cleaning the teeth with the use of a form of toothbrush called miswak is considered Sunnah, the way of Prophet Muhammad. Ritual ablution is also very important, as observed by the practices of wudu (partial ablution), ghusl (full ablution), and tayammum (water-free alternative using any natural surface such as rock, sand, or dust).

Sunni Islam has its own hygienical jurisprudence. It is preferable for a Sunni Muslim to remove the hair directly below the navel and under the arms also as trimming the nails once a week. Leaving hair and nails is permissible after 15 days and disliked after 40 days. The best day for removing needless hair and cutting nails is Friday. It is permissible to use shaving cream to revove needless hair. Needless hair and nails should be buried to prevent illnesses spreading. Removing hair inside the nose is unacceptable because of cancer and gangrene risk. Cutting eyebrows is permissible if they're too long. Sunni women should put their and hair removed from the head, below the naval and under the arms in a place where no non-permissible man can see it. Menstrual blood and clothes that were used for the menstrual period should be buried.[3]

It is allowed to cut and shave moustaches but obligatory to let the beard grow. Shaving or cutting beard is haram according to The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah. It is rumoured that Muhammad used to trim his beard if it was ugly or too long but Islamic scholars deny these rumours.[4]

Islamic dietary laws

Islamic dietary laws provide a set of rules as to what Muslims eat in their diet. These rules specify the food that is halāl, meaning lawful. They are found in Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, usually detailing what is unlawful, or harām.

Islamic genitalia hygiene

Urine is forbidden to be on a Muslim during prayer times as it is considered dirty. The foreskin is a possible spot where urine can accumulate. Circumcision is used to prevent this.

Islamic toilet etiquette

The Islamic faith has particular rules regarding personal hygiene when going to the toilet. This code is known as Qadaahul Haajah.[5][6]

Issues of laterality, such as whether one uses the left or right hand and the foot used to step into or out of toilet areas, are derived from hadith sources.[7] The only issue which the Qur'an mentions is the one of washing one's hands especially after using the toilet which is mentioned in verse 5:6.

Examples of these rules include, but are not limited to:

  • It is strongly forbidden to make the toilet close to the flowing waters, or to be by a flowing water whilst relieving yourself.
  • It is more preferable to step into the bathroom area with left leg and step outside the bathroom area with right leg.
  • One should remain silent whilst on the toilet. Talking, answering greetings or greeting others is heavily disliked.[5]
  • One should not face nor turn one's back on Qibla whilst relieving oneself.[5]
  • When leaving the toilet one should also say a prayer, "O Allah! Bestow your forgiveness upon me."[5]
  • Use of toilet paper is acceptable, but washing with water is still needed for purity and to minimize germs present in urine and feces from touching the skin.[8]

See also


  1. "Ruling on trimming hair". Islam QA. Retrieved 3 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Sunnah of Trimming Hair / Nails - ZIKR". Retrieved 2015-11-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Ruling on trimming the beard because it looks scary -". Retrieved 2015-11-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Shu'aib, Tajuddin B. "Qadaahul Haajah (Relieving Oneself)". The Prescribed Prayer Made Simple. Compendium of Muslim Texts. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Niamh Horan (April 8, 2007), Surgeons perform delicate operation for Muslims, Irish Independent<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Sachiko Murata (1992), "ch. 3 The Two Hands of God", The Tao of Islam, ISBN 978-0-7914-0913-8<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Israr Hasan (2006), Muslims in America, p. 144, ISBN 978-1-4259-4243-4<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Further reading

  • QaraḍāwĪ, Yūsuf, and Waseem Yaqub. Islamic Concept of Hygiene As Seen by the Sunnah. Cairo, Egypt: El-Falah Foundation, 1997. ISBN 977-5813-26-3.