Around the globe, people are facing circumstances they’ve never encountered before. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing cities to lockdown, empty streets, scanning travelers at the airport and making drastic shifts to our way of life to keep ourselves and our communities healthy and safe.
Islamic Centers are closed in Lehigh Valley and Ramadan a month of fasting is just over a month away, Muslims are wondering how the special month will be celebrated. What about the daily Iftar (breaking of fast), congregation reciting of the supplication of Iftitah (Opening) and Nightly prayers (Tarawih). However, much attention has been drawn towards the importance of adopting good hygiene practices and cleanliness in order to stem the spread of this highly infectious virus.
Islam not only institutes quarantine but basic hygiene that prevents transmission. Increasing awareness through news media and social media platforms has suddenly focused on Hygiene in Islam. Holy Quran has laid the principles on healthy life and hygiene (Taharat). For example, the are verses, narrations and commandments regarding brushing, beatification, sleeping, eating, abstinence, social gathering etiquette, cooking, and physical health.
On the aspect of personal hygiene in Islam, we find that no religion has placed a greater importance than Islam. Holy of Prophet of Islam has emphasized cleanliness to such a degree that he regarded it half of the faith. This is because, in order to enhance the spiritual soul, it is important to take care of physical health. Islam says there is a firm connection between the purity of the soul and the purity of the body, the purity of dress and the purity of the heart.
Cleanliness became an essential part of the rites and worship to such extent that it is an inseparable part of the Muslim’s life. Adornment, beautification, cleanliness, and purity are the foundation of Islam.
Muslims have laid wonderful examples of purification and beautification when it comes to congregation prayers. Ritual washing and bath (Wudhu & Ghusl) daily before congregation prayers are all strong aspects of hygiene in Islam.
Among the features of cleanliness is to perform few acts before going for Friday prayers (Jumu’ah) such as cutting the nails, taking shower, shaving the hair under the armpit, shaving the pubic hair, applying perfume and steering clear of food-stuffs which cause bad odor such as onions, garlic, and leeks.
At every level of one’s life, Islam has given invaluable guidance to the highest standard of hygiene and cleanliness. Islam has afforded ample guidance from supplications to avoid epidemics, etiquettes eating, drinking and sleeping, instructions on dental hygiene and bathing.