The Importance of Cleanliness and Self-Care in Islam

The Importance of Cleanliness and Self-Care in Islam

Islam greatly emphasizes self-care and cleanliness in both physical and spiritual aspects. When the world was affected by the pandemic, there were instructions for cleanliness in public places. The popularity of maintaining self-care increased across the globe.

While these are essentials, one has obliterated the Islamic teaching that promotes cleanliness and self-care since 1400 years ago. In Islam, cleanliness is half of the faith. There are mandatory instructions for bathing, keeping a cluster-free place, ablution five times a day, and so on. Islam recognizes the significance of maintaining the cleanliness of body and soul. In this, we will explore the importance of purification and cleanliness in Islam and how it benefits individuals on multiple-level.

 …Truly, Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean. [1]

Physical Cleanliness

Islam insists on making hygiene a vital part of faith. Cleanliness and purification are the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. A believer must have a clean house, body, and environment. There have been clear instructions for bathing (ghusl) and ablutions (wudhu) for the believers. They cannot pray with unclean bodies and clothes or in polluted surroundings.

In Islam, there are two aspects of cleanliness:

  • Taharah: in English, this term means cleanliness from physical impurities. Islam requires every Muslim to practice taharah.
  • Nazafah: this term is for cleanliness as a desirable attribute.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: [2]

The key to the prayer is cleanliness, its beginning is Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) and its ending is Salam (salutation).

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emphasized the significance of good personal hygiene and cleanliness. Muslims must maintain their physical cleanliness and good oral hygiene and adequately groom themselves. These behaviors support general well-being and self-respect in addition to maintaining bodily hygiene.

Several Ahadith mention instructions and rules for bathing, trimming nails and hair, ablutions, and wearing clean clothes.

How to Perform Ablution?

‘Abdullah b. Zaid b. ‘Asim al-Ansari, who was a Companion (of the Holy Prophet), reported: “It was said to him (by people): Perform for us the ablution (as it was performed) by the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He (‘Abdullah B. Zaid) called for a vessel (of water), poured water from it on his hands, and washed them three times. Then he inserted his hand (in the vessel) and brought it (water) out, rinsed his mouth, and snuffed up water from the palm of one hand doing that three times. He again inserted his hand and brought it out and washed his face three times, then inserted his hand and brought it out and washed each arm up to the elbow twice, then inserted his hand and brought it out and wiped his head both front and back with his hands. He then washed his feet up to the ankles and said: This is how God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) performed ablution.” [3]

Brushing Teeth Regularly

Miqdam b. Shuraih narrated it from his father who said: [4]

I asked A’isha what Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) did first when he entered his house, and she replied: He used tooth-stick (first of all).

Hygiene and Self-Grooming

Anas (RA) reported: [5]

A time limit has been prescribed for us for clipping the mustache, cutting the nails, plucking the hair under the armpits, and shaving the pubes, that it should not be neglected for far more than forty nights.

Maintaining Healthy Food Habits

Al-Miqdam (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: [6]

No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels that keep his back upright are sufficient for him. If he has to, then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for a drink, and one-third for his breathing.

Furthermore, believers must maintain order and cleanliness in their surroundings. They must keep their homes, places of business, and public areas clean. The Prophet Muhammad PBUH taught that acts that are beloved to Allah include clearing away dangerous things, refraining from littering and keeping one’s surroundings clean. These acts are worship and a way to express gratitude to Allah.

Cleanliness of Environment

Anas b. Malik reported: [7]

The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) entered an enclosure while a servant was following him with a jar of water and he was the youngest amongst us and he placed it by the side of a lote-tree. When the Messenger of Allah,(may peace be upon him) relieved himself, he came out and had cleansed himself with water.

Spiritual Cleanliness

Islam prioritizes the heart and mind’s purification too. It involves upholding purity and cleanliness to strengthen the spiritual experience and develop a closer relationship with Allah.

Cleanliness encompasses one’s thoughts, intentions, and actions in addition to physical needs.  Islam advises seeking forgiveness for transgressions and abstaining from bad behavior to maintain spiritual cleanliness. People purify their hearts and work towards spiritual progress by abstaining from destructive behavior, engaging in honesty, being compassionate to others, and asking for forgiveness.

The cleanliness before performing worships in Islam entails the importance of purity. These practices help to cultivate their mindfulness, enter a state of clarity, and observe their worship with sincerity.

One must relieve themselves from any negative thoughts like anger, envy, arrogance, and jealousy. Indulge themselves in acts of forgiveness, gratitude, and seek knowledge that supports their spiritual health.  Through this manner, people can acquire inner peace and tranquility. This way, Muslims could deepen their connection with Allah.

Prophet Muhammad PBUH explained the value of maintaining both spiritual and physical purity. The best way is to seek forgiveness for their errors and sins. It purifies the spirit and increases one’s feeling of responsibility.

Self-Care in Islam

Islam promotes the importance of self-care in preserving one’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Muslims must take care of themselves. Then, they will carry out their duties and live a balanced and meaningful life.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one part of self-care in Islam. They could accomplish self-care through a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and looking after themselves. In addition to advising moderation in eating, the Prophet Muhammad PBUH emphasized consuming healthy and halal (permissible) food.

It is significant for one to take time for relaxation as a part of self-care. Prophet Muhammad PBUH urges us to take a break and look for free time. Prophet Muhammad PBUH stressed the value of sleep. Islam understands the benefit of finding a healthy balance between work and rest to prevent overstress and burnout.

 And among His signs is your sleep by night and by day and your seeking of His bounty, verily in that are signs for those who hearken. [8]

Furthermore, one should be mindful of their mental and emotional health. Islam encourages acquiring hobbies, engaging in sports, learning new things, and having a cheerful outlook. Other than performing acts of worship, activities like spending time in nature or participating in hobbies that calm the mind and nourish the soul.


Overall, Islam understands and recognizes the need for cleanliness and purity in one’s life. Through several Hadiths and Prophet PBUH’s sunnah, one could acknowledge that self-care and hygiene of body, surrounding, and house are essential for a balanced and healthy life.

Islam promotes maintaining cleanliness as a part of one’s faith and a necessary component of living a wholesome life. It entails performing worship with purification, avoiding sinful acts, and seeking repentance for mistakes. It contributes to preventing diseases, or unhealthy habits, creating a healthy and safe community. Muslim aims to strengthen their bond with Allah, purify their hearts and minds, and cultivate conscious habits.

They could accomplish their obligations to their families, communities, and themselves by prioritizing self-care. By implementing such principles, they can maintain a healthy lifestyle, develop a peaceful mindset, and build a more orderly and peaceful society.


  1. Surah al-Baqarah: 222
  2. Abu Dawud: 770
  3. Bukhari: 200
  4. Bukhari: 0488
  5. Bukhari: 0497
  6. At-Tirmidhi: 2380
  7. Bukhari: 0517
  8. Surah ar-Rum: 23

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