Clean is Cool!

If you go long enough without a bath even the fleas will leave you alone, cautions Naba Basar.

Among your friends you must have noticed that there are some who carry a clean and crisp look coming to school. Since it takes all kinds of people to make this world, there are also some who come to school without even washing their faces.

In the Quran, Allah commands the believers to be clean and to keep away from dirt. Those who do not practice the morality of the Quran, as in everything else, fall into this sorry state. Believers’ bodies, food, clothing, and the place where they live are always spotless and well-ordered. They try to make every place resemble the purity of Paradise. As Allah says in the Quran: “You who believe! Eat of the good things We have provided for you…” (Al-Baqarah 2:172)

In another place Allah commands: “Purify your clothes. Shun all filth.” (Al-Muddaththir 74:4-5)

So, what do believers have to do? Simple! Allah created water, which is a great blessing and is a reason for us to be thankful to Allah. We may begin by washing our hands and face when we get up in the morning and taking a shower. The Quran tells us: “…[He] sent you down water from heaven to purify you and remove the taint of Satan from you, and to fortify your hearts and make your feet firm.” (Al-Anfal 8:11)

You may be spooked to know that besides the two angels who maintain a record of our deeds, Allah has also assigned one devil along each one of us. This devil is a cause of all trials and temptations for us. His strategies are quite devious. Allah warns human beings, that the devil, makes dirtiness look pleasant and tries to prevent them from cleaning themselves.

He may try to make us put off brushing our teeth after a meal or taking regular showers by making it seem like too much trouble. Even if such occasional slips do not bring serious consequences, over time they may be damaging to a person’s health and appearance. And this is exactly what Satan wants. He resents human beings and tries to drag them to Hell, and he really wants to see them living in filth.

Some kids are temperamental and are driven by their mood swings. They may be clean and presentable in parties, but the rest of the time they look scruffy. One wonders, how do they regard cleanliness? Well, they are very different in their aims and intentions from those who believe in Allah. Their aim is to look good and not be criticized by others, but they do not think of pleasing Allah by cleaning themselves.

But to a believer, it is more important to please Allah and to obey His command. Eventually he looks cool to others as well, who appreciate him for his neat and tidy appearance. So there really is no point in looking cool by gelling ones hair and powdering our faces if we do not practice basic hygiene consistently. This may include:

  1. Observing dental care and cleanliness
  2. Taking daily showers
  3. Washing ourselves properly following every call of nature
  4. Performing Wudhu calmly and gracefully prior to prayers
  5. Wearing clean and tidy clothes
  6. Checking ourselves for unpleasant odours
  7. Keeping our rooms filth-free
  8. Not leaving around left over food in our room
  9. Emptying our dustbins daily
  10. Keeping our dustbins closed
  11. Not littering outside our house
  12. Not throwing garbage on the roads

Salman Al-Farsi

salman-al-farisiMehreen Ganny introduces an outstanding Muslim scholar, who was the first person to translate the Quran into a foreign language (Persian) and who contributed immensely towards the development of a Muslim state

The Imam, the flag of flags, the inheritor of Islam, the wise judge, the knowledgeable scholar, and one from the house of the Prophet (sa) are the titles given to Salman Al-Farsi (rta) by our Prophet (sa).

Salman Al-Farsi (rta), born in an influential family of Persia, was raised following the Magian religion. He was truly devoted to his religion, until the day he passed by a church and heard some men praying. He got drawn to the way the Christians worshiped and realized that Christianity was better then the religion of his forefathers. He left home with a group of Arabs to search for the origin of Christianity, which was in Syria.

On the way to Syria, he was sold to a Jewish man, who later sold him to his nephew from the tribe of Banu Qurayzah in Yathrib. Because of being imposed with harsh duties of slavery, he did not know about the call to Islam going on in Makkah, until the day, when he overheard his master talking to his nephew about a person claiming to be the last prophet.

When our Prophet (sa) migrated from Makkah and reached Yathrib, Salman offered him some dates as Sadaqah. Our Prophet (sa) gave them to his companions, not leaving any for himself. Then again Salman went with more dates and said that this was a gift. Our Prophet (sa) ate the dates himself and gave also to his companions. The strict honesty of our Prophet (sa) led Salman to accept Islam.

Salman played an important role in the struggles of the Muslim State. At the battle of the Trench (Khandaq), using his Persian skills, he came up with a brilliant military strategy of digging a ditch around Madinah to keep out the Quraish army. This led Muslims to victory and saved Madinah.

Salman became known as ‘Salman the good.’ He was a great scholar, who lived a rough and harsh life. He wore only one cloak and lived under a tree. He used to say that he was surprised to observe so many people spending all their life for the lower world, without a thought about the inevitable death, which one day will take them from this world. At night, Salman prayed. If he would get tired, he would start making Dhikr by tongue. When his tongue would get tired, he would reflect and ponder on Allah’s power and greatness in creation. He would then say to himself: “Oh, my ego, you took your rest; now get up and pray.” He would continue this cycle all night long.

He was known for his vast knowledge and wisdom. Kab Al-Ahbar said: “Salman is stuffed with knowledge and wisdom like an ocean that does not dry up.” During the lifetime of our Prophet (sa), Salman Al-Farsi (rta) translated the Quran into Persian. He was the first person to translate the Quran into a foreign language.

Being raised in an influential family let Salman (rta) to be a major figure in the expansion of Persian Empire of his time. His thirst for truth, even before the appearance of our Prophet (sa), led him to give up his comfortable life and even suffer the humiliation of slavery.

Tongue Terrors!

tongue terrorsI want to share with you a strange story I once heard. Two brothers were at a bus stop, when a young lady approached them. Her arms were laden with groceries. Indicating her apartment behind them, she asked if they could help her. One of the brothers agreed, while the other stayed at the stop. Fifteen minutes later, the brother at the stop began to worry – his sibling had not yet returned. What was taking him so long to drop off some groceries? He ran to the apartment the young lady had pointed out and knocked on the door. A child, with a bone in his hand and fresh blood dripping from his teeth, answered it. Terrified, the young man pushed past him into the apartment. To his horror, he found a group of people feasting on the body of his dead brother!

I was really disgusted when I heard this! Then, after the story, I got a real shock. I was told that I do this all the time! Eat human flesh? Me? No way! I faint at the sight of my own blood.

It was explained that Allah has said: “…And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting)…” (Al-Hujurat 49:12)

So every time I invite my friends over for some ‘juicy gossip’, I am actually inviting them to dig into a ‘juicy human steak’! I remember how I mimicked that teacher with the accent. My classmates thought I was so cool. Some even said: “You’re so smart.” Now, I am not sure if I really was.

Our beloved Prophet (sa) warned us: “A man may be so close to Paradise such that the distance between him and it is one arm’s length and he speaks a word and he becomes distant from it further than Sanaa (referring to a great distance).” (At-Tirmidhi)

Subhan’Allah! One word! The jokes I cracked about my over-weight cousin had several words!

When I fasted in Ramadan, I never tasted a single morsel of food. To me that was an accomplishment. However, I relished those hot angry words I dished out to everyone, who suggested I do something other than sleep the day away. I controlled my hunger but not my tongue, so my fasts became a farce.

The Prophet (sa) said: “When a man gets up in the morning, all the limbs humble themselves before the tongue and say: ‘Fear Allah for our sake, for we are dependent on you; if you are straight we are straight, but if you are crooked we are crooked’” (At-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (sa) even once took hold of his tongue and said: “Exercise restraint on it…Will anything else besides (irresponsible) talk cause the people to be thrown into the Hell-Fire upon their faces or on their nostrils?” (Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn-Majah)

Allah’s Messenger (sa) also said: “Whoever guarantees me (the chastity of) what is between his legs (i.e., his private parts), and what is between his jaws (i.e., his tongue), I guarantee him Paradise.” (At-Tirmidhi)

From now on, I shall no longer give my tongue free reign to babble away, Insha’Allah (and I mean it), till I have something good to say. It is confined to its place, in my mouth, behind my teeth.