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Monday, September 13, 2004

Cleanliness In The Home

The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said: “Cleanliness is half of faith…” (Bukhari) Cleanliness in our homes is not just a matter of routine; it is actually part of our religion.

The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, pointed out that it is half of our faith, quite a significant statement.

Our homes are where we live, eat, sleep and offer salah. You could even say that our homes are masajid for our families. The bottom line is that our homes deserve respect. Keeping them clean is a way to demonstrate our regard for it. This fact is proved as Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, clearly tells us: “Make your dwellings as places for your worship…” [10:87]. One might ask, why should we show regard for our homes? In fact, they are only buildings. But, Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, explains to us repeatedly in the Qur’an: “Be grateful to Me (For My countless Favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.” [2:152].

It all simply boils down to how we look at things. Our homes are not just buildings; they are favors given to us by our Creator. Therefore, it is obligatory for us to show regard and appreciation for the blessings that He, subhanahu wa ta’ala, has bestowed on us. Could any one of us ever imagine mistreating a gift from Allah? It’s not likely that when viewed in this light, any one of us would ever have the intention of disregard.

Our homes are one of the numerous blessings that we have been given in this life. They are a test for us as well as a luxurious blessing that not all have been granted. On a recent project I worked on, I filmed a documentary on homeless women and children in my city. I found people sleeping out in the open and under makeshift cardboard tents. What I found was shocking, yet I knew it has existed all along, but when faced with it directly it forced me to re-evaluate all of the blessings I have.

Homelessness is a situation that is prevalent in every single city across the United States and each country abroad. No matter where you go, in every part of the world homelessness is a reality. The Muslim community is not exempt from such heartbreaking conditions. So no matter what the causes may be for homelessness, not everyone has the comfort of a roof over his or her head when it rains, or furniture to sit on as an alternative to the dirty street.

“Verily Allah is full of bounty to mankind, but most of them are ungrateful.” [10:60]

This is not to say that we must scrub the floors daily, but keeping a neat home nurtures our mental state and encourages us to have confidence, which fuels optimism. It has been suggested that people who are surrounded by constant untidiness become depressed and dispirited. When a woman is feeling her worst, the state of her home may be a direct reflection of her state of mind at that time. By keeping our homes clean and in order, we are better equipped to handle difficult situation and be better Muslims.

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