Sharia has termed cleanliness half of Iman.
"Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and
loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing
thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers etc)” (Al Baqarah:
Muslims SHOULD enjoy the highest standard of personal hygiene of
all the people in the world. In Islam, cleanliness and purification are not only
usual requirements for the performance of worship.
Cleanliness in Islam is of Three Kinds
Purification from impurity
(i.e. to attain purity or cleanliness, by taking a bath ghusul or performing
ablution wudu’ in states in which a bath or ablution is necessary or desirable
according to Islamic Law).
Cleansing one’s body, dress or place from impurity of filth.
Removing the dirt or grime that collects in various parts of the body, such as cleaning the teeth and
nostrils, the trimming of nails and the removing of armpit and pubic hair.
Removing Unnecessary Body Hair
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
Five practices are characteristic of the fitra (the natural
state, or tradition of the prophets): circumcision, shaving the pubic hair,
cutting the moustache short, clipping the nails, and removing the hair of the
armpits. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
It is permissible to remove the hair under your armpits and your
pubic hair by any method that you do not find too difficult or painful:
plucking, shaving, cutting it short, using wax treatments, ‘strip’ hair
removers, or with any number of special depilatory creams and ointments that are
available on the market for this purpose.
This hair should be removed at least once every forty days, or
whenever it grows long.
The hair that grows under your arms and around your private
parts can also be a source of bad odours, because hair, combined with darkness
and moisture, provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. When this hair
is removed, the body odour is reduced and there is less chance of catching
troublesome irritants, such as ‘jock itch’ or body lice. It is also easier to
keep the area clean.
It is the custom for girls and women in some countries to shave
their legs as well, or to remove all of the hair from their arms and legs with
‘strip’ hair removers or depilatory creams. This is mubah – neither recommended
in Islam nor forbidden.
WhenVisiting the Toilet
Regardless of age, we should all take care that our underwear
and private parts remain as clean as possible. Underpants, panties and socks
should be changed daily in order to avoid unpleasant odours. Females may use
pantiliners if necessary. If urine happens to splatter onto your clothing, you
should wash it off until no colour or smell remains.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advised that we should clean
ourselves thoroughly after using the toilet. This is called istinja'.
The proper way to make istinja' is to remove all traces of
najasa (filth) - urine or faeces with something clean and dry, such as toilet
paper. If you are in the countryside and paper tissues are not available, you
may use smooth, clean stones or dried clay instead.