On Fitrah

1. Abu Hurayra reports the Prophet as having said, “If not for the fear of my Ummah’s inconvenience, I would have asked them to use the miswak before every Prayer.”

~ (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Taharah, Bab al-Siwak, h. no. 599)


That is, he would have declared it obligatory, if not his fear that it would be burdensome to them. Nawawi has said that Miswak is desirable at all times of the day, but at five times the more so. Those five times being,

a) Just before the Prayers,

b) At ablution,

c) Before recitation of the Qur’an,

d) After sleep,

e) Whenever the taste of the mouth changes, for e.g., because of not having eaten for some time, or having eaten something smelly, or haven’t spoken for some time, or having spoken too much, etc. Imam Abu Hanifah has said that it is the Sunnah of this religion: that is, something special to Islam.

2. Ibn Shurayh reports from his father, “I asked ‘A’isha, ‘What was the first thing the Prophet did when he entered his house?’ She answered, ‘The first thing he did was miswak’.”

 ~ (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Taharah, Bab al-Siwak, h. no. 600)

3. Abu Musa said, “Once I entered upon the Prophet. I found him with miswak in his mouth and its tip on his tongue.”

~ (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Taharah, Bab al-Siwak, h. no. 602)

4. Abu Hurayrah reports the Prophet as having said, “Five things are of the nature: circumcision, removal of pubic hair, trimming of the nails, removal of the arm-pit hair, and shortening of the moustache.”

~ (Muslim, Kitab al-Taharah, Bab Khisal al-Fitrah, h. no. 607)

5. Ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Prophet said, “Oppose the pagans: Shorten the moustaches and grow beards.”

 ~ (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Taharah, Bab al-Siwak, h. no.612)

6. ‘Ali reported that the Prophet said, “A Muslim has six obligations on him for another Muslim: ‘Greet him in the Islamic manner of greeting whenever he encounters him; respond when he calls to himself; respond to his sneeze-prayer words; visit him when he falls sick; accompany his funeral when he dies; and approve for him what he would approve for himself.”

~ (Tuhfatu al-Ahwadhi, h. no. 2880)


Greet him: Say “as-salamu alaykum” whether he knows him or not. Respond when he calls: to meals with him or join company on other occasions, or to help him out in one of his affairs, (or for consultation: Au.). Respond to his sneeze-prayer words, i.e., say “yarhamu-ka-Allah” if he says “alhamdu-li-Allah”. However, according to the Hanafiyyah and some others, if that happens in an assembly, then it is enough for the rest if one of those present responds.

7. Anas b. Malik says two men sneezed in the presence of the Prophet. He said “yarhamuka-Allah” to one but not to the other. The one to whom he didn’t respond in that manner protested, “Messenger of Allah, you told him ‘yarhamuka-Allah’ but not to me!” The Prophet replied, “Because he said ‘al-hamdul-li-Allah’ but you didn’t.”

~ (Tuhfatu al-Ahwadhi, h. no. 2888)

8. Iyas b. Salama reported from his father that a man sneezed in the presence of the Prophet. He responded with “yarhamuka-Allah”. Then he sneezed a second time and the Prophet responded in a similar manner. Then he sneezed a third time. The Prophet remarked, “This man has cold.”

~ (Tuhfatu al-Ahwadhi, h. no. 2890)

9. Abu Talha says I heard the Prophet say, “Angels do not enter into a house which has a dog in it or pictures.”

~ (Tuhfatu al-Ahwadhi, h. no. 2956; the hadith is also in other Sahih books)


Angels do not enter: The allusion is to angels that carry blessings from their Lord. As for the guardian angels, or those that are for writing down the deeds, they never part company.

Dogs: Some scholars have said that excluded from the prohibition are those dogs that have been kept for security purposes: of the house, crops, orchards, cattle, etc. But, it looks like the rule is general and applicable to all kinds of dogs. This is evidenced by that hadith which says that Jibril wouldn’t enter the Prophet’s house because a puppy (was hiding) under his bed, until it was removed. It had been brought by Hasan and Hussain.

And the angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog, because of its own smell, as well its dirty eating habits: capable of eating almost anything foul. In fact, some of them are devils (in dog-form), as a hadith says. And angels do not like foul smell or the devils and so stay away.

Pictures: Scholars have clarified that the prohibition applies only to those illustrations that portray a living object: men, jinn, angels, animals. Also, some have said that it applies to those that are for decoration purposes. What goes in accidentally, such as on cushions etc., is exempted.

10. Samurah b. Jundub reported the Prophet said: “Wear white clothes for they are cleaner and purer; and bury your dead in them.”

~ (Tuhfatu al-Ahwadhi, h. no. 2962)


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