Sunday, 11 July 2010

Cleanliness and Productivity - Part 2: Personal Hygiene

Over the past week, I’ve been delaying posting this article, because I found it really hard to explain how personal hygiene affects productivity. Deep down I knew there was a link, but didn’t know how to put it in words.

This morning as I was walking towards Fajr, it struck me how obvious and easy it was to explain this link.
It all begins with a car. :)

If you have a car, and it’s dirty and stinky inside, the engine has not been cleaned in ages, and the car is generally rusty all over, how well do you think the car will drive? Will it be in its top performance compared to if it’s cleaned, waxed and serviced?

Our bodies are like cars, they are the vehicles of our souls; if they are dirty, stinky and basically unpleasant, do you think we’ll be at our top performing productivity levels?

Now I’m not referring to dirtiness and stink that is part of everyday life, especially with jobs and chores which require sweat and dirt (these in fact are noble work in the sight of Allah; as it is reported from Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) who saw a man’s hand which was rough from hard labour, he said: “This is a hand that Allah loves”). However, I’m referring to dirtiness resulting from lack of personal hygiene and care.
SubhanaAllah, Islam is so careful and so detailed about personal hygiene, and this is no surprise from a religion that is a way of life and sees cleanliness as a spiritual duty not just a beautification exercise.

It is reported that the Prophet (peace be on him) said:
"Clean yourself, for Islam is cleanliness." (Reported by Ibn Hayyan.)

He (Peace be upon him) also said:
“Cleanliness invites toward faith, and faith leads its possessor to the Garden”. (Reported by al-Tabarani).

I cannot go to all the hadeeths here about personal hygiene, but I strongly encourage you to look up good Fiqh books that would give you good breakdown on the Islamic guidance on personal hygiene. Trust me, you follow these simple guidelines, and not only will you feel clean, but refreshed and productive!