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Last Updated: 2019/10/06
Summary of question
What does Islam recommend for a man to be cleaned and well-dressed?
What does Islam recommend for a man to be cleaned and well-dressed?
Concise answer

Observing cleanliness is necessary everywhere and for all – men and women. One should always keep his body and clothes clean and tidy. He should wash his hands and face every morning, brush his teeth and comb his hair. Islam highly recommends observance of cleanliness and wearing of beautiful clothes. The Holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his family, considered cleanliness to be next to Godliness. A man who does not like his wife to be untidy expecting her to be clean, beautiful and attractive must be certain that his wife also has similar expectations from him. She also hates to see her husband untidy, dirty and ugly. What is inferred and deduced from the religious teachings and doctrines is that cleanliness is very essential for the physical health and spiritual advancement of human beings. Islam and religious leaders have recommended profusely the observance of cleanliness.


Detailed Answer

Observing cleanliness is necessary everywhere and for all – men and women. Islam recommends cleanliness not only during performance of worship but in everyday life as well. Besides other good deeds the Islamic way of life demands that when we get up early in the morning we should brush our teeth. We should take a bath at suitable intervals and oil and comb our hair. It is also essential to wash our hands and mouth before and after meals. Our food, drinking water and the utensils used by us should also be clean. Places of public utility like mosques, schools, parks and hospitals as well as recreation spots and the streets and our houses must be kept clean. Care should also be taken that wells and springs, whose water is used by the people, should not get polluted.


As far as a person can afford, he should wear fine and beautiful clothes. Islam highly recommends wearing of beautiful clothes and the observance of hygiene and cleanliness to the extent that the Prophet said: "Cleanliness is a part and parcel of Islamic faith"[1]


The Holy Prophet (S) states: "Jibril always recommended brushing the teeth to an extent that I even imagined it would become incumbent upon the Muslims later."[2]


Imam Ali (a.s) said about cleanliness: "God is beautiful and He loves beauty and also loves to see the effects of His bounties with His servants."[3]


It is noteworthy that cleanliness and beautification are not restricted and particular to women. In fact, men should also observe hygienic rules, be tidy, clean and neat. Basically, some men do not care about cleanliness and beauty so they do not pay attention to their appearance; they wear dirty clothes and their hair is untidy and disheveled in their homes and outside in public.


Perhaps, most men adorn themselves and wear clean and fashionable clothes but only when they go out of their homes. That is to say, when they want to go to office, market or an invitation or a banquet, they make themselves tidy, comb their hair and wear their best clothes but when they get back home, they take off their new or ironed clothes and wear the shabby and dirty ones once again. It happens very rarely that they comb their hair and give importance to adornments and beautification. Thus, they make themselves up and wear fashionable clothes only when they go out giving the least attention to their families.


It is very important to note that a man, who does not like his wife to be untidy expecting her to be clean, beautiful and attractive, must be certain that his wife also has similar expectations from him. She also hates to see her husband untidy, dirty and ugly. She loves to see him beautiful, neat and tidy. It has been narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s) that he said: "Man should tidy up his appearance so that he may cause his wife to get attracted towards him."[4]


Also, the narrator says: "I saw Imam Ali (a.s.) with his hair dyed with henna. I asked him: "Have you dyed your hair with henna?" He answered: "Yes. Being tidy and well-dressed will cause women to feel shy and it is because of the untidiness and improper clothing of men that women go out of modesty."[5] The Imam further says: "It was a part of the prophets” akhlaq (manner) to be clean and neat and to shave their hair, wear perfume etc. It has also been narrated that a group of people went to see Imam Baqir (a.s.) while he had dyed her hair. They enquired him why he had died his hair. The Imam (a.s) answered: "Because women like their husbands to be tidy and beautiful. I have dyed my hair and made myself up for my wives."


The narrator says: "One of my friends and I went to Imam Baqir”s house. When we entered his house, we found ourselves to our disbelief led by the Imam (a.s.) into a carpeted, well-decorated and beautiful room. We saw on his shoulder a piece of cloth with red flowers. He had trimmed his beard to some extent and had used surma (kohl) on his eye-lids. We asked him our questions and then rose up to leave the Imam”s house. While leaving the house, Imam Baqir (a.s) said to me: ”Come again tomorrow with your friend." I said: "Very well, we will come back again." The next day when we entered his house, we were led into another room in which there was nothing but a mat made of palm leaves. The Imam himself was wearing a coarse shirt.


At this time, the Imam (a.s) turned to my friend and said: "O my Basri brother, the room that you saw last night belongs to my wife whom I have married lately. In fact, that room was hers and the things in there are those that she brought home. She had adorned herself for me and I should have shown an appropriate reaction, so I should have adorned myself for her and should not have been indifferent. I hope you did not think badly about what you saw last night."


My friend answered: "By Allah, I had some wrong thoughts but now Allah has removed those thoughts from my heart and I know the truth."[6]


What is inferred from the above hadith is that the Imam (a.s) does not expect his wife to sit on a mat and wear the same coarse garments. Also, it is concluded from the above that cleanliness, neatness and tidiness for men have been strongly recommended by Islam and religious leaders.


[1] - Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Behar al-Anwar, vol.59, pg. 291, Al-Wafa Institute, Beirut, 1404 A.H.

[2] - Kulayni, Al-Kafi, vol.6,pg. 496, Chap. Al-Sewak, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyah, Tehran, 1365 (19986).

[3] - Hurr Amili, Wasail al-Shi”ah, vol.5, pg. 5, Aalulbayt Institute, Qom, 1409 A.H. The Arabic version of the Imam”s saying is as such:

"قَالَ أَمِیرُ الْمُؤْمِنِینَ ع إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَمِیلٌ یُحِبُّ الْجَمَالَ وَ یُحِبُّ أَنْ یَرَى أَثَرَ نِعَمِهِ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ".

[4] - Ibn Shu”bah Harrani, Hasan bin Ali, Tohaf al-Uqool An Aale Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa aleh), researched and edited by Ghaffari, Ali Akbar, pg. 323, Jame”ah Mudarresin, qom, 2nd edition, 1404 A.H.

[5] - Wasail al-Shi”ah, vol.20, pg. 246. "قَالَ مِنْ أَخْلَاقِ الْأَنْبِیَاءِ التَّنَظُّفُ وَ التَّطَیُّبُ وَ حَلْقُ الشَّعْرِ وَ کَثْرَةُ الطَّرُوقَةِ الْحَدِیثَ".

[6] - Behar al-Anwar, vol.46, pg. 293.


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