The religion of Islam is the religion of cleanliness. That is because cleanliness is one of the fundamentals of our worship. The cleanliness of our body, clothes, and manners shows that we are Muslims. Also, in order to live healthy and protect our health, we must be clean. For this reason, our religion attributes great importance to cleanliness.
One of the first commands of the Quran is “Purify your clothes!” (Surah Al-Muddaththir, Ayah 4). It shows the importance Islam attributes to cleanliness. Also, our beloved Prophet expressed that cleanliness is stressed by our faith by saying: “Being clean is half the faith” (Muslim, Taharat 1)
Our religion pays special attention to the cleanliness of the environment as well. Our Prophet wanted us to keep our environment clean. By promising Paradise to those who keep public places clean and avoid the acts that may soil them, our Prophet said that “A man saw a tree branch on the street and said ‘I swear to God, I will remove this branch from here so that it would not harm Muslims’ and he removed it and he was sent to Paradise for this act.” (Bukhari, Adhan 32, Misaim 28) (Bukhârî Section on Ritual Call to Prayer (Adhan) 32, Section on Oppression 28)
In Islam, just eliminating the physical dirt would not satisfy cleanliness. For example, when we wash an apple that was on the floor,
I am Learning my Worship we would only clean it physically. However, a stolen apple would not be clean no matter how hard we washed it. That is because it is haram/strictly forbidden. It would not be morally clean, and therefore it should not be eaten.
Bad words and acts contaminate our hearts just as physical dirt makes our body, clothes, and environment filthy. In order to live in peace and happiness, we should eliminate spiritual contamination from our hearts. Such elimination is achieved when we repent from our bad acts, worship properly and behave righteously.
Our Almighty Lord expresses this:
“Allah loves those who turn back from wrongdoing and He loves those who purify themselves.” (Surah Al-Baqara, Ayah 222)
Then, we must both keep clean our body, clothes, and environment and also beautify our manners by avoiding sins, bad words, and acts.
Allah the Exalted says: “Allah loves those who turn back from wrongdoing and He loves those who purify themselves.” (Surah Al-Baqara, Ayah 222)