Sunnah of Prophet – Miswaak [Last Part 3]
A SUNNAH OF PROPHET – MISWAAK
TYPES OF MISWAAKS
It is permissible to take for a Miswaak all types of tree twigs provided these are not harmful or poisonous. It is forbidden to use a Miswaak from a poisonous tree. Miswaaks from the following trees are not permissible:
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) FORBADE THE USE OF Raihaan as Miswaak because it causes the sickness, Juz-zaam
The following are the types of Miswaak are recommended:
(1) Peelo tree
(2) Zaitoon or Olive tree
(3) Bitam or
(4) Any bitter tree
(5) Walnut tree
Miswaak of the Peelo Tree
“And, the best of Miswaaks is the Peelo, then the Olive.” (KABIRI)
The best type of Miswaak is that which is taken from the Peelo tree. In the Kitaab, Ta-heelul Manaa-fi’Â it is mentioned that the miswaak of the Peelo tree is excellent for obtaining the glow or glitter of the teeth.
Our Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also praised and recommended the Peelo tree for Miswaak purposes. Besides recommending the Peelo tree, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) as well as the Sahaabas (R) used Miswaaks of this tree. Ibn Sa’d (R) narrates that Abu Khabrah (R) said:
Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) presented me with a Miswaak of the Peelo tree, and he (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
‘Use the Miswaak of the Peelo tree’.
Ibn Masood (R) said:
“I always kept a stock of Peelo Miswaaks for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)”
In the Kitaab, Mawaahib, it is stated that the Companions of Imam Shafi (R) have recorded Concensus of Opinion among them on the fact that the use of the Peelo Miswaak is Mustahab (i.e. an Islamic practice which carries much Sawaab (Reward) if upheld, and in the event of not fulfilling it no punishment will be meted out).
Miswaak of the Olive Tree
Rasullulah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has spoken highly of the Miswaak of this tree as well. The following Hadith brings out the significance of the Olive tree Miswaak:
“Use the Miswaak of the Olive tree. It is the Miswaak of a Mubarak (auspicious or gracious) tree. It purifies and makes wholesome the mouth. It removes the yellowishness of the teeth. It is my (i.e. Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)) Miswaak and the Miswaak of the Ambiyaa (Prophets) who came before me.” (MUNTAKHAB)
Miswaak of the Bitam Tree
In another Hadith it is stated that in the absence of the Peelo tree the Olive tree should be used, and in the absence of the Olive Miswaak, the Bitam tree Miswaak should be used. (MUNTAKHAB)
Miswaak of some bitter tree
If none of the three abovementioned types of Miswaak is available, a Miswaak of any bitter tree should be used. (KUHASTANI)
” . . Thereafter it is Mustahab to use a Miswaak of a bitter tree because the Miswaak of a bitter tree removes odor of the mouth to a greater extent.” (KABIRI)
In Alamgiri it is stated that Miswaak of a bitter tree makes the mouth wholesome, strengthens the teeth and the gums.
Mlswask of the Walnut Tree
Mistwaak of the Walnut tree has been recommended in the Kitaab, Taise.
NIYYAT OR INTENTION OF USING THE MISWAAK
“Niyyat of using the Miswaak should be made prior to its use.” (SHARE MINHAAJ)
The following duaa should also be recited at the time of using the Miswaak:
Translation: “O Allah, Purify my mouth: Enlighten my heart: Purify my body; And make my body unlawful to the Fire.” (BUNAYAH)
AADAAB (Etiquette) OF MISWAAK
(1) Miswaak should be a straight twig, devoid of roughness.
(2) Miswaak should be clean.
(3) Miswaak should not be too hard nor too soft.
(4) Miswaak should not be used while one is lying down.
(5) New Miswaak should be approximately 8 inches (a hand-span) in length.
(6) Miswaak should be the thickness of the forefinger.
(7) Before using the Miswaak, it should be washed.
(8) After use it should be washed as well.
(9) Miswaak should not be sucked.
(10) Miswaak should be placed vertically when not in use. It should not be thrown onto the ground.
(11) If Miswaak is dry it should be moistened with water prior to use. This is Mustahab. It is preferable to moisten it with Rose water.
(12) Miswaak should not be used in the toilet.
(13) Miswaak should be used at least thrice (brush three times) for each section of the mouth, e.g. brush the upper layer of teeth thrice, then the lower layer thrice, etc.
(14) Miswaak should not be used at both ends.
(15) Miswaak should not be taken from an unknown tree as it may be poisonous.
ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS OF MISWAAK
(1) Eliminates bad odour and improves the sense of taste
Allamah Ibn Daqiq (R) says: “The wisdom underlying the use of Miswaak after rising from sleep is that during sleep bad vapours rise from the stomach towards the mouth. This causes bad odour in the mouth as well as a change in the sense of taste. Use of Miswaak eliminates the bad odor and rectifies the change which occurred in the taste.” (NALE WA TA’LEEQ)
(2) Sharpens the Memory
Hadhrat Ali (R) said that “Miswaak sharpens the memory.”
(3) Sharpens the Intelligence
“Four things increase intelligence?
(i) Shunning of nonsensical talks
(ii) Use of the Miswaak
(iii) Sitting in the company of the pious, and
(iv) Sitting in the company of the Ulama.”
(4) Eliminates Slime
Hadhrat Ali (R) said that “Miswaak removes slime.” (IHYA-UL-ULOOM)
(5) A Cure for Illness
Hadhrat Aisha (R) said that “Miswaak (its constant use) is a cure for all illness excepting Death.”
(REPORTED BY DAILAMI IN FIRDAUS)
(6) Miswaak creates fragrance in the mouth.
(7) Miswaak strengthens the gums.
(8) Miswaak prevents tooth decay.
(9) Miswaak prevents further increase of decay which has already set in the teeth.
(10) Miswaak is a cure for headaches.
(11) Miswaak assists in eliminating toothaches.
(12) Miswaak creates lustre (Noor) on the face of the one who continually uses it.
(13) Miswaak causes the teeth to glow.
(14) Miswaak removes the yellowishness of the teeth.
(15) Miswaak strengthens the eye-sight.
(16) Miswaak is beneficial for the health of the entire body.
(17) Miswaak assists in the process of Digestion.
(18) Miswaak is a cure for a certain mouth disease known as Qilaa’- This is stated in Hujjatul Baaleghah.
(19) Miswaak clears the voice. This is stated in TibbeNabawi.
(20) Miswaak facilitates the appetite (Tibbe Nabawi).
(21) Miswaak increases the eloquence of one’s speech.
Abu Hurairah (R) said that “Miswaak increases the eloquence of a person.” (AL-JAAMI’)
(22) Miswaak (i.e. its constant use) will be ~ factor to ease the pangs of Death. The continuous use of the Miswaak makes it easy for the Rooh (Soul) to depart from the body when its appointed time arrives. (SHARHUS SUDOOR)
(23) Miswaak increases the Thawaab (reward) of Salaat (prayer) from seventy times to four hundred times. (HADITH)
(24) Miswaak is a factor which will earn higher ranks in Jannat for the one who uses it
(25) The Angels sing the praises of the one who uses Miswaak.
(26) Use of Miswaak displeases Shaitaan.
(27) Use of Miswaak graces one with the companionship of the Angels.
(28) And, the greatest benefit of using Miswaak is the attainment of Allah Ta’ala’s Pleasure.
SUBSTITUTES FOR MISWAAK
(1) The Fingers
In the case of the non-availability of Miswaak the fingers should be used to cleanse the teeth. This method will serve the purpose of Miswaak as far as the
Sawaab is concerned, i.e. if a Miswaak is not availa e the Sawaab (Reward) attendant to Miswaak will be realised by using the fingers as a substitute provided that Niyyat (intention) of Miswaak be made when the fingers are used for this purpose.
“Rubbing the teeth with the forefinger and the thumb” (MUHEET)
Hadhrat Amr Bin Auf Muzni (R) states that the fingers could be used as an adequate substitute for Miswaak in the case of the latter’s absence.
Imam Tahtaawi (R) says: ‘The promised Reward (of using Miswaak) shall be obtained in the event of the non-availability of the Miswaak, and not in the event of its availability’.
In other words, if a Miswaak is available and you are able to use same then the Sawaab of it will not be realised by using a substitute.
A coarse piece of cloth may also be used in case of the non-availability of a Miswaak. Those who have no teeth should use the fingers or a cloth as substitutes for the Miswaak, and they will obtain the Sawaab. But Niyyat of Miswaak should be made.
“And, the significance of Miswaak shall be obtained even though the finger or a cloth be used in the event of the non-availability of Miswaak.” (SHURAMBALI)
If the toothbrush is made of bristles (pig’s hair) then its use is not permissible. If bristles are not used, the use of the toothbrush is permissible. However, the toothbrush will not serve as a substitute in the case of Miswaak being available. If a Miswaak is available reward will not be realised by using the toothbrush. The same applies to toothpowder or any other means of cleansing the teeth. It should be remembered here that during the time of our Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) substitutes, e.g. toothpowder, etc., existed, but our Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) never equated these with Miswaak. Therefore, the argument of the modernist that the toothbrush today takes the place of Miswaak is fallacious and a good example of the apologetic attitude adopted by modern Muslims of today.