The life of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is the finest model for Muslims of how to live by the moral values of the Quran. The Prophet (PBUH) advised believers to avoid all behaviour that is incompatible with the moral values of the Quran, and advised them to be clean, in mind and body, and set an example for them on this.
The Prophet (PBUH) attached the greatest importance to cleanliness, and therefore, to his hair and beard, too. It is reported in some sources that he always carried with him a comb, mirror, miswak (a small natural toothbrush), tooth-pick, scissors and a kohl bottle.
The Prophet (PBUH) advised his companions to do the same, and said: “He who has hair should honour it.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 33, Number 4151)
The Prophet (PBUH) set an example for the believers with the importance he attached to his appearance and cleanliness. One account describes the Prophet’s (PBUH) attitude to such matters: “The Prophet (PBUH) once intended to go to his companions and so he put on his turban and dressed his hair… He said: ‘Yes, Allah loves the actions of His servant who refines his body in order to meet his friends and brothers’.”
As revealed in the verse, “… Allah loves those who turn back from wrongdoing and He loves those who purify themselves” (Surat al-Baqara, 222), cleanliness is a form of behaviour much beloved of our Almighty Lord and compatible with believers’ lives. Cleanliness, a behaviour regarded as most superior by Allah, also bestows very great delight and ease on believers. Sincere believers, who feel great determination and effort when it comes to implementing Allah’s commands at every moment of their lives, also display the same punctiliousness with regard to cleanliness.
His companions handed down a great many details about the Prophet’s (PBUH) manner of dress. In addition to these, the Prophet’s (PBUH) advice to the believers about how they should dress reveals the importance he attached to this subject. One hadith reports him as saying: “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Putting on beautiful clothes does not mean putting on pride. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on other people.” (Muslim)
Al-Bara’ ibn ’Azib states: “I have never seen someone with long hair and red clothing look more handsome than the Prophet (PBUH). His hair reached his shoulders.”
Another report comes from Fazl ibn Abbas: “The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Adopt white clothes; it is the best attire.’”
The cleanliness of their bodies, clothes, homes and the food they eat is as much a distinguishing feature of Muslims as the cleanliness of their thoughts and hearts. Muslims’ hair, hands, face, in short their whole bodies, should be always spotless. Their clothes should be clean, smart and well-maintained. The places they live or work in should be neat, clean, pleasant-smelling, airy and relaxing.
There is no doubt that the finest example of this is the Prophet (PBUH), sent by the Lord as the last Prophet for all mankind. Allah addresses the Prophet (PBUH) as follows in the Quran: “You who are enveloped in your cloak! Arise and warn. Magnify your Lord. Purify your clothes. Shun all filth.” (Surat Al-Muddaththir, 1-5)