Elucidating the subject Huzoor(aba) said that one could truly gain Divine closeness when one develops apparent/physical as well as spiritual purity and that apparent purity and cleanliness sustains inner purity. Islam enjoins taking of bath at the very least each Friday and ablution before Salat and endorses using perfume before going to mosque or large gatherings. Huzoor(aba) said the rationale behind this is to create an ambience conducive to mutual concordance.
Huzoor(aba) said that indeed most Muslims know and often quote the two Ahadith citing cleanliness as ‘a part of faith’ and alluding to it ‘as half of faith’, however, it is sad that this is not so visible in practice. Huzoor(aba) said this standard of cleanliness is sadly not even maintained within the Jama’at. Huzoor(aba) made special reference to the residents of Rabwah, where 98% of the population is Ahmadi. He said it is vital that the environment is kept clean and tidy and special arrangements are made so that household refuse is properly taken care of, the open drains are regularly cleaned and that there is a distinct difference in the areas where Ahmadis live. Huzoor(aba) said all these instructions should be followed in Qadian as well. He said Khuddam should take particular care in maintaining and cleaning the Jama’at buildings. Huzoor(aba) said plantation should be encouraged and both the standard of cleanliness and greenery should be a distinctive feature of our areas. In Europe, Huzoor(aba) added he has noticed we tend to neglect the yards/gardens and turn them into a rubbish tip. Huzoor(aba) advised to regularly maintain our houses and gardens and work towards removing the stereotypical Asian image of untidiness.
Huzoor(aba) cited numerous Ahadith in expounding the significance of cleanliness in Islam. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) would personally remove any stone, twig or any other impediment from pathways and enjoined others to do so. He enjoined that when Allah grants one prosperity He likes to see the effect of His grace on His servant. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) disapproved of unkempt hair and shabby appearance. Huzoor(aba) said in the Indian sub-continent quite the opposite is true in case of longhaired, raggedly dressed and unclean people called ‘malung’ who purport to be spiritually enlightened.
The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) said that when a friend gives perfume as a gift, one should accept it and indeed use it. Adding, Huzoor(aba) said that the blessed person of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) would exude a most fabulous fragrance, the smell of which lingered on the pathways that he had passed. Huzoor(aba) elaborated on the counsel the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) gave on oral hygiene. He stressed the use of miswak (a bark used for cleaning teeth) and indeed practiced it in his blessed life. Daily matters like washing one’s hands before and after eating and to rinse one’s mouth regularly were all endorsed by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him).
Huzoor(aba) reiterated the importance of keeping our mosques and other buildings clean. He said our environments should emanate a very high standard of cleanliness. Huzoor(aba) cited an excerpt from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) expounding the fundamental importance of cleanliness in Islam and said that physical cleanliness is essential just as spiritual purity is essential because physical purity has a tremendous involvement with spiritual purity.
Huzoor(aba) concluded on the prayer that may Allah enable us to be inclined towards our inner as well as apparent purity.