Cleanliness is half of faith

Question

Please provide an explanation for the portion of the Hadith: “Taharah is half of faith”.

Answer

Perhaps you are referring to the Hadith Imam Muslim and others have recorded on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari (radiyallahu ‘anhu).

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 224; Also see: Jami’ul ‘Ulumi wal Hikam, Hadith: 23)

‘Allamah Ibn Rajab Al-Hambali (rahimahullah) has mentioned that the correct opinion, which majority of the ‘Ulama have held, is that the word طهور (Tuhur), in this Hadith, refers to the usage of water to purify one’s self. This could also be referred to as wudu. Based on this, various explanations have been given as to the correlation between wudu and Iman.

One of the explanations that have been given is that “Iman” refers to the characteristics or qualities of Iman. Since every characteristic or quality of Iman ultimately leads to the purification of one’s body or soul, they can be divided into two groups; one resulting in outer purification (i.e purification of one’s body, appearance, etiquette, etc.), and the other in inner purification (i.e purification of the soul from spiritual maladies such as jealousy, pride, etc.).

Wudu physically cleanses the body and purifies it. Hence, it resembles that “half of Iman” which pertains to the outer purification.

Another explanation which the Muhaddithun have given, is that Iman refers to Salah. [like is the caes in Surah Baqarah, verse: 143]

Since Wudu is a condition for the validity of Salah, it has been referred to as half of it.

(Jami’ul ‘Ulumi wal Hikam, Hadith: 23; Also see: Al-Minhaj, Hadith: 533, Mirqat, Hadith: 281, and Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 5343)

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

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