A healthy mind resides in a healthy body as they say, which may seem easy to practice but is often overlooked. Many of us are too occupied with the hurly-burly of city life that we neglect our peace of mind and physical health. But, good self-care is essential for improving your mood and reducing anxiety. Besides, every Muslim is entirely responsible for the health of both his\her body and soul: “and surely there are rights for your body over you” . To entirely commit to Allah’s commands and be able to worship Him devotedly, A Muslim requires a healthy and robust body. That is one of the reasons behind the importance of self-care and hygiene in Islam. Let’s see how one should take care of him\herself according to the Islamic guidelines.
Hygiene is a topic always emphasized in Islamic instructions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) advised maintaining health by any means possible . And this manner was highly observed by all the prophets sent by Allah . Moreover, maintaining hygiene in Islam is introduced as a way to live a longer life . According to Islamic instructions, personal hygiene can be summarized as follows:
In this regard, there are many teachings from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). Washing the head and body is of the rights of Allah almighty over every Muslim . One should not sleep at night without having washed his hands . After getting up in the morning, one should not touch any dishes unless having hands washed three times . Imam Ali (AS) advised washing the body with water to eliminate unpleasant body smell and care about hygiene and sanitation . Imam Sadiq (AS) emphasized on cutting hair to remove any filth and dirt .
Brushing teeth is repeatedly stressed as an important part of hygiene in Islam. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) considered brushing the teeth as one of the significant hygienic manners  and said that if it were not difficult for his people, he would have ordered Muslims to brush their teeth before each prayer (Salat) . Respecting oral hygiene is so important in Islam that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said, if you do not have a toothbrush available, use one of the fingers to brush your teeth . He criticized those who came to him without having the teeth brushed and with the mouth smelling unpleasant .
Some benefits for brushing the teeth include cleaning the mouth, improving the eyesight, pleasing Allah Almighty, whitening the teeth, preventing tooth decay, strengthening gums, increasing the appetite, eliminating the Phlegm, improving memory .
Moreover, using a toothpick to remove the food that remains from between the teeth was advised from the time of the Prophet (PBUH&HP). He has praised those who use the toothpick along with doing ablution (Wudhu) and after each meal . Imam Ali (AS) had also urged his (AS) family to use toothpick .
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) advised Muslim men and women to clip their nails regularly as it is where the dirt and grime aggregate . It is also strongly advised to clip nails on Friday and to say the following after that: “Bismillah wa billah wa ala sunnat e muhammadin wa aale Muhammad” .
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) has several pieces of advice in this regard. He encourages faithful men and women to remove unwanted body hair regularly . Imam Ali (AS) has advised removing armpit hair to maintain hygiene and avoid unpleasant body odor .
Finally, you may find these instructions very basic and elementary, impossible not to know them. It may be so, but mentioning these guidelines in such details in Islam uncovers its holistic and perfect approach to life, considering all the facets of human life. On the other hand, sometimes we even forget to do these apparently simple things, and Islam reminds us of their importance despite being easy to do.
- Ibn Babawayh “Uyoun Akhbar Al-Ridha”, vol. 2, p. 158.
- M. Suyuti, "Al-Jami' al-Saghir", vol. 2, p. 688.
- Shaykh al-Harrani, "Tuhaf al-Uqul", p.442.
- Shaykh Mufid, "Al-Amali", p. 60.
- M. Suyuti, "Al-Jami' al-Saghir", vol. 1, p. 579.
- Shaykh al-Tabarsi, "Makarim al-akhlaq", p. 425.
- M. Suyuti, "Al-Jami' al-Saghir", vol. 1, p. 69.
- Ibn Babawayh “Al-Khisal”, p. 620.
- Shaykh al-Kolayni, "Al-Kafi", vol. 6, p. 484.
- Ibn Babawayh, "Kitab Man La Yahduruhu al-Faqih", vol. 1, p. 53.
- Shaykh al-Kolayni, "Al-Kafi", vol. 3, p. 22.
- M. Suyuti, "Al-Jami' al-Saghir", vol. 1, p. 475.
- Kh. Al-Barqi, “Al-Mahasin”, p. 561.
- Shaykh al-Tabarsi, “Makarim al-Akhlaq”, p. 50.
- Qadi Nu'man, "Da'a'im al-Islam", vol. 2, p 120-121.
- Shaykh al-Tabarsi, “Makarim al-Akhlaq”, p. 153.
- Shaykh al-Tabarsi, “Makarim al-Akhlaq”, p. 66.
- Ibn Babawayh “Al-Khisal”, p. 391.
- Ibn Babawayh, "Man La Yahduruhu al-Faqih", vol. 1, p. 119.
- Shaykh al-Harrani, "Tuhaf al-Uqul", p. 101.
One of the main differences between Islamic and non-Islamic lifestyle is manifested in the eating habits. Not eating pork and not drinking wine are two of these practices which are indeed evident in the life of a Muslim. This article will briefly analyze some of the reasons why Muslims do not consume pork.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the central philosophy behind all religious rules including Islamic rules and regulations is only known by the All-Wise and All-Knowing God who is the Creator of the whole universe and all the creatures.
Pork is forbidden in different Divine religions. For instance, the Bible says about pork: "And the swine ... he is unclean to you. Of the flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you." (Leviticus, 11:7-8). The same command is repeated in Deuteronomy, 14:8.
Christians often depict Satan in religious anecdotes in the form of a pig. The Gospel of Barnabas mentions that Pig is Satan personified and that the pig’s body has the spirit of Satan. The present Bible among the Christians (Matthew 8-32 Marks 5-13, Luke 8: 28-39) describes how Jesus thrust the soul of Satan inside the herd of swine and sent them towards the river .
In Islam, there are two primary sources for understanding the orders of Allah: the Quran and the Sunnah . Both the Holy Quran and Sunnah have equal status as far as the obligatory orders (wajibat) are concerned. If one wajib is mentioned in Sunnah only, it has the same weight as one said in the holy Quran only  and vice versa. Both sources mention that eating pork is forbidden.
Allah has announced that eating pork is forbidden in several verses of the Holy Quran:
“You are prohibited carrion, blood, the flesh of swine …” (5:3).
The unclean nature of swine flesh is stated in the following verse:
“Say, ‘I do not find in what has been revealed to me that anyone be forbidden to eat anything except carrion or spilled blood, or the flesh of swine —for that is indeed unclean— or an impiety offered to other than Allah.’ …” (6:145)
The same concept is declared in the verses (2:173) and (16:115).
Imam Reza (AS) mentions regarding the prohibition of pork, “The Almighty Allah has prohibited (made Haram) Pork because it is a horrible and dreadful animal that Allah has created for men to derive lessons from. People should also refrain from sensuality and shameless deeds that cause such a terrible appearance. And that they fear from being transformed into pigs by Almighty Allah. (In the description of past nations it is mentioned that people who committed sexual promiscuity are changed into pigs in the Intermediate world (Barzakh) [i], and they shall be raised as pigs in the Judgment Day (Qiyamat)).
Also, pigs were allowed to exist so that they are a reminder of the metamorphosis (Maskh) [ii] of previous nations into pigs. The second reason for prohibiting pork is that the staple diet of pigs consists of extremely impure (Najis) and filthy things, and its blood contains innumerable harmful germs.” 
Imam Sadiq (AS) said,“The Almighty Allah metamorphosed many nations into animals. Among them are pigs, monkeys, and bears, etc. After this these animals were prohibited from being eaten so that people derive lessons from them and do not consider the sin minor.”
Pork is very harmful to the body but we mention below only some of its harmful effects.
The present-day science of parasitology has proven some serious diseases in human beings caused by the bacteria and germs found in pork. Pork is the main carrier of many germs and parasites such as Faciolopsis buski, Paragonimus, Clonorchis sinesis, Erysipelothrix rhusiophathiae . Moreover, Dr. Joseph Mercola has cited the following diseases caused by pork: Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), the Nipah Virus, Porcine Endogenous Retrovirus (PERV) and Menangle Virus .
On the whole, the pig is the cause of many serious and fatal diseases, among them, dysentery, trichinosis, tapeworm, roundworm, hookworm, jaundice, pneumonia, suffocation, intestinal obstruction, acute pancreatitis, enlargement of liver, diarrhea, emaciation, stone formation in liver, cancer, anemia, high fever, hindrance of growth development in children, typhoid, lameness, heart trouble, abortion, sterility, and sudden death .
It is important to note that despite hard efforts in medical science, many of the pig parasites cannot be eliminated by antibiotics, drugs or vaccines.
Some people assert that by present day means it is possible to eliminate all these parasites and make pork devoid of them, but even upon the supposition that use of sanitary equipment or cooking of meat at high temperatures eliminates all the parasites, nevertheless the harms associated with pork cannot be denied for according to the incontrovertible law, the meat of every animal bears the traits of that animal and, by means of the glands and the hormones secreted by them, influences the conduct of those who consume it.
Thus, consuming pork may transfer the attributes of sexual depravity and indifference towards the affairs of the womenfolk of the family - the most blatant traits of the male members of this species - into the person who consumes it. And perhaps, one of the reasons for the excessive sexual profligacy dominant in the West could be consumption of the meat of this sordid animal .
So since the scope of science and the knowledge of human beings are limited, there might be other harms still undiscovered. However, even if human beings find some way of eliminating all the physical and spiritual harms of something, it does not mean that the forbidden (Haram) law of God becomes permissible (Halal). As mentioned at the beginning of the article, we must submit to the will of God as the Creator of the whole world and the Only One who truly knows about what is good and bad for the creatures and why.
[i] The stage between this world and the hereafter
[ii] In Arabic, Maskh means for something to change form to an uglier one. In the Quran and Islamic tradition, this term refers to a specific divine punishment which was sent upon the wrongdoers and wrongdoing nations in the past (of course not all wrongdoers, but those who committed certain wrong acts) which can be called metamorphosis. For more information, please refer to http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa614
All of us as human beings desire a peaceful and easy death; some people consider euthanasia as a way to achieve this end. The word Euthanasia comes from Greek origin (eu: well, good- Thanatos: death) and is commonly known as the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering. It is classified into three types: voluntary (with the consent of the patient), non-voluntary (the approval of the patient is unavailable) and involuntary (against the will of the patient). Voluntary euthanasia has been legalized in some countries such as Netherlands, Belgium and some states of America. It seems that proponents of euthanasia developed a strictly materialistic view of life and death; in other words, the existence of God and the value of human life are ignored. Moreover, the patient’s condition when consenting for euthanasia is not considered at all.
The first issue that can be argued against euthanasia is that being terminally ill does not seem to have a precise definition. There is no way to determine the life expectancy of a person even if he/she is diagnosed as terminally ill. There are cases in which the patient healed miraculously and without any explanation; the proponents of it seem to ignore the God’s will in the human’s life and death.
What's more, the consent that a patient who is suffering severely gives to end his/her life is not really of much validity. Obviously, due to the health condition of the patient, he/she is in a depressed mood and cannot think clearly. In some cases, such as an older adult who has lost his common sense, the consent given by him/her is apparently not valid. On the other hand, in non-voluntary in which a patient’s relative gives permission, the patient’s will is not included; it seems more like murdering rather than helping that patient.
Euthanasia activists ignore the value and importance of human life and the fact that the more you fight for life, the more precious your soul becomes. People who support this, often say that it is already considered permissible to take human’s life under some circumstances such as self-defense -e.g., in the case of wars- while, they miss this point that when one kills for self-defense, they are saving innocent lives either their own or someone else's. With euthanasia no one's life is being saved; life is only taken . Human beings have the instinct for survival and immortality; euthanasia is clearly against the nature of human being. Somehow, it overlooks the spiritual side of human beings. Besides, it is an absolute act of suicide which many religions including Islam do not approve of .
Finally, the decision to take someone’s life is not for anybody even that person to make; God has given life to us, and He will take it as He wishes . The proponents of Euthanasia have ignored moral issues and the spiritual side of human beings. Even in the hardest situations still, we can find hope if we have faith. By committing it, we lose the opportunity to see our unpredictable future; there may be a chance to embrace a beautiful life!