Fiqh-us-Sunnah - 1.29

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1.29
Mentioning the name of Allah at the beginning

There are some weak hadith that mention this act, and all of the chains of these hadith point to the fact that there is some basis for this act. In any case, it is a good act in and of itself and, in general, it is part of the Islamic law.

1.29A
Dental Hygiene

This involves using a stick or similar object to clean one's teeth. The best type to use is that of the arak tree found in the Hejaz. Such a practice strengthens the gums, prevents tooth disease, helps digestion and facilitates the flow of urine. This sunnah is fulfilled by using any object which removes yellow stains on the teeth and cleans the mouth, such as a toothbrush, and so on. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Were it not to be a hardship on my community, I would have ordered them to use a toothbrush for every ablution." (Related by Malik, ash-Shaf'i, al-Baihaqi and al-Hakim.) 'Aishah reported that the Prophet said, "The toothbrush purifies the mouth and is pleasing to the Lord." (Related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i and at-Tirmidhi.)

Using a toothbrush is liked at any time, but there are five times in which it is especially liked:

  • ablution,
  • prayer,
  • reading the Qur'an,
  • rising from sleep, and
  • when the taste in one's mouth has changed. Fasting and non-fasting people may use it at the beginning, the end, or at any other time during the day. 'Amr ibn Rabi'ah said, "I have seen the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, on countless occasions using a toothbrush while fasting." (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi.)

When one uses a toothbrush, it is sunnah to clean it afterwards. Said 'Aishah, "When the Prophet, upon whom be peace, used his toothbrush, he would give it to me. I would wash it, use it, wash it again and give it back to him." (Related by Abu Dawud and alBaihaqi.)

It is part of the sunnah that one who has no teeth may use his fingers to clean his mouth. Asked 'Aishah, "O Messenger of Allah, how should a toothless person cleanse his mouth?" "By putting his fingers into his mouth," he replied. (Related by at-Tabarani.)

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