Reviving a Sunnah: The Miswak
Miswak (or siwak), the commonly used name for Salvadora persica twig, has prime importance in maintaining oral hygiene within the Islamic jurisprudence. More than fourteen hundred years ago, our Prophet (S) introduced the world to the benevolence bestowed upon the otherwise humble tree of miswak.
He used the twigs from the miswak tree to cleanse his mouth throughout the day, particularly during wudu and also encouraged his followers to do the same.
Whatever practice Prophet (S) was ordained by Allah SWT to preach his ummah always carried inherent benefits and divine blessings for the believers. The use of miswak also has immense benefits, both physical & spiritual, for its users. Let’s have a glance through the physical benefits of using miswak that help you attain a better dunya.
- It prevents tooth decay, imparts shine to the teeth & makes the gums strong & vigilant.
- It dispels any unpleasant odour in the mouth.
- It reduces toothaches & prevents gum disorders like pyorrhoea.
- It helps in sharpening the memory & increasing the power of the eyes.
“Four things increase the intelligence:
(i) Shunning of nonsensical talks
(ii) Use of the Miswaak
(iii) Sitting in the company of the pious, and
(iv) Sitting in the company of the Ulama.”
- It clears the throat & gives relief from headaches. Its continuous use brings a glow (noor) on the face.
- It aids proper digestion of food by ingesting digestive juices into the body.
- It cures innumerable ailments & it has been said that it has the cure of every problem except death.
- It reduces acidity caused due to secretion of bile pigments from the liver.
- It helps in maintaining ideal body temperature.
- It prevents premature ageing & delays old age in general.
Using miswak is not only beneficial for attaining a healthier body & a better dunya, but also for obtaining a peaceful akhirah. There are seventy benefits bestowed upon a regular miswak user and some of those spiritual benefits are listed below:
- It pleases Allah SWT and ushers plenty of blessings into our lives.
- It carries the reward of following a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (S).
- Its use prior to prayer multiplies the reward for the prayer by 70 times.
- It accelerates the speed for crossing the Bridge on the Day of Judgement. Miswak users would pass through the bridge with lightning speed.
- It pleases the Angels of Heaven and they seek forgiveness for the one who cleans his mouth with miswak before offering prayers.
- It comforts & protects the body from the penalties of the grave. A miswak user’s grave becomes widened to make enough space for his body.
- Its regular user has the Gates of Jannah opened for him, while the Doors of Hell get closed for that person.
- It makes a person able to recite the Kalimah at the time of death & enables the soul to leave the body with easiness.
- On the Day of Judgement, a miswak user would be handed over his Book of Deeds in his right hand.
- The person who regularly uses miswak gains equal reward even if he fails to use it at some time for a reason.
Make sure you use the miswak prior to doing things like:
- Reciting Quran & Hadith.
- Washing the mouth on waking up.
- Before going to bed.
- Speaking to others after eating or drinking something with a strong smell, like onions.
Little was known to the common man about the advantages of using miswak in those days of ignorance, except for Allah SWT’s dignified Rasul SAW. It has been cited numerous times in several hadiths relating to Prophet SAW’s affinity to miswak. As related in Sahih al-Bukhari, Abu Hurairah RA has narrated a hadith of Prophet SAW saying that, “But for my fear that it would be hard for my followers, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with Siwak (miswak) on every performance of ablution.” Similar references are also seen in hadiths in Sahih Muslim as well.