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Occasions when the Miswaak should be used – Part 1

1. Upon awakening.

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان لا يرقد من ليل ولا نهار فيستيقظ إلا تسوك قبل أن يتوضأ (سنن أبي داود، الرقم: 57)

Hazrat Aaishah (radhiyallahu anha) reports, “Whenever Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) awoke from his sleep, whether in the night or day, he would make miswaak before performing wudhu.”

It should be borne in mind that the use of the miswaak upon awakening is a separate sunnah and using the miswaak at the time of wudhu is a separate sunnah. Hence, if one does not intend making wudhu to perform salaah upon awakening from one’s sleep (or a woman is in menses), then one should use the miswaak upon awakening. However, if one makes wudhu immediately upon awakening and uses the miswaak during this wudhu, then using the miswaak during the wudhu will suffice on behalf of both sunnats.
2. When entering the home.

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان إذا دخل بيته بدأ بالسواك (صحيح مسلم، الرقم: 253)

Hazrat Aaishah (radhiyallahu anha) reports, “Whenever Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to enter his home, he would make miswaak.”

3. Before reciting the Quraan Majeed.

عن علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه قال إن أفواهكم طرق للقرآن فطيبوها بالسواك (سنن ابن ماجة، الرقم: 291)

It is reported that Hazrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “Indeed your mouths are passages for the Quraan (your mouths are used to recite the Quraan). Hence, cleanse your mouths through using the miswaak.”

عن علي رضي الله عنه أنه أمر بالسواك وقال قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إن العبد إذا تسوك ثم قام يصلي قام الملك خلفه فتسمع لقراءته فيدنو منه أو كلمة نحوها حتى يضع فاه على فيه فما يخرج من فيه شيء من القرآن إلا صار في جوف الملك فطهروا أفواهكم للقرآن (مسند البزار، الرقم: 550)

Hazrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “When a person uses the miswaak and then stands to perform salaah, an angel stands behind him and listens attentively to his recitation of the Quraan. The angel then draws close to him until it places its mouth upon his mouth. Whatever portion of the Quraan he then recites is protected in the belly of the angel (and thereafter secured by Allah Ta’ala). Hence, ensure that you cleanse your mouth before reciting the Quraan.”

4. At the time of wudhu.

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لولا أن أشق على أمتي لأمرتهم بالسواك عند كل وضوء (صحيح البخاري تعليقا 1/259)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Had it not been for the fear of my Ummah experiencing difficulty, I would have certainly commanded them (and made it compulsory upon them) to use the miswaak at the time of every wudhu (however, using the miswaak is not compulsory but an emphasized sunnah).”

5. When the teeth become discoloured or a bad odour emanates from the mouth.

عن جعفر بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال ما لي أراكم تدخلون علي قلحا استاكوا ولولا أن أشق على أمتي لأمرتهم أن يستاكوا عند كل صلاة (كتاب الآثار، الرقم: 41)

It is reported from Hazrat Ja’far (radhiyallahu anhu) that on one occasion, Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) addressed certain people saying, “What is the matter that you come to me in the condition where I see your teeth to be yellow? I advise you to cleanse your teeth with the miswaak.” Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) then said, “Had it not been for the fear of my Ummah experiencing difficulty, I would have certainly commanded them (and made it compulsory upon them) to use the miswaak at the time of every salaah (however, using the miswaak is not compulsory but an emphasized sunnah at the time of wudhu).”

عن عبد الله بن بشر المازني رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قصوا أظافيركم وادفنوا قلاماتكم ونقوا براجمكم ونظفوا لثاتكم من الطعام وتسننوا ولا تدخلوا علي قخرا بخرا (نوادر الأصول تحت الأصل التاسع والعشرين في باب النظافة)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Bishr (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Trim your nails and bury your nails, cleanse your joints thoroughly, keep your gums clean from food particles, make miswaak, and do not come to me in the condition that I find your teeth to be yellow and your mouths emitting a bad odour.”

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