Miswak

Miswak

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The miswak is a teeth cleaning twig made from
the Salvadora persica tree. A traditional alternative to the modern toothbrush,
it has a long, well-documented history and is reputed for its medicinal benefits. It also features prominently in Islamic hygienical
jurisprudence. The miswak is predominant in Muslim-inhabited
areas. It is commonly used in the Arabian peninsula,
the Horn of Africa, North Africa, parts of the Sahel, the Indian subcontinent, Central
Asia and Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, miswak is known as Kayu Sugi. Hadith
It is often mentioned that the Islamic Prophet Muhammad recommended the miswak’s use. He is quoted in various hadith extolling its
virtues: Science
Studies A 2003 scientific study comparing the use
of miswak with ordinary toothbrushes concluded that the results clearly were in favor of
the users who had been using the miswak, provided they had been given proper instruction in
how to brush using it. However, the study’s sample size was only
fifteen people, calling into question its statistical significance. The World Health Organization recommended
the use of the miswak in 1986 and in 2000 an international consensus report on oral
hygiene concluded that further research was needed to document the effect of the miswak. Dr. Rami Mohammed Diabi, who spent more than
17 years researching the effects of miswak on health, and especially its anti-addiction
effects on smokers, has opened a field of science and research with his last publication:
“Miswak Medicine Theory” or Sewak Puncture medicine which led him to what is called Beyond
Sewak: World of Science and Research. Miswak also is contributing in the fight against
desertification, thereby affecting our environment and global climate. Miswak extract vs. oral disinfectants
Studies indicate that Salvadora persica extract exhibits low antimicrobial activity compared
to other oral disinfectants and anti-plaque agents like Triclosan and Chlorhexidine Gluconate. Religious prescriptions The use of the miswak is frequently advocated
in the hadith. Situations where the miswak is recommended
to be used include, before religious practice, before entering one’s house, before and after
going on a journey, on Fridays, before sleeping and after waking up, when experiencing hunger
or thirst and before entering any good gathering. In addition to strengthening the gums, preventing
tooth decay and eliminating toothaches, the miswak is said to halt further decay that
has already set in. Furthermore, it is reputed to create a fragrance
in the mouth, eliminate bad breath, improve sensitivity of taste-buds and promote cleaner
teeth. Examples of hadith concerning the miswak
From Sahih al-Bukhari: Narrated Abu Hurairah:
The Prophet said, “If somebody eats or drinks forgetfully then he should complete his fast,
for what he has eaten or drunk, has been given to him by God.” Narrated ‘Amir bin Rabi’a, “I saw the Prophet
cleaning his teeth with Siwak while he was fasting so many times as I can’t count.” And narrated Abu Huraira, “The Prophet said,
‘But for my fear that it would be hard for my followers, I would have ordered them to
clean their teeth with Siwak on every performance of ablution.” The same is narrated by Jabir and Zaid bin
Khalid from the Prophet who did not differentiate between a fasting and a nonfasting person
in this respect. Aisha said, “The Prophet said, “It is a purification
for the mouth and it is a way of seeking the acceptance of God.” Ata’ and Qatada said, “There is no harm in
swallowing the resultant saliva.” Narrated Abu Burda: My father said, “I came
to the Prophet and saw him carrying a Siwak in his hand and cleansing his teeth. From Sahih Muslim: ‘Abd al-Rahman son of Abu Sa`id al-Khudri
reported on the authority of his father that the Messenger of God said: Bathing on Friday
for every adult, using of Miswak and applying some perfume or cologne, that is available-these
are essential. Maintenance A miswak should be one hand span in length
when selected. If it becomes dry, it should be soaked in
rose water to soften the end bristles. The end should be cut afresh to ensure hygiene
and should never be stored near a toilet or sink. The brush may be created by cutting Salvadora
persica’s branches instead of its roots; keeping in mind that the tree’s roots can retain humidity
more so than its branches. This favors more long-term usage. There is also a toothpaste made from miswak
extract that can be purchased in the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and
North America. Use of toothpastes featuring benefits of miswak
is, however, not a true alternate practice of using miswak in its original shape and
in the masnoon way. Some companies, such as Al Khair and AL Falah,
have also taken the initiative to process and preserve miswak. This has the effect of increasing the twig’s
shelf life to a period of over six months. References Further reading
Islamic Research on Miswak Khan, Tehmeena, Toothbrush, in Muhammad in
History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God, Edited by C. Fitzpatrick
and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014. External links
Article on Miswak Miswak Is Ecological
The Miswaak Page – Guidelines and Information IslamWeb
Al Khair – Miswak Al-Badr Collection – Miswak

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