The Prophet’ssa Purity of Mind and Cleanliness of Body
It is related of the Holy Prophetsa that his speech was always pure and that he was (unlike most of his contemporaries) not given to the use of oaths (Tirmidhi). This was something exceptional for an Arab. We do not imply that the Arabs at the time of the Holy Prophetsa habitually indulged in foul language, but there is no doubt that they were in the habit of punctuating their speech with a generous measure of oaths, a habit that persists among them even to this day. The Holy Prophetsa, however, held the name of God in such reverence that he never uttered it without full justification.
He was very particular, even punctilious, with regard to physical cleanliness. He used to brush his teeth several times a day and was so keen on the practice that he used to say that were he not afraid that the ordinance might prove onerous, he would make it obligatory upon every Muslim to brush his teeth before every one of the five daily prayers. He always washed his hands before and after each meal and after eating anything that had been cooked, he always rinsed his mouth and considered it desirable that every person who had eaten anything cooked should rinse his mouth before joining in any of the prayers (Bukhari).
In the polity of Islam, a mosque is the only place of gathering prescribed for the Muslims. The Holy Prophetsa, therefore, laid particular stress upon the cleanliness of mosques, especially on occasions when people were expected to collect in them. He had directed that on such occasions incense should be burnt in the mosques to purify the air (Abu Dawud). He also gave directions that nobody should go to a mosque on the occasion of a congregation or gathering after eating anything that was likely to exhale an offensive odour (Bukhari).
He insisted upon streets being kept clean and clear of twigs, stones, and all articles or matter which was likely either to obstruct or to prove offensive. Whenever he himself found any such matter or article lying in a street he would remove it, and he used to say that a person who helps to keep streets and roads clean and clear, earns spiritual merit in the sight of God. He is also reported to have enjoined that public thoroughfares should not be so used as to cause obstruction nor should any unclean or undesirable matter or article be thrown on to a public street, nor should a street be defiled in any other way, as all such acts are displeasing to God. He was very keen that all supply of water conserved for human use should be kept clean and pure. For instance, he prohibited anything being thrown into standing water which might befoul it and any reservoir of water being used in a manner which would render it impure (Bukhari and Muslim, Kitab al-Birr Wassila).1
1. Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmadra, Life of Muḥammad (Tilford, Surrey, U.K.: Islam International Publications Limited, 2013), 196-197.