01 Feb, 2023 | Wednesday 9-Rajab-1444

It is recommended to take care of the mouth, teeth, and gums all the time, and more so during fasting. This can be achieved by the use of siwaak, a special stick or root (from Arak tree) that is used to cleanse the teeth and strengthen the gums. Although the best siwaak is the one called al-Arak produced in Hijaz, in Arabia, it will suffice to use anything that will cleanse the teeth and remove the stain and refresh the mouth, like halaal toothpaste. In the hadith by Abu Hurairah, the Prophet (saas) said: "Were not it because of fear of burdening my community (Ummah) I would have commanded them to use siwaak (brush their teeth with a chewing stick) before every ablution." (Malik)

In another hadith by 'Aishah (raa) the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Siwaak cleanses the mouth and pleases Allah." (Ahmad). Yet, in another report by Amir bin Rabeelah (raa), he said: "I saw the Messenger of Allah (saas) on numerous occasions chewing siwaak while fasting." (Tirmidhi)

In the first and second hadith, the importance of oral hygiene is underscored and encouraged on every occasion: before wudu for regular prayer, before reciting Al-Qur'an, before or after sleeping, when the mouth odor changes and, of course, during fasting. The third hadith indicates the Prophet (saas) took care of his teeth during the time of fasting.