What is Islam?
by James William Lovegrove (Habeeb-Ullah)
Cleanliness is next to Godliness—a precept with others, but a practice in Islam. A Muslim has to make his ablution before he goes to prayer. He has to wash his hands up to his elbows, his face, and feet; he has to clean his teeth, rinse his mouth, pour water into his nostrils to clear away anything obstructing free breathing. Every mosque in Muslim countries has a convenience for ablution, free of charge, open for the use of every worshipper. Every Muslim has to take a bath at least once a week, on Friday before he goes to join the congregation. He is expected to change his clothes as well and use some kind of perfume to freshen the atmosphere of the mosque.
This is very necessary in hot as well as in cold countries, and I wonder if European experts in hygiene can give us a better course of cleanliness than that prescribed by the Prophet.