Recommended times for using the Miswak

Perhaps the most encapsulating Hadith on the importance of brushing the teeth with a Miswak is the narration of Sayyiduna Abu Umamah (radiyallahu’anhu) wherein Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) says:

“Use the Miswak, for it is a means of cleansing the mouth and attaining the pleasure of Allah. Every time Jibril (‘alayhi salam) came to me he advised me to use the Miswak, to an extent that I feared it may become obligatory for me and my ummah to use it. If it wasn’t for the fear of creating difficulty upon my followers, I would have made it binding on them. Indeed I use the Miswak so much that I fear for my gums”

(Ibn Majah, Hadith:289, see Targheeb 1/166)

The Scholars have enumerated up to ten different moments in which the Miswak should be used:

1. Upon awakening
2. While making wudhu
3. Before offering salah (provided the gums don’t bleed)
4. Before reciting the Holy Quran
5. Before meeting with people
6. Upon entering the home
7. When one is hungry
8. When the teeth become yellow
9. When the mouth has a bad odour
10. Before death (if one can sense it)

References:
Fathul Qadeer, vol.1 pg.22, Raddul Muhtar (Shami) vol.1 Pgs.113-114, and Khisalul Fitrah of Imam Abu Shamah Al-Maqdisi (rahimahullah) pgs.27-37

This explains the emphasis Islam lays on Dental care.

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