Clean Your House to Clean Your Soul

14, 2017 by

Eva Daniel

In our consumer-driven lifestyle, it seems cleaning up has become a forgotten sunnah.

In the past few months, there has been an increased movement particularly in the West over the magic of cleaning up. In fact, you probably have heard of the best-selling book, ‘The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up’.

The book talks about the wonders of cleaning our space, which ultimately will put our lives in order. When we clean and get rid of all the clutter in our lives, we will feel free and our thoughts will clear up; it will be easier to focus on what is important, and many have made life-changing decisions after they put their house to order.

If you are a Muslim, this concept may sound very familiar to you.

In fact, it’s not even a big deal, because it has been taught so many times by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that "Allah is beautiful and loves beauty." [Muslim]

In a related hadith:

‘Aslam al-‘Adwi said, “Umar used to say on the minbar, ‘O people! Keep your homes tidy and make these snakes that enter your homes fear you before you fear them. The Muslims among the Jinn (living in the houses in the shape of Jinan – small snakes) will never appear to you. By Allah, we have not made peace with snakes since we fought with them’.” [Bukhari]

We are also taught that a true Muslim always seeks balance in all his worldly affairs, and the affairs of the hereafter.

And yet, why do we still not practice what we preach?

We buy, and buy, and buy, and the more things come into our houses, the less comes out.

Some of us have over thirty pairs of shoes, yet we most often will only wear three or four of them.

Some of us have wardrobes bursting with too many clothes, wearing them only on certain occasions which happen once every few years.

Some of us have kitchens bursting with items that we know we will never use, but we are too possessive of them to let them go.

Yet, daily, we wonder why we feel so trapped. We feel as if our work is never-ending, there is too much to do, too many things in our minds. It is difficult even for us to focus on our prayers and ibadah. We think of what to wear, what else to clean, what remains on our to-do list.

It is not the best way to live, is it?

What if we start letting go? What if we make the conscious decision to change, right now, today, to clear our homes, clear our minds and focus on what’s truly important in our lives?

Here are three things to get rid of immediately:

  1. Excessive clothes. This includes, yes, our shoes, bags and accessories on top of our indoor, work and outdoor clothes. Keep only what you always wear, and NEVER splurge any more on cheap items that you never love. Instead, invest in timeless quality items that you know you will always wear.
  2. Things you have not touched for years. Everyone has these kinds of places. Their drawers, their storage rooms, boxes full of stuff stored away in hard-to-see places. Ask yourself, truly, why keep all these items, when the space can be used for better activities with family, friends and pets?
  3. Old electronic items. This include gadgets that have broken, and those that we no longer use. Whether in working condition or not, if we have neglected them for six months or more, they are better off to be recycled or donated. Some of us keep broken electronics, believing that we will repair them some day. In today’s day and age, believe me; you’d most probably buy a new one than to repair it, due to its temporary lifespan and cheaper alternatives.

In Islam, we are taught to have balance. We must take care of our daily ibadah ask we seek for a place in Jannah, but never neglect our worldly affairs. Keep our house in order. Make sure everything has its place.

The most regretful thought I always give myself is, “If I die tomorrow, and leave all my stuff behind, will it trouble anyone to get rid of it?”

If the answer is yes, then start now. We do not want to burden our families and friends with the task of cleaning up our place because we have neglected to do so.

Keeping our houses simple and clean is a sunnah of Rasulullah SAW. His house (SAW) was the epitome of simplicity and cleanliness.

Once our living spaces are in order, life will slowly come into order too, insyaAllah.

Eva Daniel.


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