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[Sharh Muwatta Imam Malik – Shaikh Zubair Ali Zai] – Hadith No.32 –:– The Importance of Miswak

Itihaf ul-Basim Fi Tahqiq Muwatta al-Imam Malik [Talkhis al-Qabisi] Riwayah Abdur Rahman ibn al-Qasim

Tahqiq, Takhrij, Sharh

Muhadith Zubair Ali Zai

Translated Abu Ubaydah
Translated, Checked & Additional Notes
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

The Importance of Miswak

[32] And with the same chain of narration that Abu Hurayra said, “Were it not that he would be overburdening his community he (the Messenger of Allah, (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam)) would have ordered them to use a toothbrush-stick (Miswak) with each prayer (before it) or each wudu.”

(And this book’s narrator and summariser) Abul Hassan (al-Qabisi) said, “There is a problem  for these words being marfu to the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) however Esa ibn Miskin (in his own narration) said that the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) said, “Were it not that I think it would be overburdening for my community then I would command them (to use a toothbrush-stick (Miswak))”


The hadith Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri narrates with anana has an authentic witness (shahid sahih) with Ahmad (2/250) and this authenticates the hadith.


Al-Muwatta (Yahya’s narration 1/66 hadith no.143, book 2, chapter 32, hadith no.115) at-Tamhid (7/194), al-Istidhkar: (no.122)

Transmitted by Nasa’i in al-Kubri (2/198 hadith no.3045) from the hadith of Abdurahman Ibn al-Qasim from Malik that he said: Ibn Shihab narrated to me and there is a marfu shahid (witness) with Ahmad (2/250 hadith no.7406) and its chain is authentic, and see Sahih Bukhari (no.887) and Sahih Muslim (no.252) and the coming hadith: (no.321)


1) Using a toothbrush-stick (Miswak) is not obligatory (wajib) rather it is Sunnah and it is from the fitra (religion of Islam). (see Sahih Muslim: (no.261))

2) It is obligatory to act upon the command of the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) unless there is an authentic proof and a clear indication that restricts it from being obligatory.

3) The Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Was-Sallam) was very compassionate to his community. He used to specifically care about his community all the time. Allah the most High sent him as a mercy for the whole world. Also see Surah at-Tawbah (ayah 128).

4) The toothbrush-stick (Miswak) is a way to clean the mouth and also gain the pleasure of The Rab (Allah). (Sunan an-Nasa’i (1/10) hadith (no.5) and its chain is [Hasan] good and hadith is authentic)

5) The toothbrush-stick (Miswak) should be washed before it is used. (Sunan Abu Dawud: (no.52) and its chain is Hasan li dhatihi and Nawawi declared it [Hasan] good in al-Majmu (1/283)

6) The toothbrush-stick (Miswak) of the mother of the believers Maymuna (RadiAllahu Anha) used to be soaked (in water) (ie the the Miswak she used to use). (Mussanaf Ibn Abi Shaybah (1/170) hadith (no.1801), and its chain is [Hasan] good)

7) Ibn Umar (RadiAllahu Anhu) felt that there was no problem in using the toothbrush-stick (Miswak) whilst fasting. (Ibn Abi Shaybah (3/35) hadith (no.9149) and its chain is authentic) He used to say: There is no problem using a toothbrush-stick (Miswak) when it is either dry or wet. (Ibn Abi Shaybah (3/37) hadith (no.9173) and its chain is authentic) Some scholars opined that it is makruh (disliked) to use a wet toothbrush-stick (Miswak) however the view which is most correct is that there is no problem in using a wet toothbrush-stick (Miswak).

8) Imam Sha’bi (Tabi’i) said, “The toothbrush-stick (Miswak) is a cleanser of the mouth and the light of the eyes. (Ibn Abi Shaybah (1/170) hadith (no.1796), and its chain is authentic)

9) There is no contradiction in the ruling of using the toothbrush-stick (Miswak) before every prayer and ablution (wudu). This means the toothbrush-stick (Miswak) which is used before the prayer will also be used before the ablution. It is allowed to use the toothbrush-stick before (Miswak) every prayer. And Allah knows best.

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