Miswak, the Wonder Chewing Stick
By Myda Tahir
‘Aa’ishah (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allahﷺ said, ‘Miswak cleanses the mouth and pleases the Lord.’ Saheeh al-Bukhaari (2/27)
Since Childhood I have seen my mom use Miswak not only for cleaning her mouth but for all her oral and dental issues like loosening teeth, toothaches, and even minor swelling of the gums.
Today at the age of 67, it’s no less than a wonder that all her teeth are natural, healthy and sparkling white! This, inspite of her big sweet tooth – she loves to enjoy mithai, desserts, and other sweet things everyday. She credits her impeccable oral health only to the regular use of Miswak. Frankly speaking, I find myself guilty of not using this beautiful and miraculous Sunnah (way) of our beloved Prophetﷺ persistently. When I am on a spiritual rise, I tear down the packet, bring out a brand new Miswak, peel the upper half-inch, nibble on it to create bristles and go on a Miswaking-spree for the next few days. But after the hype, I find that it is often lost somewhere in my bag or in the hands of my youngest daughter who loves playing with them.
Recently, I was going through a post about the 70 benefits of Miswaking, and I was especially struck by one of its miraculous benefits – improved memory. Especially as I was having difficulty in memorizing some parts of the Qur’an, I gave myself a challenge of using Miswak for a month to experience the results myself.
By the grace of Allah (SWT) and through Miswaking, I was able to achieve my goal within a week. Since then, I’ve tried to make sure that Miswak does not become a lost treasure in my life, so I have incorporated a few tactics, a few planned moves into my life to keep using it forever and be amongst the blessed ones, Insha’Allah. Here are a few tips on how to incorporate this beautiful Sunnah into our lives:
Things that get Written are the Things that get Done:
Just as we jot down the shampoo and soap on our shopping list, remember to add these simple and easy to use toothbrush twigs on the list. Miswak should be among the other “must haves” on our grocery list.
Promote the Miswak Culture:
Revive this wonderful sunnah by sending them as beautiful gifts either from online shops or by hand, along with dates and other goodies. As we are all aware, the world is returning to all-natural, chemical-free products, and Miswak is a great option for oral hygiene as it is 100% free from synthetic fibers like toothbrushes and also pocket-friendly. You can buy beautiful cases for it also, with personalized Hadith tags.
Place in an Area of Visibility:
As we are all extremely busy, if things are not easily accessible we usually don’t use them. I have personally made a habit to keep Miswak on my mirror rack as none of us ever forget to look in the mirror! Also, I write a reminder to use Miswak in my Planner, so every time I look for the date or any other daily to do’s, I am reminded to: USE MISWAK PLEASE, and it helps me not to miss the spiritual and worldly benefits of the practice.
Buy in Bulk:
As mentioned earlier, the youngest of my children is very fond of the twig, and she often hides it in her toys, making it a struggle to find it when I need it. Now, I always shop in bulk keeping one in my handbag, one in a purse, another on the mirror rack, making it impossible to NOT find one when I need one.
Practice it according to the Adab (Etiquette):
Miswaking has been a practice of all Prophets, and there are certain requirements and etiquettes that must be practiced in order to gain its maximum benefit.
“He who becomes neglectful about the Aadaab is deprived of the Sunnahs, and he who becomes neglectful of the Sunnats is deprived of the Faraa-idh (compulsory acts), and he who becomes neglectful of the Faraaidh is deprived of the Hereafter.”
While you can read the etiquettes here, I want to highlight two that are most easy to forget:
- Please make sure to avoid using Miswak in the washroom as most of us have common toilets and showers, so for hygiene purposes keep it outside.
- Do not throw used Miswak in the trash, collect the used twigs and bury them.
Learn with Your Kids:
If you still don’t have enough motivation to include Miswak in your daily life, then let your kids teach you. This works best for me – if I have found anything difficult to implement, I get my kids involved! Not only do I get motivated but the task itself becomes fun and enjoyable when we implement together.
I encourage my children to use the Miswak by reading different stories and showing them videos about this convenient Sunnah. The most important benefit for the young is that it’s 100% natural, and free from artificial flavors, chemical, glitters, and so on.
Miswak can easily be reused by cutting the tip, saving money on buying brushes over and over again.
A number of scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of this pencil sized twig over other dental products but the utmost benefit of using a Miswak is the obedience and pleasure of Allah (SWT) and this in itself is a pretty good reason to incorporate this lost Sunnah in our daily lives.
It is narrated by Abu Hurayrah that our Beloved Prophetﷺ said: “He who holds on firmly to my Sunnah at a time when my Ummah are (groveling) in corruption will receive a reward of a hundred martyrs”. (al-Tabaraani 2/31)
About the Author
Dr. Myda Tahir, being a physician blogger, health and fitness are my primary concerns. Trying to achieve the maximum level of fitness is my ultimate passion and having a walk with my family is my all time favorite. Well, my ultimate vision of life is to be Nafah( benefit )to others which are also evident in my writings, educating and raising awareness among masses. My only wish is to die as Satisfied and Happy Muslimah.