The Obligation of Giving Islam a Good Image
Islam has made it incumbent upon its followers to give it and ourselves a good image. The religion commands us to beautify our manners and our physical appearance and to attract other towards the teachings of Allah with an appealing presentation. The Maraja have stated that we must give Islam a good image. Cultural practices that make a mockery of our religion must definitely be avoided.
Some sins are greater than others, and giving Islam a bad image is one of the most serious sins. Any person who drives people away from the religion will have to bear the responsibility of depriving them of the beautiful religion.
The following selection of ahadith indicate the importance that Islam places on maintaining a good image and presentation:
Imam Al-Sadiq (a): “You must never do anything that may embarrass us. A small boy causes embarrassment to his father because of his misdeeds. Be the beauty for those to whom you are devoted and do not be an embarrassment to them. Pray along with their tribes, visit their people in ill health, attend their funerals and do not allow anyone exceed you in good deeds. You have all the more reason to exceed others in good deeds.”
Imam Al-Hadi (a): “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty and prettification, and He hates misery and miserable ones. Allah the Almighty likes, when He gives a blessing to His slave, to see the effects of that blessing appear on him.” He was asked, “How is that?” He said, “To clean his dress, make his smell good, order his house, and sweep the yard. Even a lamp lit before sunset takes poverty away and increases livelihood.”
“Al-Amali”, Sheikh al-Mufid.
Imam Al-Sadiq (a): “My followers, be an ornament for us, and do not be a shame on us; tell people good words; guard your tongues and keep them back from idle talk and evil words.”
“Living the Right Way”, Ayatullah Jawad Tehrai.
Prophet Muhammad (s): “Everybody who chooses a dress, must keep it clean.”
Prophet Muhammad (s): “The dossier of the man who abstains from spitting and blowing his nose in the masjid, will be in his right hand on the Day of judgment.”
Prophet Muhammad (s): “Islam is immaculate, so you should make efforts for cleanliness because only the clean ones would enter Paradise.”
Imam Al-Sadiq (a): “Almighty Allah likes adornment, being beautiful …”
Bihar al-Anwar, vol 79, p 300.
Prophet Muhammad (s): “One’s clothes must always be clean.”
Shafi, vol p 208.
Prophet Muhammad (s): “A dirty person is a bad servant (to Allah).”
Shafi, vol 1, p 208.
Prophet Muhammad (s): “If it were not hard upon my Ummah, I would enjoin them to brush (their teeth) with every prayer.”
Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 76, p. 126.