History continues to repeat itself in many shapes and forms, one of which we seem to see happening – time after time is the Western world taking products or ideas from other cultures and people while making it look like their own inventions.
Now, it’s time of the miswak/siwaak (a twig-like brush) being promoted as a ‘groundbreaking revolutionary new toothbrush’ by the Europeans.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been reported to have said,
“Siwaak cleanses the mouth and pleases the Lord.’”
[Reported by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh, 2/274, and by Ahmad, 6/47, and al-Nisaa’i, 1/50.]
While the miswak can be obtained with very little money, if not free, a Czech company called Yoni decided to market the miswak but calling it a new product and astonishingly pricing it at £3.90.
We have seen how hijama (cupping) caught fame when Olympians used it. Then, there is fasting and keeping the beard not just being donned by celebrities but also providing scientific benefits.
Now, it’s the turn of another Sunnah (the practice) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being adored – the miswak. The use of the miswak is frequently advocated in various hadiths.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged the Muslims to use the miswak before performing Salah, before entering one’s house, before and after going on a journey, on Fridays, before sleeping and after waking up, when experiencing hunger or thirst and before entering any good gathering.
In addition to strengthening the gums, preventing tooth decay and eliminating toothaches, the miswak is said to halt further decay that has already set in. Furthermore, it is reputed to create a fragrance in the mouth, eliminate bad breath, improve sensitivity of taste-buds and promote cleaner teeth.
The use of miswak, a twig is not a groundbreaking invention as the company says so, rather it’s a tradition that dates back to over 7,000 years ago, yes even before Islam! People, specially Muslims and Asians, went onto the Internet to let their feelings be known for this Western world’s hijacking of other cultures’ practices. One tweeted:
And then there were others too:
And another cheeky one:
No matter what, we ought to be definitely pleased that the miswak is going to be trendy hopefully just like the beard, cupping and even keeping trousers over the ankles for men which have all become a fad. Thanks to such moments, we get to realise the miswak’s rich benefits, and that it’s just not a teeth-cleaning device, but represents an ideology, a lifestyle.
The life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is full of teachings, lessons and practices which the modern world with it’s focus on science continues to uncover that there are not just spiritual benefits but also the physical, emotional and health benefits in everything he and the book of Allah has ordained mankind to abide to.