The most common knowledge among non-muslims about Muslims, are the 5 daily prayers. But many people have created misconceptions or preconceived notions about us. When I grew up I had always heard that Muslims were dirty people. Not until shortly BEFORE I came to Islam did I learn about how clean Muslims really were.
As Muslims, before we pray each prayer, we must clean or purify ourselves- commonly known as "wudu". Wudu includes washing our hands, mouth, nose, face, head, ears, neck, forearms, and our feet up to our ankles 3 times each, 5 times a day.
(O you who believe! When you rise up for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands up to
the elbows, and wipe your heads (with wet hands), and (wash) your feet up to the ankles.
And if you are in a state of major ritual impurity (janaba), purify yourselves (by taking a
bath). And if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you comes from the answering of call
of nature, or you have had contact with women, and you find no water, then go to clean
earth and wipe your faces and hands with some of it. Allah does not want to place you in
difficulty, but He wants to purify you and to perfect His grace upon you that you may
"Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers etc.).
Al Baqarah 2:222
We also do not use toilet paper alone to clean ourselves after using the restroom. When I had first heard this I thought it was gross to use only water. But if you look at in another perspective it makes perfect sense; when you use the restroom and happen to get something vile on you, what do you do? Do you just wipe your hands with paper? NO! We would automatically wash with water and soap. I will leave you with that thought.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Cleanliness is half of faith and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fills the scale, and SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah) and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fill up what is between the heavens and the earth, and prayer is a light, and charity is proof (of one's faith) and endurance is a brightness and the Qur'an is a proof on your behalf or against you.
Sahih Muslim Book 2, Number 0432
Cleanliness does not just stop at our personal hygiene. Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) stressed the importance of us keeping our homes clean. We as Muslims are a representation of Islam, which is a religion of cleanliness. Therefore, cleanliness is an important characteristic for a Muslim.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said, Assuredly, Allah (swt) is good and loves goodness, is clean and loves cleanliness, is generous and loves generosity, is hospitable and loves hospitality. So keep your rooms and courtyards clean, and do not be like the Jews.
Reported by al-Tirmidhi.
We should always make sure that we make our beds, put our clothing away rather then leaving them lying on the floor, and clean ourselves properly in the way Allah (swt) has ordered. We should also avoid making messes be it in your home, another's home, a place of worship, or in the work area. We all should continue to strive to be GOOD ambassadors of Islam at all times.