Every time I solicit khutbah topic ideas from people, someone inevitably suggests istinjā (how to clean yourself after using the restroom). Although not the typical heart-stirring, faith-boosting, spiritually-uplifting, ready-to-change-the-world type of topic – it is a pressing need. It seems many people weren't taught simple common sense. Beyond that, there are some unique challenges Muslim men face. For example, what kind of hair product will keep you looking sharp— but is able to survive repeated wiping from wet hands during wudu?
In this guide we'll cover what you need to make sure you're following the sunnah, and we'll also cover how to take your game to the next level.
Hadith of the fitra–
Five are the acts of Fitra: circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, cutting the nails, plucking the hair under the armpits and clipping the mustache [Muslim].
Keeping your hair and beard neat and clean-
The Messenger of Allah was in the mosque when a man came in with dishevelled hair and beard. The Messenger of Allah motioned with his hand that he should be sent out to groom his hair and beard. The man did so and then returned. The Messenger of Allah said, “Isn't this better than that one of you should come with his head dishevelled, as if he were a shaytan?” [Malik]
Personal hygiene is a habit-
“[The Messenger of Allah ] fixed the time for us paring the mustache, trimming the fingernails, shaving the pubic hairs and plucking the underarm hairs – that we not leave it for more than forty days.” [Tirmidhi]
Normally a discussion on the importance of using deodorant and which brand to use happens around … 7th grade. Unfortunately, it seems a lot of people missed out on that talk.
If you don't use any, please do. If you don't think you need it because you've never used it before, please start. The only real tip to add here would be to use deodorant and avoid antiperspirants (they clog you up).
The hardest part about a beard is learning to trim it yourself. Finding a barber who knows how to properly handle a long beard can be difficult. Although, as hipster beards become more commonplace it is hoped that some hipster barbershops will help serve the ummah in this regards.
I prefer the scissor method. Automatic clippers work so well for up to a certain length, after that you have to get all artisanal with your facial hair. If you opt for the clipper route, any run of the mill clipper will do fine.
I recommend grabbing a Philips Norelco 7300 – This will help you clean up the mustache area and around the lip. The major bonus of this item is that it has a vacuum so you don't get hair all over the sink.
There's now a whole industry around beard care products. Make sure you are shampooing/conditioning your beard.
*Be careful here. Most brushes use boar hair (i.e. swine). This is the only one I was able to find that uses horse hair.
On the Go
Make sure you keep a pocket comb handy at all times.
We have 3 areas to cover here: armpits, down there, and – for certain ethnicities amongst us – probably your back. Compared to getting a beard trim, getting help here could get a little awkward. Luckily there is something that lets you handle your business on your own – The MANGROOMER.
I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here. If you need it, get it.
- Balla Powder – The name should give away what it's for. Stay dry, combat odor, and so on.
- Dude Wipes – Istinjaa on the go.
Simple and straightforward from the hadith above – cut your nails. This also includes your feet.
Invest in a nail file. Jagged edges can cut people when you shake hands. You don't need to go get a bunch of girly stuff, something simple like this will do what you need.
The greatest challenge to hair is putting product in your hair that can survive wudu. The problem is you can put something in your hair, but after you pray Dhuhr it's undone and you're suddenly having a bad hair day. After extensive personal testing, I recommend the following two products as the best to use in your hair –
So there you have it. Hopefully these will help take you from the man you are to the man you could be.