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The Sunnah method of using the Miswaak

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I would like to know if there is any specific manner to use a Miswaak? For example the right first or the left. The top first or the bottom. By specific I mean Sunnah manner.


Allamah Ibn Aabideen Shaami (Rahimahullah) has discussed the method of using the Miswaak* in his book Raddul Muhtaar. He has indicated that the recommended way of doing it is Mutawarath (has been passed on from generation to generation and believed to be the Sunnah method).

The recommended (Mustahabb) method of using the Miswaak is as follows:

To begin from the right side.

The upper set of teeth should be brushed in either of the following ways:

a) From the right incisor to the last tooth on the right and thereafter, from the left incisor to the last tooth on the left. 

b) From the last tooth on the right to the last tooth on the left.The same procedure should be repeated on the bottom set of teeth. 

Thereafter, the tongue and palate should be brushed. 

The teeth should be brushed horizontally and the tongue and palate should be brushed vertically as mentioned in the Hadith. 

With regards to the manner in which the Miswaak should be held, the Sunnah method is that it should be gripped with the right hand. The little finger should be placed under the Miswaak near the base and the thumb should be placed under the Miswaak near the head. The remaining fingers should rest on top of the Miswaak. This has been narrated by Sayyiduna ibn Mas’ud (Radiyallahu Anhu) 

The procedure should be repeated thrice using fresh water to rinse the mouth each time. (Raddul Muhtaar, Vol: 1, Pg: 114, al-Maktabatut Tijariyyah) 

 قوله : في الأعالي  ويبدأ من الجانب الأيمن ثم الأيسر وفي الأسافل كذلك بحر . ( قوله : بمياه ثلاثة ) بأن يبله في كل مرة( قوله : : وندب إمساكه بيمناه ) كذا في البحر والنهر ، قال في الدرر : لأنه المنقول المتوارث ا هـ . وظاهره أنه منقول عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لكن قال محشيه العلامة نوح أفندي : أقول : دعوى النقل تحتاج إلى نقل ، ولم يوجد . غاية ما يقال أن السواك إن كان من باب التطهير استحب باليمين كالمضمضة ، وإن كان من باب إزالة الأذى فباليسرى والظاهر الثاني كما روي عن مالك . واستدل للأول بما ورد في بعض طرق حديث عائشة { أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يعجبه التيامن في ترجله وتنعله وطهوره وسواكه } ورد بأن المراد البداءة بالجانب الأيمن من الفم ا هـ ملخصا . وفي البحر والنهر والسنة في كيفية أخذه أن يجعل الخنصر أسفله والإبهام أسفل رأسه وباقي الأصابع فوقه كما رواه ابن مسعود 

*  Miswaak – a special type of twig used by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to brush his teeth. Using the Miswaak holds many virtues and a lot of reward. The Miswaak holds many beneficial medicinal properties as well. It is Sunnah to use the Miswaak especially when making Wudhu. 

And Allah Knows Best

Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed

Checked and Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai 

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) Fatwa Department

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