What is Fitrah?

The term Fitrah comes from the Arabic language. It translates to 'natural predisposition', the natural nature with which each person is born.

You know that feeling you get when you see something immoral? That is because of your natural nature. We all know basic morals and values. Like that lying is not allowed, or that doing injustice is wrong. We know these things automatically, without having to learn them.

In Islam, the Fitrah means more than what we consider basic moral and immoral values. It also concerns recognition and acknowledgment of The Creator. It is of the Fitrah to believe and worship something. And that automatically leads us all to worshiping Allah.

In addition, the Fitrah also concerns actions that we experience as natural. Such as shaving pubic hair, clipping nails and trimming the mustache.

So, Fitrah is actually a natural knowledge that we have been given. We follow it in order to go through life in a natural way.

  1. Relation of the Fitrah to Islam
  2. Acts of the Fitrah

Acts of the Fitrah

In Islam, several acts are described that belong to the Fitrah. We find this in the narrations of the Prophet (ﷺ).

  1. Trim the mustache
  2. Islam brings the Fitrah back to life by trimming the mustache. The Prophet (ﷺ) orders his followers to trim their mustaches and not to leave it like the idolaters do.

  3. Growing a beard
  4. It is seen in the West as something bad, and looked down upon. Yet it is an act of the natural predisposition to let it grow. Some react with disgust and others like it. Islam preserves this act of the Fitrah. All the Prophets grew their beards, including Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). And who is better than them?

  5. Using the Miswak
  6. The bottom line is that keeping the mouth clean is one of the deeds of the Fitrah. Whether this is done with a Miswak or not, it remains recommended. The use of the Miswak is from the Sunnah, and thus recommended to use.

  7. Sniffing water with the nose
  8. During ritual ablutions we sniff water through our nose. In addition from it being from the Fitrah, it also just keeps your nose clean.

  9. Clipping the nails
  10. Islam encourages Muslims to remain pure and clean. This includes clipping the nails. In addition, it is natural to trim the nails. And that is better for us if we want to be as close as possible to our Fitrah.

  11. Washing the finger joints
  12. Wash between fingers. We learned to do that from a young age. In this way we effectively clean our hands. It is also a natural act, without us having to think about it.

  13. Remove armpit hair
  14. Besides that armpit hair does not look clean, it can store a lot of bacteria. Especially because the armpits have to release a lot of heat through sweat. It can also repel an unpleasant odor. Islam upholds the Fitrah by encouraging the removal of armpit hair. That was done in the Sunnah with plucking.

  15. Shave pubic hair
  16. Islam attaches great importance to cleanliness. This also involves shaving off pubic hair. It is an act of the Fitrah to remove it.

  17. Cleaning after defecation or urination with water
  18. Toilet paper is not enough to clean oneself from the impurity of urination or defecation. To make sure you are clean again, water is required. It removes residual bacteria and residue. In addition, there is another big problem that is going on. We waste a lot of paper. Islam offers a double solution: cleanliness and saving paper.

  19. Rinse mouth with water
  20. Oral hygiene comes up twice when we look at this list. The mouth is also known to store a lot of bacteria. We all rinse our mouths during ritual ablutions. The Prophet (ﷺ) also rinsed his mouth after drinking milk because it contains fat.

  21. Circumcision
  22. In Islam, boys are circumcised. Circumcision ensures more cleanliness and prevents bacteria. It is a ritual that Muslims have from the Prophet Ibrahim (عليه السلام).

Abu Athari writes about basic principles within Islam. He uses his critical and well-researched way to spread knowledge of the first three Muslim generations.

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