I was told that there is a Hadith that talks about keeping your car (means of transport) clean. Is this true?
Obviously there were no cars in the time of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), hence he (Allah bless him & give him peace) could not have spoken specifically about cars.
However, Islam is a religion of purity (tahara) and cleanliness (nazafa). It encourages its followers to keep themselves; their homes and everything else related to them clean and tidy. Purity brings about the love of Allah Most High towards oneself. Allah Most High says:
“Surely Allah loves those who are most repenting, and loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.” (Surah al-Baqarah, V: 222)
Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise.” A man asked, “A person may like his dress to be nice, and his shoes to be nice. He (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Verily, Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride is to reject the truth [out of arrogance] and have contempt for the people.” (Sahih Muslim 91)
Imam Tirmidhi relates with his own chain of transmission from Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “Verily Allah is Pure and loves purity, Clean and loves cleanliness, Noble and loves nobility, Generous and loves generosity. So, keep your courtyards [of your homes] clean, and do not resemble the Jews.” (Sunan Tirmidhi 2799, with a weak chain of transmission)
As such, a Muslim must remain pure and clean at all times, and also keep the inside and outside of his house and his other belongings organized. The reason for this is that failure in keeping oneself and one’s belongings clean may result in harming others. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) even forbade people from entering the Mosque if they had a bad mouth odour.
Sayyiduna Jabir ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “He who ate of this plant, i.e. garlic” – and once he said, “He who ate onion and garlic and leek – should not approach our Mosque, for the angels are harmed by the same things as the children of Adam.” (Sahih Muslim 564)
The above Hadith demonstrates that bad smells offend both humans and angels. Leaving one’s house or car filthy also harms others; hence the same ruling would apply. As such, the Sunna is to remain clean – wearing neat clothing and smelling good – and keep one’s house, car and other belongings neat and tidy. If one looks good in clean clothes, one will be pleasant to look at and people will enjoy one’s company. Likewise, if one’s house and car are clean, people will enjoy coming to one’s house and sitting in one’s car. If the house or car is dirty, people would be harmed by coming to the house or sitting in the car.
Moreover, there is a Hadith in which the beloved of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) ordered his Companions to fix the saddle that was placed on their camels or horses.
Sayyiduna Abu ‘l-Darda said to Sahl ibn al-Hanzaliyya (may Allah be pleased with them both), as part of a long Hadith: “… [Tell us] a word which benefits us and does not harm you.” He said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) say: “You are on your way to meet your brothers, so put your saddles in order and tidy your dresses, until you appear distinct among people as a beauty mark [on a beautiful face]. Allah does not like roughness and rough manners.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 4086 & Musnad Ahmad 4/180)
Here, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) encouraged his Companions, when they were visiting their fellow companion brothers, to arrange and put in order the saddle which they were sitting on whilst on their means of transport. This Hadith may implicitly point to the importance of keeping one’s means of transport clean and orderly.
In conclusion, one should aspire to keep one’s car and other means of transportation clean and in an orderly fashion (without going to extremes), so that oneself and others are not harmed when sitting in the car.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK