Anyone who’s ever been to my house knows that the floors squeak — like, a lot. The squeakiness paired with my parents’ early bedtime made for some very cautious tip-toeing down the steps when my cousins and I would crave cookies and milk at a late hour during a sleepover. My room is directly on top of my parents’ room, and my floors are the noisiest in the house. If I walked on those certain off-limits floorboards, the next morning my light-sleeper mom would know exactly what time I went to bed — which would often be at an unfortunately late hour. Sorry for waking you up with my ever-so-graceful footsteps, Mummy.
If I ever hear the squeaky floorboards from my room while I’m not in there, my heart races. No, not because of jinns—because of my dad. If I hear those squeaks from my room, it means my dad went into forbidden territory. And that is usually not good. Because my room lately has been a total mess. I’ll then see him come down the stairs, so I close my eyes and prepare my ears to hear the words I have now memorized:
“CLEANLINESS IS HALF OF FAITH!”
I credit my father for teaching me that hadith.
Gosh, it’s not that my room is dirty. It’s just a bunch of unfolded clean laundry I have yet to put away. I’m in the middle of re-organizing my room, and you’ll all see, it’s gonna be beautiful – Insha’Allah.
I’ve been careful with the latest tornado that hit my room. No, it’s not spotless yet, but I’m keeping the door locked. My dad knows what that means—that there are clothes all over my bed, hijab pins in every corner, and more details I don’t feel comfortable sharing (aha, kidding… sort of). But at least his eyes won’t be able to witness it.
Don’t worry though, I’m getting to it. My plans for tonight are color-coding my hijab drawers and closets. It should be a fun time, and totally in line with that spring cleaning spirit! Yay.
I tried finding some narrations about how our Prophet (peace be upon him) would keep his home clean and what he would do, but I must be typing in the wrong keywords. What I did come across were the countless gems about keeping our own bodies clean—both in the physical and spiritual sense. We’re required to purify our bodies before praying and advised to purify our spiritual hearts before meeting our Lord. There are entire Books of Purification in the hadith collections! Keeping clean is no laughing matter in our religion.
So when I endeavor on this mighty task of reorganizing, I’ll unlock the door of my room with the intention to purify my living space in the spirit of keeping close with a tradition that emphasizes cleanliness. When I’m finally done, I’ll invite my parents to step all over my freshly vacuumed, still squeaky floor and repeat the words of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself, “Cleanliness is half of faith.”