What is that?
Siwak or Miswak is a kind of toothbrush Made from a tree that is abundant in the Arabian peninsula called ʼArāk in Arabic, Salvadora Persica or simply the toothbrush tree in English. For simplicity, it is a sort of tooth brush in size and function. Arabs use it in brushing their teeth and they always keep it in their pockets. It’s about 5 inches in length, less than quarter an inch in diameter, and it’s malleable.
About it, Prophet Muhammad said, “Were it not that I might over-burden Muslims I would have ordered them to use Siwak at the time of every Prayer (i.e. five times a day).” [Recorded by Muslim].
“Use Siwak constantly, for verily, it purifies the mouth, and this pleases the Lord. Gabriel exhorted me so much to use it that I feared its use would be decreed obligatory.” [Recorded in Saheeh Al-Jameʼ].
Among the last things recorded that Prophet Muhammad did on his death bed is that he cleaned his teeth with Siwak with the help of his wife Lady ‘Āʾishah. He always kept it with him, cleaned it, and used it with every prayer, after every meal, whenever he woke up, before he read the Qur’an, and he taught all Muslims to do the same.
Amazingly, modern studies have concluded that Siwak has a therapeutic effect on gingival diseases. Significant improvement in plaque score was recorded when Siwak is used on regular basis. Some companies even developed kinds of toothpastes that include extracted substances from ʼArāk trees.
Written by: Ehab Shawky
In Response to: Toothbrush