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Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The term sa'f safa'i means neat and cleanliness, and the Sa'f Safa'i Committee (matahir or taharat khana) is a traditional institution in each Jamatkhana. It looks after the sweeping, washing and cleaning the premise. Islam emphasizes great deal of cleanliness and purification in every affair of life. The Prophet also said, "Purification is the key to prayer" (Tirmizi, 1:3), "Religion is built on cleanliness" (Ibid.) and "Purification is one half of faith" (Ibn Majah, 1:5). The Koran says, "When the woman of Imran said: My Lord! Surely I vow to Thee what is in my womb, to be devoted (to Thy service); accept therefore from me, surely You are the Hearing, the Knowing" (3:34). Bukhari quotes this verse that the "devotion" to the Divine service refers to the cleanliness of the prayer-hall. The Koran further says, "And We enjoined Abraham and Ismael, saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves" (2:125), and again, "The mosques of God shall be maintained (yamaru) by such as believe in God and the last day, keep up prayers, and pay poor-rate, and fears none but God" (9:17). The word yamaru means to build, maintain, clean, decorate with lights, worship or avoid worldly affairs.

One of the attributes of God is Subhan Allah means God is Pure, therefore, so should His house be pure i.e., neat and clean from all impurities. The Prophet also said, "Keeping the mosque clean and neat is an act of great merit" (Bukhari, 8:72). Abu Daud and Tirmizi quote that the Prophet had emphasized upon the building of mosques in the houses and the nearest areas with due cleanliness and perfumes. The Prophet also said: "I have been shown the rewards for my ummah, including one who sweeps the rubbish (kaza'tun) in the mosque" (Tirmizi, 1:49). The word kaza'tun means rubbish or a particle in the eye. It indicates that the filth in the prayer-hall is like a painful particle in the eye. Abu Sa'id Khudri relates the Prophet as saying, "When you see anyone serving in the mosque, you must witness for him being a believer" (Mishkat, 49). The word ta'hud also means here to sweep or clean. The Prophet also said, "One who cleans the rubbish in the mosque, God will build a house for him in the paradise" (man akhraj azi minal masjid nabiullah lahu bayatan fil jannah) (Ibn Majah, 1:55). Ibn Majah quotes the Prophet as saying, "Keep the mosque clean and tidy. Sweep the place and clean out all dust or filth. Burn incense, especially on Friday so that the whole mosque becomes fragrant with the aroma of the incense." He also said, "To sweep the mosque, to keep it tidy and clean, to cast out all dust and filth, to burn incense, especially to make the place fragrant with the aroma of the incense on Friday

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