The Superiority of the Prayer with

A Siwak

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- :« صَلاَةٌ بِسِوَاكٍ خَيْرٌ مِنْ سَبْعِينَ صَلاَةً بِغَيْرِ سِوَاكٍ

“One prayer with a Siwak is better than seventy prayers without a Siwak”[1]

Issues related to this subject:

Have you ever heard scholars say, “The hadith is weak, but the meaning is correct”? Well, here is an excellent example of how that can occur and be understood. This hadith has a possible breakage in the isnad , which prevents it from being authentic. Al-Bayhaqi after narrating this hadith said, “The Isnad is weak”. It’s not proven that Muhammad ibn Ishaq heard this hadith from Az- Zuhri. Al-Bayhaqi said, “There is a concern that this hadith is from the Tadlees of Muhammad ibn Ishaq and he didn’t hear this from Az-Zuhri.

That’s the status of the hadith; however from another stand point the hadith is acceptable; as prayer with the Siwak

is Sunnah and the Siwak is pleasing to Allah.



  • The Prophet  (ﷺ) stressed the topic about the Siwak. He said, “If I didn’t feel it would burden my nation, I would have ordered them to use the Siwak before every prayer.” [2]


  • The Prophet  (ﷺ) said, “ Siwak cleans the mouth and is pleasing to Allah.[3]


  •  Ibn Abbass (Radi Allahu Anhu) said, “The Prophet always encouraged us with the Siwak and we thought it would become an obligation.”[4]


  • The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was earlier commanded to perform ablution for every prayer whether or not he was with ablution. When it became a burden for him, he was ordered to use tooth-stick for every prayer.[5]


  • The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “When the slave uses Siwak then stands for the prayer an Angel stands behind him and listens to his recitation. It draws closer to him until it places its mouth on his mouth and then no single word exits his mouth, except it goes straight to the Angel’s interior.” [6]


  • The Prophet (ﷺ) during the night prayer used to use the Siwak between every two Rakah.[7]



  • Zayd ibn Khalid used to attend the congregation prayers in the Masjid and his siwak was above his ear the place a pen is put. He wouldn’t stand for the Iqamah until he brushed his teeth.[8]


Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah said: “These are some of the narrations discussing the topic of superiority for the Siwak and how a person earns Allah’s Pleasure. The Prophet(ﷺ) frequently used the Siwak; even on his death bed. Therefore, it isn’t unfounded and impossible that the prayer accompanied with the Siwak is better than seventy prayers without one.


The reward of seventy is considered the highest, but this doesn’t mean that the highest is the best and most beloved deed to Allah than the action done less. Rather, at times the deed done less is more beloved to Allah than the deed repeatedly practiced.


Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Ubay ibn Ka’b and Abu Darda (Radi Allahu anhum) used to say: “Adopting a middle course in following the Quran and Sunnah is better than exerting yourself in Bid’ah[9]


Therefore the fewest deeds done in accordance to the Sunnah and earns Allah’s Pleasure is more beloved to Allah than numerous deeds practiced which lack the legislated action of the sunnah, or even part of it.[10]


Issue : Does the superiority of the prayer accompanied with the Siwak apply for the women as well?


Yes, the Siwak has been legislated for both genders. This is based on the hadith “The Siwak cleans the mouth and is pleasing to Allah” The Siwak is used to clean a man’s and woman’s mouth. [11]


Conclusion: After contemplating over the meanings of the above mentioned Ahadeeth it’s clear that the Siwak is an important topic and it has superiority. Those narrations explain the reasons why it has such virtue. The Siwak cleans the mouth and the Quran, Thikr, Allah’s names and the names of the Prophets all are said from the mouth. This is similar to touching the Quran while in a state of impurity; and it isn’t allowed, so likewise to soil the Quran with filth is Haraam, and to spit on it with the intention to belittle it is Kufr. Furthermore, to soil the names of Allah, His Prophets, His Angels and anything similar in a place of filth is also prohibited in Islam. Therefore, some people have an analogy that it is prohibited to read the Quran or utter the Thikr of Allah while a person’s mouth has changed with a bad smell, because reciting the Quran is the same as writing it. ٍSo next time you get ready to pray give your teeth a quick brush with a Siwak(tooth-stick) in hope of following the Sunnah , increasing the status of your prayer and earning Allah’s Pleasure. [12]


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 Prepared by the one in need of Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness


Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Ph.D Student ( Hadith and its Sciences)

Doha, Qatar



[1] [Collected by Al-Bayhaqi #164 in Al-Kubara [ Graded as  weak by Al-Bayhaqi]

[2] [Muslim 612]

[3] [ Al-Bukhari 1933]

[4] [Ahmed 1/285 graded as being Hasan Li ghayri hi  Silsalahtu 1556]

[5] [ Sunnan Abu Dawud #48, graded as being Hasan by Al-Albani]

[6] [ collected by Al-Bazzar #60, graded as being Sahih based on the condition of Imam Al-Bukhari by Al-Albani 1213]

[7] [Sunan Ibn Majah # 284, Graded as being Sahih li Ghayra hi]

[8] [ At-Tirmithi # 23. At-Tirmithi graded it as being Hasan Saheeh]

[9] [ Sunnah Al-Marwazee #88,89,100]

[10] [Al-Manarul Maneef fee As-Sahih wa Da’eef , by Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah pg 14-22

[11] [refer to Fatawa Shaykh Salih Ibn Ali Ghusoon, vol 3/ pg 360]

[12] [Fawa’id fi As-Siwak, pg 79,Al-Alamah Abdur Rahman Al-Muallamee]

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