Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-Popular as teeth cleaning twig among non-Muslims, use of maswak is very common in the Islamic countries. Believers use maswak to follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as they know that it is not just a twig but has some medicinal properties as well. This natural toothbrush was used by the Babylonians around 7,000 years ago.
According to a brief introduction of maswak, published on the miswakstick.com, it was later used throughout the Greek and Roman empires, and also by ancient Egyptians and Muslims.
It is used in different parts of Africa, South America and Asia, especially in South Asia and Middle East.
Maswak is a small piece of stick taken from the Arak tree (Salvadora persica). For more than 1,400 years, Muslims are benefiting from it.
This natural toothbrush is made from branches of those Arak trees that are nearly five meters high. The tree also gives cherry like fruit for eating.
Arak Tree has oily green color and bright and a yellowish bright green juice. It is found in warm countries including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, India, Yemen, Iran, Egypt and some other African countries.
The studies have showed that maswak strengthens the teeth and maintains the natural shine of teeth, even makes the teeth whiter. It also prevents bacteria from damaging or rusting the teeth because it is anti-bacterial.
Based on medical researches it contains 25 different types of chemicals that play significant role in cleaning the teeth. No other plant has so many beneficial chemicals. Some of the chemicals are sodium, chloride, florid, vitamin C and Celica that can prevent decay and putrefaction of the teeth.
These chemicals in maswak play major role in whitening of the teeth. Vitamin C in maswak is effective in stopping bleeding and killing bacteria. The antibody property is making it super-toothbrush. According to Encarta dictionary, anti-body is actually a protein produced by B cells in the body in response to the presence of an antigen, for example, a bacterium or virus. Antibodies are a primary form of immune response in resistance to disease and act by attaching themselves to a foreign antigen and weakening or destroying it.
Medical studies have shown that if masawk is made from a branch of Arak tree, it would counter the bad smell of the mouth as it contains chemicals that fight bad odor.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said that maswak is cleaner of the mouth and earns satisfaction of the Almighty Allah.
The holy prophet (PBUH) also said that if it is was not hard for the Muslims then he would have ordered them to use maswak at the time of ablution (five times a day).
Religious scholars say that there are more than 100 Hadith on maswak.
Imam Sunaiee, a religious scholar, said that it is very unfortunate that the Muslims are unaware that there are many Hadith that emphasized on use of maswak. He said that biggest advantage of using maswak is that the Almighty Allah would be pleased with those who use it.
Imam Ibne Qeyam, another religious scholar, believes that maswak has several benefits.
It kills the bad smell of the mouth, makes jaws healthy and strong, and stops production of mucus. This amazing natural toothbrush also increases eyesight, keeps the stomach healthy, helps in digestion of the food, protect the teeth from cavity and decay. It also makes the voice clear and keeps its user fresh. Maswak is also a good natural medicine for tiredness and sleepiness. It is also good for those who have bad temper. Though, the modern science yet to prove, but is said that it builds confidence and strengthens memory. This wooden toothbrush helps those who want to learn the Holy Quran by heart.
It is the best healer if you want that your children should have white and strong teeth as it contains fluoride. Chlorine kills germs while Celica protects the teeth from bacteria. It can also help smokers and drug addicts to give up smoking or use of drugs.