Miswāk
(764 words)

(a.), a term denoting the toothbrush as well as the tooth-pick. The more usual word is siwāk (plural suwuk ) which denotes also the act of cleansing the teeth. Neither of the two terms occurs in the Ḳurʾān. In Ḥadīt̲h̲ , miswāk is not used, siwāk, on the other hand, frequently. In order to understand its use, it is necessary to know that the instrument consists of a piece of smooth wood, the end of which is incised so as to make it similar to a brush to some extent. The piece of wood used as a tooth-pick must have been smaller and thinner,…

Cite this page
Wensinck, A.J., “Miswāk”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 14 November 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_5239>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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