Cleanliness is a pre-requisite in Islam. In fact it is half of faith - everybody know this.
The question is: How many of us practise and make this their way of life?
I'm not going to give you the answer to this question, but instead will describe the sorry and disgusting state of most of our toilets. Ironically, most masjid's and surau's (the places that require cleanliness) toilets are the worst
Just pop into any Malaysian toilet, most often than not you will find it less than desirable. The odour - be it ammoniacal, that of petai, etc is chasing away would-be patron; the wet and mouldy floor and walls and the rubbish strewn all over make us wonder whether their users are aware of the state their toilets are.
I guess we should change the word toilet (tandas) to rest room (bilik rihat) as may be the word toilet conjures the meaning od some place that should be dirty and uncomfortable to be in.
During our stay in the States we witnessed how well they take care of their toilets. Well, I don't mean their private rest room, but also their public ones.
In my department, the rest room was really somewhere to rest. It was equipped with a sofa and the environment was so clean that a poor undergraduate made it his sleeping area.
In our adopted family's bungalow the situation was more extreme. The entire rest room floor and walls were fully carpetted, even the toilet seat! I wondered how then they did their things.
I was told that they read and searched for ideas while on the toilet seat!
The question is, is it that out toilet practice needs a revolution? Are we using too much water in cleaning ourselves and thus wetting the room too much too often? Or is it the food that we consume that makes our rest room stinks?
A friend told me that he was surprised seeing how friends from New Zealand used his rest room. They do not wet the floor at all even when they had their sower.
May be the practice of using floor towels to dry off toilet floor (as provided by many five star hotels) is the answer.
May be we should really look into the prescribed way of cleaning ourselves...using something coarse first before using the water.
I don't have the answer to this issue, but we all should do something drastic to change. We will never reach a developed nation status as long as our rest rooms are still uncomfortable to be in.
Though it sounds too trivia for a serious discussion to many, I think it should be the main agenda for our government to improve the outlook of our rest rooms. Just providing fee collectors and rest room cleaners are not sufficient.
Our rest room use culture should change. We all should change our practice of cleaning ourselves and keeping our rest room clean.
It is my dream to run over to any public rest room in Malaysia, be it in gas station, restaurants, bus station, etc. whenever I have to answer the call of nature and find it a pleasant place to be in doing our things.