Place : Outside Sir Syed Nagar Mosque
Time : Saturday, Just Before Maghrib Prayers.
People are rushing in to catch up with the weekly Consultation (mashwirah)of the Jama-at. A vendor sets up his stall out side the mosque.
Customer : How much is that wood for? (Everybody knows that the wood indeed is the miswak. We are ashamed of being what we are and thus will not admit that we want a miswak.)
Seller : Five rupees.
Customer : Two of them for five rupees? (Double fault. Bargaining should be descent, but well!)
Seller : Only one.
The miswak is usually dry because very few people will buy them and the vendor keeps the ancient stock on display. Luckily there is another place also to get your miswak. Sunday Gathering (ijtimah) of Jama-at at Sir Syed Mosque of the university. It must be the same vendor. Toothpaste is available in the shop nearest to you. And it is expansive. There is a shop in the Muslim University Market or the Shamshad Market where you'll get miswak. Only archeologists would be interested in them. But the situation is not that difficult. Enter the Meat Street in Dodhpur and you'll get open as well as packed miswak in shop there. Hazrat Shaikh (DB) dislikes the thick ones.
Q: How can people do miswak when the root is more than one inch thick?
Shop Keeper : It lasts longer.
The packed one is for rupees fifteen a piece. It is written long on it. A miswak can only be long. By Sunnah you should not use a miswak shorter than your grip.
But the long and short of this is that the long on the miswak is not the English long. It is Urdu long. Written in Latin alphabets. Thus long basically means the clove here. This miswak has clove flavour. And yes it has clove fragrance. Then there are other flavours too. When you open the pack the miswak is nearly as fresh as it might have been at the time of packing, owing to airtight packaging. All Praise to Lord Most High for that. No wonder Mufti Muhammed Usama was so confidant about them.
And to boot the packaging has a list of Spiritual and Physical Benefits of Miswak written on it! Twenty four of them. In the tight miswak market this should elevate the mood. Here they are :
(1) Miswak is the freshness of mouth.
(2) Reminds the KALIMA.
(3) Miswak improves eyesight.
(4) Cure of every disease except the death.
(5) Makes gum stronger. (The packaging says gurms. Germs? Eeek!)
(6) Get rids of mucus.
(7) It makes angels happy.
(8) Miswak improves memory.
(9) Miswak is the following of Sunnah.(Dear Company bring this one to the top.)
(10) Miswak improves memory. (Alright, we'll assume that memory is improved twice in single brush of miswak. Brush? Oh well. The trouble is that they might have missed some other great benefit in this listing.)
(11) It delays aging. (Dawah workers note it down.)
(12) The soul leaves the body easily.
(13) Strengthens the back.
(14) Miswak makes wise.
(15) Miswak cures the headache.
(16) Grows the hair.
(17) Gives a better complexion.
(18) Keeps away devil's thoughts.
(19) Makes teeth shiny.
(20) Helps in digestion.
(21) Beautifies the face.
(22) Increases the fluency and intelligence.
(23) Relaxes the brain.
(24) Satisfies the heart.
(We can add one more immediately. The miswak is from Karachi, city of Hakim Akhtar Sahab (DB).)
The Dawat-ul-Haq list will be, Lord willing, presented at some other time.
Here is the IlmGate article by Hazrat Allamah Khalil Ahmed Ambethawi Saharnpuri Rematullah Alaihi about miswak.