Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: The statement, ‘cleanliness is half of faith’ must never be taken literally; it is simply intended to stress the importance of cleanliness.
Cleanliness in Islam, it should be stressed, involves both inward and outward. Inward cleanliness entails cleansing our soul of all diseases and vices such as doubt, disbelief, hypocrisy, pride, envy, self-conceit, malice, lust, greed, etc.
Outward cleanliness involves purifying ourselves of all things that are considered filthy as well as freedom from major and minor defilements. For details about various kinds of purification, you are best advised to consult Imam Ghazali’s Ihyaa’ `Uloom Ad-Deen which is available in translation.
In a nutshell, as Muslims, we must keep our heart and soul pure even as we keep our body, clothes and environment clean.