Can a toothbrush suffice for doing miswak?
Country: United States
Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,
Anything that eliminates unpleasant odor from the mouth, and removes plaque and tarter from the teeth, will suffice. (Sharh al-Muhadhdhab v. 1, p. 281-82) Therefore, a modern toothbrush does suffice.
Regarding what is the most virtuous to use, the miswak which comes from the arak tree has a special status because the Prophet Muhammad used it. One will be rewarded for using it, as it is following the sunnah. (Asna al-Matalib v . 1, p. 37)
Also see: http://www.ada.org/2624.aspx.
And Allah knows best.
Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.