Purification of the Heart and Soul in Islam

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The command to cleanse our hearts from sin is a crucial teaching in Islam, known as ‘purification of the soul’ (tazkiyyat an-nafs).

Allah said: “He has succeeded who purifies the soul, and he has failed who corrupts the soul.” (Qur’an, 91:9-10)

And Allah said: “A day when there will be no benefit in wealth or children, but only in he who comes to Allah with a pure heart.” (Qur’an, 26:88-89)

The success in the Hereafter depends on purifying our hearts in this life, as stated in the Quran. This involves removing spiritual sins like greed and arrogance, replacing them with virtues like compassion and humility.

Moses and Abraham were instructed to purify themselves in the Quran Allah said: “Go to Pharaoh, for verily, he is a transgressor. Say to him: ‘Will you purify yourself’?” (Qur’an, 79:17-18)

Purity of heart is also one of the defining characteristics of Abraham (peace be upon him).

Allah said: “Verily, among his people was Abraham, when he came to his Lord with a pure heart.” (Qur’an, 37:83-84)

Sincere supplications and prayers, following the prophetic way, are primary methods for purification. These acts remove arrogance, malice, and worldliness, fostering love for others and detachment from material pursuits.

The ritual prayer is designed to prevent immoral deeds, as mentioned in the Quran.

Allah said: “Verily, the prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater.” (Qur’an, 29:45)

Charity and good deeds for others are also powerful tools for heart purification. Giving in charity, whether wealth or time, removes worldly attachments and fosters hope for the Hereafter.

Allah said: “But the righteous one will avoid Hellfire, who gives from his wealth to purify himself.” (Qur’an, 92:17-18)

And Allah said: “Take from their wealth a charity by which you cleanse them and purify them, and invoke blessings upon them.” (Qur’an, 92:103)

The Prophet Muhammad emphasized the charity of good deeds, including a kind word or a smile. Every good deed is considered charity in Islam. Muslims are encouraged to refrain from harming others, contributing to their purification.

Repentance and good deeds remove stains from the heart caused by sins. The heart is polished through repentance, seeking forgiveness, and increasing in good deeds.

In conclusion, a Muslim’s salvation depends on purifying the heart from vices and cultivating virtues. This involves sincere supplications, prayers, acts of charity, and good deeds. On the Day of

Resurrection, individuals will be judged based on the purity of their hearts and the righteousness of their deeds. Allah looks beyond appearances and wealth, focusing on the sincerity of hearts and actions. Success ultimately comes from Allah’s guidance.

Abu Huraira reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather He looks at your hearts and actions’.” (Sahih Muslim 2564)