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Purification in Islam

 Purification in Islam

Purification in Islam

    We have read in the first Book that the love of Allah is the highest aim of a true believer. It is for the achievement of this single end that he affirms his faith in Him by renouncing all other types of godhood.

    The love of God is not something inert or lifeless; it is dynamic in the sense that it calls for a complete change in the life of man: change in his thoughts and ideas and change in his conduct and behavior. One who claims to be a believer in Allah has to make a good deal of effort with a view to pleasing his :lord. He has to purify his soul from all evil thoughts and fancies so that the love of God should reside in it. Unless the soul is purged of all impurities one cannot achieve salvation. This is known as Tahrah in Islam, and it is the foundation-stone of Imin. This high objective of the purification of the soul requires intentional and deliberate efforts and a good deal of sacrifice on the part of man, and the most elementary stage in this sacred path is the cleanliness of body.

    By enjoining cleanliness of body upon man Islam awakens him to the realization of the fact that when impurities on the body of a man produce such unhealthy effects on his physical being and corrode his mental health, how miserable his life would be when his soul is polluted with impurities. The process of the purification of the soul should, therefore, start with the purification of the body.

    Purity (Tahârah) is a beautiful word that is pleasing to the ears, and it is a quality which everyone strives to maintain. From an Islamic perspective, purity is a word which is general in its meaning. It may mean physical cleanness, which is purity (of the body) from impure substances or states of impurity, or it may mean spiritual purity, which is the purity of one’s self from vices, faults, sins, and replacing them with good deeds, whether in speech or deeds. This comprehensive meaning of purity is indicated in the words of Prophet Muhammad, (ﷺ‬)[1] as reported by Abu Hurairah, (t):[2]

    “What do you think? If there was a river at the door of one of you in which he bathes five times a day, would there be any filth left on him?” They answered, “There would be no filth left.” The Prophet (ﷺ‬) said, “That is like the five Prayers, through them Allâh wipes away sins.” (al-Bukhâri)

    Also, the Prayer (Salât) is not accepted except if one is in a state of purity. This state if purity is achieved either through performing ablution (wudoo´), as in the case of minor impurity, or a bath (ghusl), as in the case of major impurity. The Prophet (ﷺ‬) said:

    “No Prayer is accepted without purification, and no charity is accepted from earnings made from impermissible sources.” (Muslim)

    If a Muslim purifies himself in accordance with Allâh’s commandments and the Prophet’s instructions, his Prayer will be a means for him to purify himself of sins. Islam is a religion of both outward and inward purity. Allâh’s Messenger (ﷺ‬) severely warned those who neglect physical purity which is a prerequisite for the validity of certain acts of worship, like Prayer, circumambulation (Tawâf) of the Ka’bah, touching or holding the Qur`ân, and its likes. Ibn ‘Abbâs (t) said: “The Messenger of Allâh passed by two graves and said:

    “Indeed they are being punished, but for something which seemed trivial to them: this one used not to guard himself from urine; whereas the other was used to tale bearing.” He requested a green leaf of a palm branch, split it into two halves, and put a half on each grave. He then said, “Hopefully their punishment will be lightened until they (the branches) become dry.” (al-Bukhâri)

    The Messenger (ﷺ‬) used to recite the following supplication which indicates his love of purification:

    “Allâhumma lak al-hamdu mil as-samâwâti wa mil al-ardi wa mil`a maa shi´ta min shay`in ba’d. Allâhumma tahhirni bith-thalji wal-baradi wal-mâ il-bârid. Allâhumma tahhirni min adh-dhunoobi wa naqqini minhâ kamâ yunaqq-ath-thawb ul-abyadu min al-wasikh.”

    “O Allâh! Praise be to You as much as that which fills the heavens and the earth and as much as You will. O Allâh! Purify me with snow, hail and cold water. O Allâh! Purify and cleanse me of sins as a white dress is cleansed of filth.” (Ahmad)

    The teachings of Islam encourage and command cleanliness. Jâbir narrated:

    “Once the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ‬) came to us and saw a man with shaggy hair. He said, ‘Couldn’t he find something to tidy his hair up?’ Then he saw another man with dirty clothes and said, ‘Couldn’t this man find anything with which to clean his dress?’ ” (Ahmad)

    Purity in the Islamic perspective is a comprehensive term, and what demonstrates this fact is that the word tahârah is mentioned in the Qur`ân in many occasions, but with various connotations:

    1. Purity from sins. Allâh (I) says in this regard:

    “Take alms from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it.”

    [Surah at-Tawbah(9):103]

    Ibn ‘Abbâs (t) said:

    “The Prophet (ﷺ‬) prescribed Zakaat-ul-Fitr[3] as a purification of the fasting person from empty and obscene talk and as food for the poor. Whoever pays it before the ‘Eid Prayer, it will be accepted as Zakaat, but if anyone pays it after the Prayer, it will be counted only as charity (Sadaqah) like any other charity.” (Abu Dâwud)

    2. Purity from idols. Allâh (I) says in this regard:

    “…purify My House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (I’tikâf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer).”

    [Surah al-Baqarah (2):125]

    3. Purity in the sense of glorification and veneration:

    “Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and among the mushrikun, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence. * A Messenger (Muhammad ﷺ‬) from Allah, reciting (the Qur`ân) purified pages.”

     [Surah al-Bayyinah (98):1-2]

    4. Purity also means what is lawful:

    “Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink.”

    [Surah al-Insân(76):21]

    5. Purity of the heart from things which cause suspicion:

    “And when you ask (the Prophet’s ﷺ‬ wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.”

    [Surah al-Ahzâb (33):53]

    6. Purity from illicit sexual relations:

    “And (remember) when the angels said: “O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you above the women of the ‘Âlameen (mankind and jinns) (of her lifetime).”

    [Surah Âli-‘Imrân: (3)43]

    7. Purity which means elevation of status:

    “And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and establish the prayer (Salât), and give Zakât and obey Allâh and His Messenger. Allâh wishes only to remove ­Rijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a thorough purification.”

    [Surah al-Ahzâb (33):33]

    8. Purity from abominable things and filth:

    “And as for those who believe and do good works, We shall make them enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow, they will abide therein for ever; there for them are purified mates (wives), and We shall admit them to shades wide and ever deepening.”

    [Surah an-Nisâ´ (4):57)

    9. Purity from states of impurity:

    “O you who believe! When you rise up for Prayer, wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads (with wet hands), and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. And if you are in a state of major ritual impurity (janâbah),[4] purify yourselves (by taking a bath). And  if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you comes from the answering of call of nature, or you have had contact (sexual intercourse) with women, and you find no water, then go to clean earth and wipe your faces and hands with it. Allâh does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you and to perfect His grace upon you that you may give thanks.”

    [Surah al-Mâ`idah (5):6]

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حفيدة خديجة
By : حفيدة خديجة
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