Monday, 30 July 2012

Self Purification

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

Every human being should concentrate on the removal of undesirable growths and impurities from the personality.  It involves the self-imposition of efforts for eradicating those tendencies that are obstacles in the path of moral development.  In this way, it puts an end to the conflict of good and evil that rages in the human breast.

Theologically, the process for do doing is called Tazkiyah, (self purification).  To abide by the requirements of attaining self purification is one of the most important ingredients for success in both the worlds physically and spiritually.  When practiced, it brings spiritual health, morality, love for Allah, love for the Prophet (pboh) and engaging in Zikr (i.e. to be God-conscious all the time).  When this is done one becomes a model of Compassion, piety and truthfulness.

This is one of the reasons why Allah says:

Truly, he succeeds who purifies it, and fails who corrupts it (the heart). (91:9-10)

Tazkiyah e nafs is the purification of the physical self by subduing the evil desires that may be plaguing a person.  Such desires come from the whispering of Satan in the breast of men; and because it is from Satan it is evil.  In this connection Allah says, the nafs (physical desires) order one to commit sins.

The result of self-purification is love.  The person cultivates love for Allah, for the Prophet (pboh), and for mankind at large.  Allah says:

All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the Company of those  on whom is the Grace of Allah; of the Prophets; the sincere, the witnesses and the righteous. Ah, what a beautiful fellowship. (4:69)

Tazkiyah or self-purification is a comprehensive program, as, in addition to the purification of the body, one also has to focus on the purification of the heart. Allah says:

He is indeed successful who purifies himself, and remembers the name of his Lord and prays. (87:14-15)

Self purification is an individual matter, and every person will benefit based on his effort. Allah says:

And whoever purifies himself does so for the benefit of his own nafs. (35:18)

Prophet Muhammad (pboh) used to pray to Allah as follows:
O Allah, grant my inner soul piety and purify it, for You are the Best Purifier; You are the Guardian and Master.

One of the best ways of developing tazkiyah both physically and spiritually is to keep fast, as in fasting one has to restrain himself from all the negative things, and during fasting in Ramadan he engages himself in extra acts of worship, charity, patience and reading of the Holy Qur'an.

It is now left for the individual to continue practicing tazkiyah in the daily life and also as special acts of worship in order to be a successful person.  And Allah will bless him.  Allah says:

Those devoted to Allah shall be removed far from it (i.e. the blazing fire), who spend their wealth for the increase in self purification, and have in their minds, no favour from any one for which a reward is expected in return. (92:17-19)
Remember that, it is because the purification of the personality, both physical and spiritual is very important that Allah swore seven times to emphasize the culminating promise that it is tazkiyah that plays a significant role in success.  Here is the English translation of Verses 1 through 10 of Surah al Shams (91).
"By the Sun and his (glorious) splendour; By the Moon as she follows him; By the day as it reveals (the Sun's) glory; By the Night as it conceals it; By the Firmament and its (wonderful) structure; By the Earth and its (wide) expanse; By the Nafs (Soul), and the proportion and order given to it and its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right: - truly he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails who corrupts it!"
Let us all strive with our wealth, health, education, etc. to purify ourselves, because it should never be forgotten that Allah says: Whoever purifies himself does so for his own benefit.

May Allah forgive and bless all believers.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Unconditional obedience

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

In the process of establishing the Israelites as the upholders of the true religion Allah gave them numerous blessings.  For example He sent down from the sky their sustenance.  Everything that they would have needed came from Allah.  So they didn’t have to labour for their wants. 

Even though they received so many blessings from Allah they found it difficult to worship Him at least once for the day.  Even when the Torah was revealed they complained to Moses (as).  They said its either they pray or read from the revealed Book; even though they didn’t have to do anything,

The same was in the case of Jesus (as).  He invited his people (the Israelites) to the way of Allah and they placed a condition of firstly receiving a table of food from the sky in return for their cooperation. 

Allah says about Prophet Muhammad (pboh);

‘Never think that the dua of the Prophet (pboh) is like that of an ordinary man’. 

If he made dua to Allah it would have been granted. 

Even then when the Quraish issued the boycott against the early Muslims they were forced, for more than a year, to live in a valley.  The conditions at that time were so severe that some of the believers ate stones in order to survive.  Even then they never made conditions with the Messenger of Allah (pboh).  And Prophet (pboh) never prayed to Allah for food to fall from the sky for him and his people.

Why?  He wanted to show and demonstrate that if Allah loves you He will take care of you.  Prophet (pboh) wanted to establish the understanding that we all belong to Allah and He can allow/disallow what He wants. 

Thus Prophet (pboh) and his blessed Companions never made conditions and their sacrifice is preserved for us to take pattern from.  And to go a step further the same obedience and reliance on Allah is seen in the fast that we are commanded to keep. 

Fasting is one of the Divine gifts from Allah to His servants.  Fasting helps to establish this unconditional obedience to our Creator.  We are denying our baser selves the material desires out of love for Allah.  And we all try to earn the maximum benefits associated with this great month so we abstain from vain talk and despicable attitude. 

The Israelites wanted to see Allah so Moses (as) took 72 of their priests’ up the mountain and Allah caused them to die and revived them and still they faith was not developed.  The Muslims on the other hand obeyed; once a command was sent down.  They never issued any pre-requisites in exchange for their obedience.

May Allah make this Ramadhan peaceful and tranquil for all the believers’.  May He make the trials easy and bearable for us and may He remove most of it in this most special month.  Let us benefit from it, and whatever you do, do it solely for the sake of Allah.