An Invitation to the Purification of Souls

Tazkîya al-Nafs

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَ‌ٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

 “O People! There has come to you an exhortation (to do away with your weaknesses) from your Lord and a cure for whatever (disease) is in your hearts, and (a Book full of) excellent guidance and a mercy, (and full of blessings) to the believers. Say, All this (revelation of the Qur’ân) is through the grace of Allâh and His mercy. In this, therefore, let them rejoice, (because) this (Qur’ân) is better than all that they hoard.” (10:57–58)

This is a universal call appealing to humankind to leave behind all conventional and limiting religious beliefs. This is the invitation from the Exalted One to get rid of your spiritual and moral diseases, which you have acquired.  This is a call of Divine Grace and Mercy (56:7582), which invites you to the purification of your soul. He is inviting you to go beyond your blind faith and self-created doctrines and to follow the guidance of the Most Exalted Lord, Who shall lead you to reach the spiritual certainty (‘ilm al-Yaqîn; see 102:5) about Him, and shall help you rise to eminence (28:51) and finally to eternal salvation.

هَـٰذَا بَيَانٌ لِّلنَّاسِ وَهُدًى وَمَوْعِظَةٌ لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

“This (Qur’ân) is a clear exposition (of the truth) for humankind (to follow) and a (means to) guidance, and an exhortation to those who guard against evil.” (3:138).

This is the guidance from your Lord Who created you and Who sustains you. He has given you a free choice:  

قُلْ آمِنُوا بِهِ أَوْ لَا تُؤْمِنُوا ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلْأَذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا  

 “You may believe in it [the Qur’ân] or you may not believe, those who have been given the knowledge [of divine revelations] fall down on their faces prostrating submissively (before their Lord) when it is recited to them;” (17:107–109).

When you are reading this Book, it is, as if you are listening to the divine voice. You are in company with your Lord Who has evolved you from non-existence, Who sustains you and nourishes you. He is in company with you – nearer to you than your jugular vein (50:16). This is the best and the fairest discourse you can have (أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ )  

إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ فَمَن شَاءَ ذَكَرَهُ فِي صُحُفٍ مُّكَرَّمَةٍ مَّرْفُوعَةٍ مُّطَهَّرَةٍ

“This is a means to rise to eminence (for you all). So let him who desires, pay heed to it and rise to eminence. (This Qur’ân is preserved) in such written leaves (of the Book) as are greatly honoured, (Which are) ranked high (and) are rid of all impurities” (80:11–14).

There is no compulsion to accept His invitation and listen to His discourse.  If you listen to it and accept it, and after that you decide to leave His company nowhere you will find any word in His Book that imposes on you a punishment for “apostasy” at the hands of believers.  What you hear about apostasy is the product of fearful minds and what they show you written, or you read about this in books other than Allâh’s Book, should be approached with a careful thought. Allâh simply says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَن يَرْتَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ

“O you who believe! if anyone of you should renounce his Faith (let him remember that) Allâh will bring forth (in his stead) a people (more zealous in faith) whom He will love and who will love Him.” (5:54)

There is a particular beauty in these Divine words يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ “Whom He will love and who will love Him”, which come from the use of pronouns of absence (3rd person plu.) and a future tense without end, indicating that Allâh’s love for His servants will be endless. His love for you will exist whether your state is the one of physical existence or of another existence after death. Those who kill from excessive zeal for God should know that none other than the One who created human being with its physical and spiritual perfection has the right over it. Whoever takes control of life and seeks its destruction transgresses His limits. Be sure, solicitude in caring for God’s creation is better way than killing it from excessive zeal for God. Have you not considered that Allâh has ordained tax (jiz’ya) and truce (cf. 8:61; 9:29) so that He might spare life through you? Have you not considered in case of retaliation the injured party is encouraged to exact a ransom or forgive (cf. 2:178)? The “House of God” cannot be raised by the hands of those who split blood. Your extolling or praising Him will not add to His glory, nor does any blasphemy or disobedience to His Prophets can take away of His grandeur and dignity; He is already Exalted and Glorified. If you glorify Him by confessing, “Yes! You are my sole Lord”, your glorifications shall bestow purification and radiance to your own soul. So let him who desires pay heed to it (فَمَن شَاءَ ذَكَرَهُ) and occupy a seat close to the Most Exalted One.