Let Us Return Purified!
Freshly plucked apples from the orchards of Hudson River valley are ready to be trucked to Mainland market – but the fruits that arrive in bad shape are not going to be accepted. Exposure to sun, humidity or weather conditions can cause it to ripen prematurely. Therefore, they undergo careful post-harvest processes of cleaning, treating, sorting, packaging and specialized carriage so that, when arrive in market they retain all the original qualities.
Okay, so be it with the farm produce. Allah awaits those who have regained the purity of birth – anything to the contrary will not be accepted. So at every instance we must be careful in preserving our innate purity and must strive towards regaining it whenever found lost. Allah enjoins us to constantly rejuvenate our minds and deeds that are tainted by various folds of life and thus repossess our rudimentary purity.
Human hearts are inclined towards vices by nature. It has a tendency to see sins amusing. Also, it is tempted to commit the same sins that are once spurned by own fortitude. Qur’an reminds us that Satan (the devil) will adorn sins and whisper in our minds that our faults are not necessarily faults.
[Iblis (Satan)] said: “O my Lord! Because you misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all. [Qur'an 15:39]
…and Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them. [Qur'an 6:43]
As reported in a Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has taught us a supplication: “O Allah! Cleanse my heart with the water of snow and hail, and cleanse my heart from all sins as a white garment is cleansed from filth, and let there be a far away distance between me and my sins as You made the East and West far away from each other.” [Sahih Bukhari : Book 80, Hadith 6451]
Purity of a white cloth is ruined by the lingering dust and dirt – pure white is our original state and nature (Fitrah). The lingered filth are the sins that we committed. These wrongdoings do not occur accidentally; rather they are committed due to our own negligence, laziness or arrogance. Even so, Allah, The Merciful, is willing to wash away all of our sins. He gives the glad tidings that, except the gravest sin [Shirk – associating partners to Allah] any other sin may be forgiven for whomever He wishes. Allah awaits those who wash away all the impurities and return to Him with the beauty of pure white.
Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said: “When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases.” [Al-Tirmidhi (3334) and Ibn Maajah (4244)]
Even when all the circumstances come favorable to commit a sin, there is one force that would hold us back – indeed our conscience. It is due to this conscience that we feel guilty over a sin and feel blessed over a good deed. This is what Qur’an referred as “the reproaching soul” [75:2]. The term “Fitrah” (original state) too points to this.
So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah . That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. [Qur'an 30:30]
Similar to a compass that always points to one permanent direction, our soul and pure state always guide to virtue, purity and truth. When we fail to realize the deception of Satan who tricks us by window dressing vices and slips away after entrapping us into falsehood, our original state of purity gets tainted and the essence is ignored.
Mindful of our dignity, we do not like to see filth cohered to our body – we clean it as soon as possible. Same is the way of Thouba (repentance) – it cleans the impurities caused by our sinful deeds. When vice is involved, even a mere thought is impure. It devastates our fitra- the sin-free nature of birth. Let every moment of our life be that of Thouba – repentance!
Let us continue to seek refugee from the sins that have already been committed and that may commit in future.