Purification In Islam (Al-Tahara)

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Purification which called Al-Tahara in Arabic, it means purifying oneself by cleaning with water or sand for the purpose of worship, supplication and to perform other acts of worship.

Islam is a religion that emphasizes cleanliness. The fact remains that no one can practise Islam without being clean and pure. In Surah Baqarah, Quran 2 verse 22, Allah says:

"Allah loves those who turn back from wrongdoing and He love those who purify themselves."

Also, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) confirms and stresses the importance of purification in Islam when he say:

"Being clean is half one faith" (Muslim)

Cleanliness for the purpose of ritual purity involves not only our body, clothes, environment and other dirty things but also our souls, manners, etc. This means that there are two types of purification recognised by Islam. They are:

  • Physical purification

  • Spiritual purification

Physical purification: This involves eliminating filth and dirth and dirt from your body, clothes and environment. This leads us to the kinds of Physical purification which are listed below:

  • Getting rid of dirts from our nail
  • Keeping our clothes clean
  • Keeping our mouth and teeth clean
  • Keeping Our hands clean
  • Sweeping our enviroment regularly...

Spiritual purification: This involves purifying our hearts, our thoughts and feelings. It also, essentially, involve purifying ourselves for the purpose of Islamic religious obligations.

Purification hearts and thoughts is important in Islam to free our minds of such bad habits such as hypocrisy, lying, jealousy, keeping malice, backbiting, hatred, grudge, etc. In an Hadith related by Imam Bukhari, be reported that Prophet Muhammed (SAW) says:

"In the body, there is a piece of flesh, if it is good, the whole body is bad; truly, it is the heart."

These words of the great Prophet confirms to us how important spiritual purification is in the lives of muslims.

The most essential aspect of spiritual purification is purification for the purpose of religious duties obligations. This brings us to the kinds of spritual purification which include the following:

1. al-Wudhu

This is an ablution done in readiness to offer salat, to suplicate to Allah, to recite Al-Quran, and to perform other religius duties. Allah said in the Quran: Read here how to perform al-Wudhu

"O you who believe, when you rise to perform prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your head and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in state of Janebah, then purify yourselves."

2. Ghusi

This is the purification bath Muslims are required to take when they involve in sexual intercourse with their lawful spouses, after menstruation and childbirth by woman, etc.

3. Tayammum

This involves using sand/earth in the absence of water to clean ourselves when we are impure. Read here how to perform Tayammum...

Importance of Purification In Islam (al-Tahara)

The highest benefit of performing both physical and spiritual purification is confirmed from an Hadith of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) related by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim which goes thus:

"O the day of decision, when my followers will be gathered, their foreheads will be glowing while their limbs will be radiant on the account of ablution they had performed while on earth. Therefore, whoever wishes to increase the glow of his forehead, let him do so."

Other importance of Purification (al-Tahara) are:

  • Physical purification make us hygienic and healthy.
  • Physical purification of our environment keeps germ and diseases away from our environment.
  • Spiritual purification prepares us for worship.
  • Spiritual purification frees our souls of bad habits such as lying, malice, grudge, hypocrisy, hatred, etc.
  • Allah rewards us when we are in a state of Spiritual purification at all time.

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