TAHARAT or purification in Islam
Islam emphasises cleanliness and urges Muslims to purify their souls, their body and their clothes. As Muslims, it is important that we purify our bodies (of natural discharge and other bodily impurities) and souls before performing any worship. Allah says: “Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers” S2 V222. He also says: “And purify your garments!” S74 V4.The prophet (s.a.w) said: “The key of prayer is cleanliness”. Reported byTirmiziyThe prophet also said: “Cleanliness is half of IIman (faith)” Abu Daud. Thus in Islam, we have two types of purification: Internal purification and External purification .
And as Muslim, it is compulsory to observe both types of purifications when need be.The internal purification is to purify the soul from the stains of sins and disobedience through a sincere repentance. It also consists in purifying the heart from the wastes of Chirk (to associate any partner with Allah), of doubt, jealousy, hatred, pride and all bad habits through sincerity.The external purification is to purify the body and the clothes from all dirt through Ghusl (ritual bath), Wudu’ (ablution) or Tayammum (dry ablution).The external purification is made with:
- Pure water which purifies: this is the water that stays in its natural state so its taste, smell or colour did not change even with a something clean
- The clean earth: this is any natural part of the earth whether it is clay, sand, stone or
rock. The prophet s.a.w said: “The earth has been made for me a place to prostrate (a place of worship) and a mean to purify” Imam AhmadThe clean earth is used for purification when we are short of water or unable to touch it because of illness. Allah says: “O you who believe! Approach not As-Salât (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter, nor when you are in a state of Janâba, (i.e. in a state of sexual impurity and have not yet taken a bath) except when travelling on the road (without enough water, or just passing through a mosque), till you wash your whole body. And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (by sexual relations) and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands (Tayammum). Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving”. S4, V43.
May Allah forgive us and count us amongst those Muslims who purify themselves! Amin