Purification and Closeness

On this journey of Hope and Closeness, Shaykh Faraz throws light on diverse ways a believer can strengthen the connection with the all-sustaining and ever-living God, the ultimate purpose of life and religion, and the means to draw closer to Him.

What is the place of purification in devotion and Allah Most High has commanded in belief and practice? “Our Master Shaykh Siraj argues that “the acts of worship Allah has legislated are meant to be undertaken because Allah deserves them and they are entailed by who we are.” Another reason for fulfilling our responsibility is that our moral capacity (ikhtiyar) and moral responsibility (taklif) causes us to choose between acquiring good or bad.

It is also important to understand that acts of worship affect the worshipper. They take the servant from unrefined merely animal lustful state to fulfilling the human potential as a true servant of Allah Most High. Likewise, when we are born, we have the potential to be clothed and honored spiritually. Still, we are no more than naked animals without direction without the garment of piety and refinement of religion. We are not created without purpose. Rather, we are the best of creation with a heart and mind to seek the pleasure of God.

The Dye of Allah

Shaykh Siraj al-Din says: “Worship dyes the mind, heart, and soul with light.” This is the dye of Allah, and who is better than Allah in dyeing? And to him alone are we devoted [Quran 2:138] and worshipful. Worship is meant to guide us to make considerate choices and awaken our soul from dormant recipient to conscious presence and being with Allah.

Siraj al-Din argues the acts of worship are 1) purificatory and cleansing for the worshipper from whims and worldliness, 2) perfect oneself in making sincere choices, and clothing oneself with the garment of faith. “Wudu adorns and beautifies one outwardly, but it cleans you inwardly by washing off the sins. As Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Every act of wudhu purify that limb’s sins.’” [Muslim] Another famous hadith of Uthman says, “Whoever does wudu and does it well, all their sins leave them – even from under their nails.” [Muslim]

Every act of worship has a purificatory element and adorning element so that we attain gratitude for Allah. It is from the mercy of Allah that He has granted us the ritual of purification. “It is not Allah’s will to burden you, but to purify you and complete His favor upon you, so perhaps you will be grateful.” [Qur‘an 2:138] The ritual acts of worship have an inward purificatory element (taharah) and complete favor of true devotedness (ibada). They are an expression of true gratitude (shukr).

The Excellence of Purification

The excellence of your wudu is achieved through the exact replication of the Sunna of wudu without excess. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said. “A virtuous quality may be found in a person and Allah will rectify through it all their actions. And a person’s purification for prayer is a means for Allah’s expiating through it their sins – and the prayer is all extra reward.”  [Abu Yala and Tabarani]. Abdul Rauf al-Munawi calls the acts of worship the Keys to Good (Mafatih al-Khayr) and one such key is “wudu.” It is not sufficient to make wudu; however, you must perform a conscious wudu so that prayer is an extra reward. As Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said in another narration: “Wudu bestows light upon foreheads and limbs.” [Bukhari]

Shaykh Siraj mentions the hadith in which the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said to the group from Abd Qays: “O Allah, make us from Your servants who have radiant limbs; and your accepted group.” Someone asked, ‘Who are the servants of Allah?’ The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, replied, “The righteous servants of Allah are those who make good their relationship with Allah.” The questioner further asked, “What does it mean to have radiant limbs?” The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, replied, “They are the ones whose purification illuminates their limbs.” They again asked, “Who is the accepted group?” Prophet replied, “It is the group that heads forth to their Lord with their Prophet with knowledge, devotion, and service in conduct and character.”

Our daily purificatory act of wudu is the weapon of the believer. That is why one should perform wudu with high intention and remind oneself to seek purification and closeness to Allah. Remain in remembrance and supplication through your wudu, perform all the sunnas without excess, and end the wudu with supplication.