Friday Sermon Archive Series, delivered 7th April 2000
Introduction:Today we shall consider some of the aspects of purification & cleanliness in Islam.
Allah tells us in Suratul Baqarah (2:222); “Truly Allah loves those who turn to Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.”
This verse refers to physical purification, i.e. ablution (wudoo, ghusl,) and clean clothes etc.There are also numerous verses that refer to spiritual purification: “Indeed, whoever purifies himself (by avoiding shirk and accepting Islamic monotheism,) shall achieve success.” Surah Al-Ala (87:14)
“Indeed, he succeeds who purifies his own self, (i.e. obeys & performs all that Allah has ordered etc.)” Surah Ash Shams (91:9)
Again, Allah informs us;
“….And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allah purifies, (guides to Islam) whom He Wills and Allah is All Hearer, All Knower.” Surah An-Nur (24:21)
In the same chapter, (An – Nur :30), Allah tells us concerning women;
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and protect their private parts. That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All Aware of what they do.”
Attitude of the people of Lut: Unfortunately, many of us have adopted the attitude of the people of Lut. When Prophet Lut enjoyed good & forbade evil, advising his people to do that what was lawful and pure, what was their response?
“And the answer of his people was only that they said “Drive them out of your town, these are indeed men who want to be pure from sins)!” Surah Al-A’raf (7:82)
Look at how we are content in the sin/evil that we are immersed in! Some of us have the audacity to try and bring some misconceptions that Islam allows us to perform corrupt actions because of our circumstances of living in this society! Some of us have even adopted the attitude of Fir’aun, after Moosa had come to him, calling him to his Lord (refer to Surah An – Naziat [79:15 – 24]). Fir’aun committed the ultimate disbelief, but how many of us turn in arrogance when reminded to worship Allah correctly or when advised regarding the purification of our hearts and souls? Purification/cleanliness must be sought and achieved in a number of important ways, if we are going to elevate ourselves or remove ourselves from this pitiful state.
- Purification of the heart: Numerous books and indeed, khutbas have been given on this topic. Suffice it to mention the well known hadeeth, where the Prophet told us;
“Indeed, there is in the body a piece of flesh which, if it is sound, then the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, then the whole body is corrupt. Indeed it is the heart.” Bukhari & Muslim
The decay/pollution of our hearts is often manifested by our outward appearances regarding the deen and our subsequent actions.
- Purification of of belief – Monotheism (Tawheed): Allah informs us;
“It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong, by worshipping others besides Allah,) for them (only) is security and they are the guide ones.” Surah An-Nam (6:82)
Our Messenger told us; “Whoever witnesses La ilaahaa ilaallaah, sincerely from his heart, will enter Paradise.” (Ibn Hibban and Ahmad, from Mu’aadh – authenticated by Sheikh Al Albanee)
He also said; “Indeed Allah has forbidden Hell for the person who testifies; ‘There is nothing worthy of worship in truth except Allah,’ seeking thereby Allah’s Face (Pleasure).” Bukhari & Muslim
We needn’t look too far to see how steeped this Ummah has become in the murky waters of polytheism & disbelief. We’ve looked at the heart and the picture is already a cause for serious concern! We shall look at more basic but important aspects of purification shortly.
- Purification of Prayer: Prayer purifies one’s soul;
“Verily, Prayer prevents one from shameful and evil deeds.” Surah Al Ankaboot (29:45)
If prayer does not prevent us from what is described in this verse, what is going wrong? Are we concerned about the prayer? Do we pray it as if it is our last? Has it just become a ritual? Have we lost the sincerity to Allah? Do we acknowledge who we’re standing before?
“If the prayer is corrected then the rest of the actions will be corrected, since it is like the head with regard to the rest of the body. Furthermore, the closest a servant is to his Lord is when he is in prayer….” (p.40 ‘The Prayer’ Husayn al – Awaayishah)
Abu Hurayrah narrated from the Prophet that he asked; “Do you think that if there was a river at the door of one of you and he bathed in it five times a day, would any dirt remain upon him? They said; ‘No dirt would remain upon him.’ He (s) said; ‘That is how it is with the five daily Prayers. Through them Allah washes away the sins.” Bukhari & Muslim
Abu Hurayrah also narrated that Allah’s Messenger said; “The five daily prayers, and the Jumu’ah to the Jumu’ah are an expiation for what is between them, as long as one is not guilty of major sins.” Muslim
- Fasting: This is another foundation of the deen, in which we can purify ourselves;
“He who fasts Ramadhan due to eeman and hoping for reward (from Allah), then his previous sins are forgiven.” Bukhari & Muslim
- Zakat: We know the ayat and ahadeeth pertaining to the obligation of Zakah and the rewards for giving Sadaqah. Zakat / sadaqah acts as purification of sins and on our wealth;
“And the likeness of those who spend their wealth, seeking Allah’s Pleasure, while they in their own selves are sure and certain that Allah will reward them, is the likeness of a garden on a height; heavy rain falls on it and it yields of harvest. And if it does not receive heavy rain, light rain suffices it. And Allah is All-Seer (knows well) of what you do.” Surah Al-Baqarah (2:265)
- Hajj – Its Purification: Narrated Abu Hurayrah; “The Prophet said; “Whoever performs Hajj for Allah’s sake and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins, then he will return (after Hajj free from sins) as if he were a new (born baby). Bukhari
Allah has provided us with so many opportunities to purify ourselves but we choose to ignore them, becoming submerged in vice, as described at the beginning. We know the answers to our dilemma, enough knowledge has been expounded by the visiting scholars, but alas it doesn’t suit our desires.
End of 1st part of sermon
We shall now concentrate on a more practical type of purification.We give dawah to non-Muslims, referring to the hadeeth that cleanliness is half of faith (eeman.) Let’s look at our own physical hygiene. Lets look at the hygiene of our homes and some of our mosques! In the Fiqh classes of Bulugh al Maram of ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, Sheikh Ahmad Daahir Aweys covered the first chapter of Purification, which includes 10 sections on the subject of physical purification. The Angels are offended by bad smells in the masajid, i.e. onions etc. We have taken it one stage further – some attend the masjid, without having regularly washed!! The smell emanating from some of our socks and clothes is awful and offensive! Those of us who attend Jumu’a, as we are obligated to do, are ordered to make ghusl. Abdullah ibn Umar narrarated that the Messenger of Allah said; “Anyone of you who attends the Friday Prayer should take a bath.” Bukhari.
Although there is a difference of opinion over whether the ghusl for Jumu’ah is obligatory, it does not mean you don’t wash for more than a week!
- Those of us who have entered Islam would never wear dirty, smelly clothes for days on end. Brothers, sisters – stop wearing socks / tights / footwear that smells as though something has died in them! It is offensive and off-putting to the worshippers, including the Angels.
- Sisters, this is equally applicable to you. Don’t use your Hijaabs / jilbaabs as a means to try and cover the fact that your hair has not been washed / combed for over a month or clothes cleaned. Don’t use the excuse that you don’t have a washing machine – there are laundrettes.
- The mosques: Look at the state of some mosques. The dirt and untidy state is caused by you. You use the toilets and don’t clean them, being considerate to your fellow Muslim.
- Rubbish dropped on the floor is ignored!
- Some use the mosque to store personal belongings!
“The Mosques of Allah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allah and the Last day, perform As – Salat and give Zakat and fear none but Allah. It is they who are on true guidance.” Surah At-Tawbah (9:18)
Doesn’t this verse refer to us? Why are we not involved with maintaining the cleanliness of the mosque?
End of sermon