Purifying inner-self
  • How does someone purify their inner-self? I am trying to do my prayers n thawba prayer too?
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  • Assalam Walikum Waramatullah Warabarkatu. If you want to purify your innerself than I suggest you find a qualified Murshid a spiritual teacher. A true Murshid is one whose own faith is sound enough for him to guide others to the Path. His status as a Murshid must be initiated by orders from his own spiritual guide, who may receive these instructions from preceding saints with the permission of the Beloved Messenger of Allah.
    This spiritual chain is known as a Tareeqa.

    Firstly, true Murshid must be a Sunni Muslim who strictly follows the beliefs and creed of the Ahle Sunnah wal Jamaah, the only true path of Islam. He adheres to the ways of the Beloved Messenger, and is guided by the Noble Companions and the Salaf who follow after them. This is absolutely crucial, and without this, he is a danger to the Imaan of those who follow him and a cause for serious corruption in faith.

    Imam Malik said, “Whoever studies jurisprudence (fiqh) and does not study Tasawwuf will be corrupted. Whoever studies Tasawwuf and does not study jurisprudence will become a heretic. Whoever combines both will reach the truth.”[Kashf Al-Khafa Wa Muzid Al-Abas, Vol. 1, page 341]

    Secondly, he must be a knowledgeable scholar or Aalim, with a broad understanding in matters of Deen so that he is able to differentiate between forbidden (haram), acceptable (halal) and everything in between. He will be able to give sound judgements and guide the actions of his followers according to the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    Thirdly, he must display the noble characteristics and etiquettes taught by the Beloved Messenger, and this indicates the purity of his heart. A great Murshid is one who teaches by practical example as well as through his words and advice. He is respected by all due to his character and he instills love for the Sunnah within the hearts of those who follow him.

    Fourthly, his spiritual lineage (Shejra) must be that of a true Tareeqa, or spiritual chain; it must be connected, starting from our Master the Beloved Messenger of Allah, to Noble Companions, to Salaf and Awliya after them. Spiritual wisdom, teachings and guidance are passed down from the top in this manner, so one cannot gain any fayz or virtue without these connections.

    Additionally, Imam Muhyuddin ibn Arabi teaches that one should not expect a Murshid to perform miracles. This is not a requirement of a spiritual guide or even of a Wali. This is something which many are blessed with by Allah, but is an aspect they wish to conceal due to their humility and noble state.
    • Imam ibn Arabi states, “People think that a Shaykh should show miracles and manifest illumination. The requirement of a teacher however, is only that he should possess all that the disciple needs.”

    • Regarding this, Mawlana Rumi narrates the following story in his Masnavi:
    Seeing a man who was tilling the earth, a fool who was unable to control himself cried out, “Why are you ruining this soil?”
    “Fool,” said the man, “leave me alone. Try to recognize the difference between tending the soil and wasting it. How will this soil become a rose garden until it is disturbed and overturned?”

    This indicates the importance of the Shaykh who acts as the tiller, testing the mureed by overturning their heart and nourishing their inner soil. This is done to benefit the mureed so that their full inner potential is realized and as a result, they are elevated in spiritual rank and station.

    You will then become his Mureed by taking bayah which is an oath of allegiance

    The Beloved Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever dies and did not take an oath of allegiance (to a Muslim leader) has died a death of jahiliyah (ignorance).” [Bukhari, Muslim]

    Then you should listen to his advice so that he may help you control your nafs and defeat it. Then your nafs will be purified.

    Imam al-Shafi said, “I accompanied the Sufiya (plural of Sufi) and I received from them three kinds of knowledge, 1. They taught me how to speak, 2. They taught me how to treat people with leniency and a soft heart, 3. They guided me in the ways of Tasawwuf.” [Tanwir Al-Qulub, page 405]

    • Imam Ahmad advising his son said, “O my son, you must sit with the Sufiya, because they are like a fountain of knowledge. They recite the remembrance of Allah in their hearts. They are ascetics and they have the most spiritual power.” [Ghiza Al-Albab, Vol 1, page 120]

    • Imam Abu Hanifa said, emphasizing the importance of sitting at the feet of a spiritual guide and teacher, “If it were not for two years, I would have perished. For two years, I accompanied Imam Jafar al-Sadiq and I acquired the spiritual knowledge that made me a knower in the Way (i.e. Tasawwuf).” [Ad-Durr Al-Mukhthar, Vol. 1, page 43]

    "Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)." - Quran 13:11 Surah Ar-Rad(The Thunder)

    The Holy Prophet, Peace be upon him, used to ask Allah to protect him against his ego: " Allahumma la takilni ila nafsi tarfatain - Oh Allah, don't leave me in the hands of my ego for even a split second (literally, the time it takes to blink an eye or less than that)."

    The Most Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam),
    said to his companions returning from a battle:

    "You have returned from a smaller battle to a greater battle."

    He was then asked by the companions,

    "What can be a greater battle than that we have just fought?"

    He (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), answered,

    "The battle against one's nafs".

    Purifying the innerself is a looong process and really difficult. You may face many problems through out the process. Purification by yourself is impossible for you need help from a teacher. Listen to your Murshid an everything will be fine.


Assalam Alaykum

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