Purity of Body and Soul
How wonderfully the Quran intermingles the physical and spiritual parts of our life. The Quranic commandments have a crucial bearing which decide our life’s character here and in turn, the all-important Hereafter. We are taught a permanent set of values to ethically regulate our lives. The Quran covers all subjects necessary for us—science, natural phenomena, food, hygiene, etc.
We should observe these guidelines and obey God’s command. In nature, it is obvious that cleanliness is a constant process. We pour all sorts of contamination into our water which finally goes to a salty sea. Yet the Almighty grants us a gift of evaporation and a hydrological cycle which allows water to go to the skies, and we get fresh water essential for life. [25:48-9] He is the One who sends the winds with good omens of His mercy, and we send down from the sky pure water. With it, we revive dead lands and provide drink for our creations―multitudes of animals and humans.
Our Salats are a demonstration of submission to God and also a unique discipline. Our Contact Prayers whether in private or in congregation are preceded by Wudu ablution which involves 4 definite steps (not some other number involving all exposed parts of the body which the Mullas would like us to believe). If water is unavailable, Tayammum (dry ablution) is explained to us.
[5:6] … GOD does not wish to make the religion difficult for you; He wishes to cleanse you and to perfect His blessing upon you, that you may be appreciative.
God wants us to be neat and clean.
Any psychologist will tell you that uncorrupted healthy thoughts have a profound influence on human personality. Purity and cleanliness are not confined to outward features. You may have a person who is physically neat and immaculately dressed but they are inwardly unclean. [63:4] When you see them, you may be impressed by their looks. And when
they speak, you may listen to their eloquence. They are like standing logs. They think that every call is intended against them. These are the real enemies; beware of them. GOD condemns them; they have deviated.
Pureness of body and soul is a trait of a good human and is equally required from men and women. [9:28] O you who believe, the idol worshipers are polluted … .
To be clean in body and soul, we have to obey God’s commands. The Quran specifically forbids backbiting. [49:12] O you who believe, you shall avoid any suspicion, for even a little bit of suspicion is sinful. You shall not spy on one another, nor shall you backbite one another; this is as abominable as eating the flesh of your dead brother. You certainly abhor this. You shall observe GOD. GOD is Redeemer, Most Merciful.
Backbiting is not necessarily done by words alone. It could be through communication signs like use of hands, eyes, making faces or by imitation of one another. These types of expressions are meant to humiliate the other person. We are also considered guilty if we partake in the act by listening/enjoying and not leaving that company at the first opportunity to do so. [104:1] Woe to every backbiter, slanderer. Backbiting includes slander and defamation; it creates misunderstandings and causes ill will.
The Quran prohibits intoxicants (khimr) which means anything that enwraps the mind and consciousness. It includes psychotropic drugs and narcotics.
[4:43] O you who believe, do not observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) while intoxicated, so that you know what you are saying … . Everyone is aware of the devastating effects of alcohol on our physical, mental, moral and social sides.
Arrogance is a terrible sin, and the Quran teaches us to be humble towards all. History is full of examples of people who were afflicted with arrogance like Pharaoh, Nimrod, and the people of ‘Ãd, Thamûd, Midyan etc. They all came to a destructive end because they considered themselves worthy of unlimited praise and took great conceit
in their supremacy, wealth and command. [17:37] You shall not walk proudly on earth ―you cannot bore through the earth, nor can you be as tall as the mountains.
Usually, the guilty ones are insecure or have an inferiority complex. This exhibit of ego will cost us in this life and exceedingly in the next. [31:19] “Walk humbly and lower your voice―the ugliest voice is the donkey’s voice.” All Prophets, messengers and saints had authority and influence but they did not let self-importance manipulate them. Sadly, we have detached ourselves from the worthy trait of modesty which God wants. We incessantly grumble and complain and will not do anything “below our dignity”. [35:10] Anyone seeking dignity should know that to GOD belongs all dignity. To Him ascends the good words, and He exalts the righteous works. As for those who scheme evil works, they incur severe retribution; the scheming of such people is destined to fail.
The Most Gracious made us exist. We are born weak and then God gives us strength. [30:54] GOD is the One who created you weak, then granted you after the weakness strength, then substituted after the strength weakness and gray hair. He creates whatever He wills. He is the Omniscient, the Omnipotent.
[82:6-8] O you human being, what diverted you from your Lord, Most Honorable? The One who created you, designed you, and perfected you. In whatever design He chose, He constructed it.
Our prayers and religious duties, our food and drink, hygiene, etc. are all linked with the obligation to our Creator who nourishes our body and soul. There is a simple set of Divine permanent values. God will guide us to a sanctuary of peace which will bring continuous delight to all of us. Submission (Islam) is not just a religion but a way of life and is a system of collective living that actualizes our potential, evolving us to be ready for the unfathomable Hereafter.
[32:17] You have no idea how much joy and happiness are waiting for you as a reward for your (righteous) works.