Purification of the Soul: Key to the Paradise
Tazkia Nafs is the ultimate objective the message of God wants to achieve in us. In other words, God’s message has been revealed for the purpose that the humans are able to attain Tazkia. Our Creator has decided to allow the ultimate privilege of entry into the paradise to humans on the basis of Tazkia: Only those people shall be allowed to enter the paradise who will have done their Tazkia at a minimum expected level. If that level will not be achieved, first such individuals will have to go through the process of Tazkia (probably through temporary punishment) before allowing them to enter the paradise.
Tazkia means two things: purification and development. We are expected to purify as well as grow. In one sense it is a negative process and in another it is positive. We are expected to get rid of our impurities, weaknesses, and evil within us by following God’s message. When we do that, we also progress morally and spiritually in the process. God has given us a tremendous potential to grow morally and spiritually. We can become individuals of very high ethical standards and come spiritually very close to God. That is what the purpose of our existence in this life is. When we will achieve that objective, at least at the minimum expected level, we will be allowed to enter the paradise. The higher the level of Tazkia we will attain, the better the place we will deserve in the paradise. However, in the way of achieving this objective there are many weaknesses and temptations. Satan exploits them to stop us from progressing. God’s message enables us to overcome the challenge of Satan to our moral and spiritual progress.
What are the areas where the process of Tazkia is undertaken? The entire Islamic Shari’ah focuses on moral, physical, and dietary purification. Each religious expectation is meant to make us cleaner, either morally or physically. The Qur’an not only gives the Islamic law to us but also reminds us to achieve our objective of achieving moral and spiritual excellence. Reading the Qur’an is therefore a very important source of achieving Tazkia Nafs.