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The Importance of Reforming Oneself

MIT
8/15/2017
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All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) , is His Slave and Messenger.

The command to reform our hearts was an essential Islamic teaching ever since the early stages of the revelation in Mecca. Success in the Qur’an is tied directly to the reformation of the soul. Allah said

 

" قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا "

He has succeeded who purifies the soul, and he has failed who corrupts the soul. Surah Ash-Shams 91:9-10.

The importance of reforming oneself cannot be understated. We will not enter Jannah unless we reform ourselves. If we do not reform ourselves with good deeds and obedience to Allah, we will be reformed in the hereafter. There are some among mankind that are so filthy that the hell-fire cannot reform them and they will remain therein forever. May Allah protect us from such an end.

 

Similarly, reforming is one of the aims of the Prophets(peace of Allah be upon them). Allah says, 

" هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ "

He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them (yuzakeehim), and teaching them the Book and the Wisdom. And verily, they had been before in manifest error. (62:2).

The importance of reforming is demonstrated in many of the Qur'an.  For example, Allah says:

" قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا "

The importance of reforming oneself lies in the fact that it is the cause of success. Allah ties success and failure to reformation of the soul in Surah ash-Shams.

" قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا "

 “ Indeed he succeeds who purifies his own self, And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself.” The word for success here is falaah which gives the meaning of striving and enduring with hardship to reach success. Falaah is not by luck, rather it is by putting in the effort and struggling. We learn from this that purification of the soul is a struggle and needs continuous effort from the believer to reach success.

 

Reforming oneself is like hidaayah (guidance). It is a blessing that is from Allah alone. He guides and purifies whomsoever He wills. Allah says:

 

" وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ مَا زَكَى مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَدًا وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ "

“And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have been pure, ever, but Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” (24:21).

Finally, reforming oneself will lead  to the completion of one's faith. The prophet(peace be upon him) said: "A person’s iman will not be upright until their heart is upright and strong. The heart will not be upright and strong until the tongue is upright and strong."






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