Re-engineering the mindsets of people has been termed tazkiyah in the Quran. The mindset of people differs from age to age. In ancient times thinking was traditional. In the modern age, it is scientific. In the traditional age, the word “purification” or ‘reform’ of the self was used. To bring about tazkiyah in people of the present times, it is essential to speak to them in a way that addresses their minds. The modern man can understand tazkiyah if we use the words conditioning and de-conditioning of the minds.



Every person is born in a particular society, and it is this society that creates the mindset of an individual. We imbibe the effects of our surroundings and the prevailing culture. Every person is a product of the environment or society they live in. These societal effects that are cultivated in one’s mind are referred to as the conditioning of the mind. Everyone possesses a mind that is conditioned in some way or the other, and this is the biggest issue we face.

It is this conditioning that is responsible for turning us away from our original pure nature. In this respect, everyone is a sure case of a conditioned mind. It is very important that this unnatural effect is eliminated; which means the conditioned mind must be deconditioned. Hence, it becomes imperative that each one of us decondition ourselves and bring ourselves back to our pure original nature. This process of deconditioning of the mind can also be called the re-engineering of the mind.

In society, various activities are undertaken with the aim of purification of the mind. Despite diverse activities, this goal is far from being realized. This is because all these activities are attempted without first deconditioning the mind. It is as if everyone is on a journey that has yet to commence. It is only after deconditioning the mind that one can have a truly well-prepared mind. Without such a well-prepared mind, one will be unable to accept anything with an open mind, and will, instead, understand things based on preconceived notions. We are all born in a pure natural state. Due to the conditioning, we receive from society and family, our nature is influenced. This conditioning is like a series of coverings over our true nature, similar to the peels of an onion. Deconditioning is a process that can be symbolically explained as the removal of these layers, one by one, until the true, pure nature is uncovered. In this respect, an onion is a material example of the deconditioning process.

Deconditioning of the mind can only be done by one process alone, and that is introspection. This is a continuous, merciless examination of our own selves in order to improve.

All efforts to purify the mind are unproductive until and unless a deconditioning of the mind is first undertaken. And the biggest thing that requires deconditioning is the total elimination of negative thinking. Tazkiyah is the Islamic name for this process of deconditioning, re-engineering of the mind or the purification of the mind, which has to be undertaken continuously, till the end of one’s life.

Source: Spirit of Islam December 2018

The mindset of the people differs from age to age. One accepts something only when it is in accordance with one’s way of thinking. This is what is called the addressing of the mind. There are two ways of addressing people: addressing crowds at the collective level and addressing people at an individual level. While most speakers prefer to address people en masse from the stage, U have always preferred to interact with and address people at the individual level. As individuals constitute the basic unit of society, addressing a crowd does not yield any long-term results, for, in very large groups, the individual's mind is never properly addressed. Therefore individuals—the building blocks of society—are unlikely to change. When we interact and address people at the individual level, their minds are addressed. Their minds start getting re-engineered on positive lines. And as individuals start living in positivity, it has a far-reaching effect on the reform of society, in a community, nation, and internationally.

Source: Love of God

The real focus of Islam is bringing about change in an individual’s character, another name for which is the re-engineering of the mind of individuals on positive lines. In Islamic terms, this is called tazkiyah or the purification of the mind on positive lines.

Man is born on nature. Due to environmental conditioning, every person becomes a case for the conditioning of the mind. For the purpose of a human being’s reform, it is essential to de-condition his mind, i.e., re-engineer his mind so that he returns to his nature. Then he becomes capable of seeing reality “as it is” and thus forms accurate opinions.

As people’s minds are re-engineered, a spiritual transformation occurs in them. They start living God-oriented lives, instead of self-oriented lives. The formula I give them to re-engineer their minds is: “Change yourself by living a God-oriented life and you will be able to change the whole world.”

Source: Spirit of Islam December 2018

A: Objective thinking arouses universal approach. The more objectively a person thinks the more universal he becomes. Normally people think subjectively and are not able to think keeping the entire humanity in mind. They restrict themselves to their family, society and community. Each person therefore must introspect and get to know whether he has a self-centered or a universal approach. A man can get to know this himself and can also work on it himself.

Source: The Seeker’s Guide


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