Purification of the Soul
The Islamic mission essentially is the tazkiyah (purification) of the individual. The target Islam gives to every person should develop his thinking process to discover God, understand His Creation Plan and spiritually develop a purified personality fit for inhabiting eternal Paradise. God has created man with great potential, and this potential of the human personality is actualized by tazkiyah. In this sense, it would be fitting to call it the building of the human personality on a divine foundation. When a person accepts faith, he has started the journey of tazkiyah. Gradually, he becomes a purified soul or an intellectually and spiritually developed personality. This is the man who will gain entrance into the eternal Paradise of the Hereafter. Tazkiyah is the Islamic name for deconditioning and purification of the mind, which must be undertaken continuously until the end of one’s life. Deconditioning of the mind can only be done by one process alone: introspection. This is a continuous, merciless examination of our selves to improve. This improvement can come in two ways. One is to accept the harsh criticism of others by acknowledging their external ‘hammering’ with an open mind, without being offended. The other method of deconditioning can be called ‘self-hammering’, which is to look at ourselves with a critical eye, perceive every mistake with severity and then introspect by mercilessly ‘hammering’ ourselves without giving ourselves any concession in any matter. Instead of accusing others, we should carry out an objective analysis of ourselves and find our faults. We can develop our personality on positive lines by either accepting the ‘hammering’ of others or by becoming our own worst critic by ‘self-hammering’. One who can perform continuous tazkiyah will develop a purified personality.
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