HEART CLEANSING, PREPARATORY TO WORSHIP!
The disciplined Believer, guided by a sense of cleanliness and a clear conscience, strives to make themselves spiritually ready for Worship. They often embark on a series of heart cleansing exercises preparatory to obeying their Lord in Deeds of Piety like Prayer, Fasting, and Eid-Adha Sacrifice by following a set pattern of acceptance of Guidance and of repentance of sins, as well as of going by the Dictates of the Shari’ah.
Acceptance of the Truth is an integral part of the process of heart cleansing. Receiving Faith without disputing or doubting or questioning the truth about it is in fact an essential component of not only intellectual preparedness, but also of spiritual readiness in Worship. The heart plays a major role in this process, confirming reasoning by the intellect.
At the same time, letting go of all disbelieving sins is absolutely necessary. Giving up or avoiding all Acts of Impiety, not forgetting all major Acts of Immorality, is a necessary precondition for raising the spirituality of the heart to the foundation level of Faith, ready for Worship.
As well, going by the Dictates of the Shari’a is a nice complement to both acceptance of Guidance and repentance of wrong-doings. Acting according to the acceptable standards of Worship and Morality will facilitate the process of spiritual purity, resulting in increased Faith.
Indeed, to follow acceptance of the True Faith of Islam and repentance of evil with Deeds of Faith will boost the spiritual purity of the heart and its moral strength as well. It is proclaimed: “Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah–-Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah: verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” Q. 13:28
It is encouraging to note that the worshipper’s efforts and willingness are shown in not only their eagerness to, say, pray, but more importantly, in their adequate spiritual and moral preparedness to effectively communicate with their Creator, Allah. For this decisive reason, they need a heart that is ready for every eventuality, since it is the focal point of Allah’s Attention. The Noble Qur-an attests to this reality: “O you who believe….and know that Allah comes in between a person and his heart…” Q. 8:24
In all seriousness, we don’t have to allow Faith destroyers, which have already engulfed most worshippers, to go unchallenged. We must have a heart to resist the urge to indulge in such heart pollutants as Soothsaying, Spiritual Healing, Coptic Exorcism, and Demonic Protection, or to repent of and resolutely regret for having committed them and indeed to promise not to repeat them.
We need to reiterate that the foregoing deeds of impiety and the like are demon/jinn-inspired. So truly, practising them is one of the reasons for absolute lack of Faith in Allah. The Good Book insists: “…Verily, We made the Shayatin (devils) Auliya (protectors and helpers) for those who believe not.” Q. 7:27
Let’s not forget that the heart needs to be cleansed of other forms of disbelief besides Impiety–-“Shirk.” These include: arrogance, hypocrisy, and envy.
The combo of these three factors will lay the groundwork for Faith to comfortably dwell in the heart of the true Believer, filling the spiritual vacuum. No doubt, the heart of Faith, not the rotten heart of faithlessness, is the residence of Piety and Righteousness, with which the worshipper stands ready to commune with their Lord. The following Statement of Allah confirms: “The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, except him who comes to Allah with a clean heart .” Q. 26:88-89