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Article appeared Friday, March 29th, 2019 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (564) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Revealed Holy Scriptures and in particular, the Al-Qur’an, talks about purity and the
need for humans to purify themselves while on earth. What could this purity be and
would it be important for human beings to purify themselves? Before going to the
Scriptures, however, is it possible to stand back and analyze our life?

At some point in our life, we suddenly become aware of our abilities, e.g., the fact that
we can see, hear, have a consciousness, do analysis, use our intelligence, exercise free
will – yet at one point in time we did not exist. From nothing, we now exist. From zero,
could we have created ourselves? Could randomness create the intelligence that each
of us has? If not, a highly intelligent external force must have put us into existence by
creating us. Should this force or Creator then have a stake in our existence? Is it likely
that He would create the universe and each one of us in it without His Own purpose?

Having briefly analyzed our individual and sudden existence, which cannot be without
purpose, in how many ways could each created individual respond to the Creator?
Essentially, there would be two ways – a response that ignores the Creator’s purpose
and conversely one that seeks Him out. Having discovered a unique consciousness, a
person could assume that he/she is powerful and lives his/her life in a way to ensure that
power. Alternatively, the other type of person would look for answers to questions like,
“O, my Lord, what is Your purpose?” and pray, “O, my Lord, guide me to Your purpose!”

One lives a life of darkness, living in ignorance of his/her Benefactor and the other is on
his/her way to discovering the reality and purpose of his/her existence! The first type, in
effect, rejects the Creator’s purpose and the second gradually embraces Him through
questions, necessary study and reflection. Can the labels of evil/impure and purification
be attached to these two types of persons? Now, let’s see if we can find confirmation of
this analysis in the Holy Scriptures. Matthew 5:8 {1} of the New Testament carries the
following Verse:
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8, KJV]

What is this Verse talking about? Is it about “seeing” God, our Creator, physically with
our eyes, or searching for Him with our hearts in gratitude for being given existence?
The Al-Qur’an completes this thought and ties it with the purpose of our life on earth.
“In order that God may separate the impure from the pure put the impure ones
on another heap them together and cast them into Hell. They will be the ones to
have lost.” [8.37]

And who will succeed?

“But whoever comes to Him as a believer having done righteous deeds – for
them are ranks exalted. Gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers
flow: they will dwell there eternally: such is the reward of those who purify
themselves (from evil).” [20.75 – 20.76]

To many of us, belief is simply about asking God for more and more worldly pleasures
and things – this is like a spoilt child who constantly nags his/her parents for more and
more toys. Rather belief is about acknowledging God for who He is by adoring Him and
doing things that help confirm His truth. This is like the grateful child who loves his/her
parents for who they are. While on earth, God commands that we work towards purifying
our hearts towards Him. While choosing our companions for friendship or for marriage,
therefore, we should then find those who are of similar mind, i.e., those who would want
to purify themselves, not those who are not looking for God from their hearts. Such
persons would lead us on the wrong path, away from Him. As an example, wrong
companions may influence us to spend our time away from activities that help purify our
souls – activities aimed towards pleasing God. Believers should stay away from people
who are satisfied and content with their worldly pleasures and achievements.

24.26 “Women impure are for men impure and men impure are for women
impure; and women of purity are for men of purity and men of purity are for
women of purity: these are not affected by what people say: for them there
is forgiveness and a provision honorable.”
With this commandment, our choice of companion indicates our preference to God, i.e.,
our intentions, whether we wish to work towards purification or not. Would God help
those who do not want to please Him? Companions should collectively turn to God for
guidance. The following commandments are for those who wish to purify themselves.

24.27 “O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own until you
have asked permission and saluted those in them: that is best for you in
order that you may heed (what is seemly).”
It is only when permission is expressly granted, i.e., we are welcomed by the owner of
the household that we should enter houses other than our own. We should not enter
even if there is no one in the house.

24.28 “If you find no one in the house enter not until permission is given to
you: if you are asked to go back (then) go back: that makes for greater
purity for yourselves: and God knows well all that you do.”
However, this injunction does not apply to a place that is known as abandoned.

24.29 “It is no fault on your part to enter houses not used for living in which
serve some (other) use for you: and God has (full) knowledge of what you
reveal and what you conceal.”
The following Verses talk about being modest in our clothing and in our gaze when we
look at others. Clothing should not be such that it provokes a wrong type of gaze nor
should one look at other’s clothing in an indecent manner.

24.30 “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard
their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and God is well
acquainted with all that they do.”

24.31 “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze
and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and
ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should
draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to
their husbands their fathers their husbands' fathers their sons their
husbands' sons their brothers or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons
or their women or the slaves whom their right hands possess or male
servants free of physical needs or small children who have no sense of the
shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw
attention to their hidden ornaments. And O Believers, turn you all together
towards God that you may attain Bliss.”
{1} https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A8&version=KJV

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