- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
ISLAM places the highest emphasis on being a purified personality. It is necessary for every believer to purify himself. Without purification, a God-oriented personality cannot be developed. Purification leads to growth, an example of which can be seen in the tree. A tree is a result of the growth and development of a seed. When a seed finds a favorable environment, it starts growing until it becomes a green, verdant tree. The same is true of the purification of a human being.
Purifying oneself involves struggle on the part of the individual. It is not at all related to any mysterious inspiration from some supposedly saintly person. Rather, it means abandoning a life of unawareness and leading a life ruled by the conscience. The believer has to save himself from anything which comes in the path of truth, and when he faces any hurdles, he must not resort to expediency. When desires arise within him, he must crush them, and when he is overtaken by arrogance, he should be able to overcome his overweening pride.
In the process of purification, introspection is crucial. It awakens the mind, jolts the personality and gives the individual an incentive to reform himself after making a mistake. One who is desirous of purifying oneself should be careful about his speech and actions at every moment. With total objectivity, he must repeatedly engage in self-reappraisal. This is the process of introspection.
In the process of purification, introspection is very crucial. It awakens the human mind, jolts the human personality and gives the individual an incentive to reform himself after making a mistake.
The most powerful feeling in a person is that of egoism. This feeling is so intense that every person lives with the notion that he is all in all. This is a form of self-glorification. This kind of attitude should be anathema to a person aiming at purifying himself. What one should do is to develop anti-self thinking, so that he may be able to stand up to criticism. This feeling was so intense in one of the Companions of the Prophet that he said, “May God bless the man who sends me the gift of my shortcomings.”
This introspective mentality is born out of a discovery— that of one's own helplessness.
An introspective mentality is born out of a discovery—that of one’s own helplessness. The seeker must discover that his sense of ‘I’ exists only at the level of his own senses, or feelings. It doesn’t exist in reality; he has no power over anything outside of his own feelings. He exercises no power over anything outside of his own self. He exercises no power in the matters of life and death, the life support system, the divine court, etc. When a person discovers his total powerlessness, the feeling of helplessness is necessarily born within him. It is this feeling of helplessness which compels one to engage in introspection and it is in this discovery that the real secret of purification lies.
Source: Spirit Of Islam