Tazkiya – Spiritual Purification

Allah swt has mentioned the word ‘Tazkiya at many different places in the Qur’an-e-karim

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا

وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ دَسَّاهَا


قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ تَزَكَّى

وَذَكَرَ اسْمَ رَبِّهِ فَصَلَّى


وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ


This word tazkiya means to become pure.

There are two ways a person can become pure – either a person is pure or they are purified; either there is no impurity or the impurity is removed. Like you have a clean clothing – either that clothing is clean or there was some dirt that came on it but you washed it away and then again its clean.

According to the Qur’an-e-karim:

– A person who has Taqwa; is pure.

– A person can purify themselves through Tauba.

& the name in Qur’an for that person who purifies themselves: taubah.

So, there are two ways to get tazkiya:

1. Taqwa

2. Tauba

These are not two separate things, they are actually two stages. Taqwa and Tauba.

Tauba means that whatever sins we were doing in the past, to make a sincere deep desire that we won’t repeat those sins in the future and True Taubah means that we are true to that tauba – that we actually leave those sins; that we leave all those things that connect us to those sins – that person will be successful in their tauba.

So, true tauba means that they leave all of their past sins and they never return back to sin. So, from that point of true tauba onwards actually they are living a life of taqwa; after a person makes true tauba  and if they are true to their tauba then after that they are living a life of taqwa – sin free life! And because their tauba was true and they were true to that tauba, Allah Ta’ala forgives all of the sins they did in their past –  from that moment onwards they are pure and whatever happened to them before they are purified of it That is how a person comes to Allah swt on the day of judgement with a Qalbun saleem.

يَوْمَ لَا يَنْفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ

إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ


That the Day of Judgement is such a day that neither our wealth property and possessions, nor our sons our worldly relations will be of any benefit to us except that person who comes to Allah swt with a pure heart.

Either Pure or Purified or in our case made pure through purification – that is called tazkiya.

Tazkiya is the name of that process that:

1. Enables a person to learn how to make tauba; to make them qaaim daaim/firm on their tauba; to keep them true to their tauba

2. Makes a person learn how to live a life of taqwa; be firm on their taqwa; and to die on their taqwa.

Just like if I was to define for you what it means to be healthy, I would say so-and-so many things and somebody who doesn’t have that level of health, then I would mention some type of process [cure, physical therapy etc] for them.

So, tazkiya is for the spiritually unhealthy. Those people who are more strong in their taqwa; they don’t need tazkiya. Therefore, Sahaba-e-karam r.a. who got taqwa instantly just through the sohbat of Prophet saw; they didn’t need any further type of tazkiya. Because you don’t need cure/medicines etc for people who are healthy. In the hospitals, there is sophisticated apparatus for treatment of people who have kidney failure, dialysis, or chemotherapy for people who have cancer. Alhamdulillah, we don’t need that; maybe we would never need to know what dialysis and chemotherapy is. Just  like that Sahaba-e-karaam and other people who are already pure; already on taqwa; they would never need to know what these things are.

But, for those of us who have that spiritual cancer, we need that spiritual chemotherapy; those of us who have spiritual failure we need that spiritual dialysis – we need that cure.  We need that Tazkiya.

Allah swt says something interesting in the Qur’an-e-karim:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ تَزَكَّى

Here قَدْ comes from a word thats called  “tehqeeq” : Indeed/ Verily/Truly/ Certainly –أَفْلَحَ

That person has created and brought themselves into فلاح/bliss/serenity/happiness/success and achievement – مَنْ تَزَكَّى

That person who purifies themselves.

Through Tauba and then Taqwa; Tauba and then Taqwa; Taubah and then Taqwa; Slips in their Tauba; back to Taubah – bring themselves back to Taqwa; Falls down again, gets back right up through Tauba – back to taqwa; Falls down again, gets up again through Taubah – That is the process of Tazkiya.

Tauba and Taqwa; Tauba and Taqwa –

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ تَزَكَّى


وَذَكَرَ اسْمَ رَبِّهِ فَصَلَّى

The second way to get this فلاح/success is that person who makes the dhikr of the ism of their Rabb; that person who remembers the name of their Rabb – the name of our Rabb is Allah/الله

i.e. jis ke dil mey Allah swt ka naam baith gaya: means Allah swt se muhabbat hogya – Allah ta’ala ka naam us dil mey nahi baithe ga jis mey uski muhabbat nahi hai aur Allah Ta’ala ki muhabbat us dil mey nahi aa sakti jisme naam nahi baitha haiThats the way Allah swt has made things.

Allah swt says in Qur’an:

تَبَارَكَ اسْمُ رَبِّكَ


That Full of barakah/بركة is the name of your Rabb. So, what is the بركة of this name?

The بركة of this name is so much that the name leads us to the named one! In Arabic we say that the اسم leads to teh musamma. The بركة of this name is that  if you are attached to this name, it will lead you to Allah subhanahu wata’ala Himself

Thats why in Qur’an, every surah except one begins with  باسم الله الرحمن الرحيم We could’ve just said  بالله الرحمن الرحيم ‘I begin with Allah’, no no no. We have to say: I begin in the name of Allah. The Prophet saw taught in hadith that we should begin everything in the name of Allah – because His name has that barakah/بركة

to be cont’d. iA

[These are some highlights from the Tazkiya Talk given by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed[db] on 30/9/2010. ]

Download and Listen to the Talk:

Tazkiya: Spiritual Purification – Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed (30/9/2010)

Speaker: Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed
Topic: Tazkiya – Spiritual Purification
Date: 30/9/2010
Duration: 49:14(to download: right click + save target as / save link as)

WMA [45.30MB]

MP3 [14.00MB]

1 Comment

  1. - says:

    Jazak Allah Khair for this lovely article. It’s so relevant to me I cannot explain;

    Alhamdullillah, Allah has guided me to this article; and it really makes sense and is motivating.

    JAK for all your effort in this article; you never know how Allah chooses to honour His slaves!

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