THE THIRD STAGE OF PURIFICATION
PURIFICATION OF THE HEART AND SOUL
Other than the purification of the body, its organs, and the mind, there are certain sins that are invisible to the eye. Nevertheless, they are extremely dangerous and can lead a person to hellfire. Examples of these sins are envy, hatred, arrogance, ostentation, and excessive love of the world. In the third stage of purification, these evil qualities are removed and replaced with superior qualities such as patience, gratitude, humbleness, love of Allah, and abstinence (removal of the desire of the world from the heart).
In order for the seeker to be taught how to practically remove the sins of the heart and soul, he must first understand the states a person experiences throughout their lifetime so that when he experiences it, he can immediately recognise it and recall how one correctly reacts to it.
A person spends his whole life in one or more of these four states only: 1) Obedience 2) Disobedience 3) Blessing 4) Calamity.
If a person experiencing one of these states reacts in the correct way he converts his existing state into a state of worship and blessing resulting in him automatically abandoning the evil desires aforementioned, replacing them with the qualities of goodness leading him towards a life of purity and chastity (Hayatan Tayabah).
The following summarises the reactions to the four states the seeker is practically trained to adopt in the third stage of purification:
- In the state of obedience, a person reacts correctly by practicing the qualities of humility, humbleness, servant hood, and sincerity.
- In the state of disobedience, a person reacts correctly by practicing the qualities of regret, shame, forgiveness, and repentance.
- In the state of blessing, a person reacts correctly by attributing the blessing to Allah, being thankful in the heart, using the blessing according to the divine commands, and not in the disobedience of Allah the Exalted.
- In the state of calamity, a person reacts correctly by practicing patience, refraining from sin, and returning to Allah.
There are ten levels in the third stage of purification and the seeker is trained practically, mentally, and spiritually to exonerate himself from the harms of the heart and soul.