The Four Levels of Purification

An excerpt from the Book of Purity, with Haj Abdullah and the children discussing the 4 levels.

Calmly, Haj Abdullah strode in, smiling peacefully. The group assembled around him. He began, “Did you all know there are Four Levels of Purification-four things that can be cleansed?”

“Four,” thought Qasim. “That’s a lot! I wonder what those could be?”

Haj Abdullah said, “The first is pretty obvious: to clean yourself from anything that is dirty or impure and that prevents the prayer. The second is to purify the various parts of your body from doing the wrong or sinful thing. I imagine you all have some ideas about this from the story about the scholar, which I told you yesterday. Can anyone give me an example of this?”

Zainab replied, “The mouth, for example while rinsing our mouths, we need to ask God to forgive us for anything we have said that was wrong and ask His help in only saying what pleases Him. The same can be applied to the ears, hands and feet!”

Haj Abdullah smiled with approval and continued, “And the third, you all know about from Imam al-Ghazali’s Book of Knowledge, how to purify your hearts from low character.We have learned of the many things that are wrong to do – that dirtys our pure, shining Hearts.”

Layla picked up from there and went on, “We now understand that we must never argue, be angry or mean, or backbite! Ever! We must want the best for others and be joyful when they win a game.”

Abid continued, “Right, Layla! We know about all these things we should never do – like spying and prying, like hypocrisy or bragging – but we now must practice doing them until they become habits – a part of the way we are. Our golden shining hearts must be kept clean!”

Haj Abdullah explained, “What you are all saying is what following the Sunnah or practice of our blessed Prophet S is about! Just imagine at every single moment of the day that you are acting as he S would in that situation. Act out of your True Selves, not your false ones.”

Then the serene and beautiful elder paused and was silent. The children stopped moving and paid close attention. He then concluded,

“Now, the fourth, or highest level would have to do with those steps at the very top of the spiritual stairway, which you read about and illustrated in your workbooks. That is when you are able to purify your soul of anything which concerns your lower self. At that stage even the good deeds, those on the third level, would be like wrongdoings for those on the highest level.”

Omar interrupted, “That last fourth level sounds like the way the prophets and the saints are.”

 

The Four Levels of Purification Activity

How would you represent the 4 levels of purification in pictures or drawings? Share it with us!