The Prophet spoke about the heart in a manner that leads one to believe that its corruption means disaster for the soul and our happiness. “Purification” is not a state per se, as you will soon hear, but is a process and always so. It is called the “Greater Jihad” because the struggle never ends, so long as we live in this world. Our faith depends on winning this struggle, as does the kind of life we will meet in the Hereafter.
If we examine the trials and tribulations all over earth, we’ll find they are rooted in human hearts. Covetousness, the desire to aggress and exploit, the longing to pilfer natural resources, the inordinate love of wealth, and other maladies are manifestations of diseases found nowhere but in the heart. Every criminal, miser, abuser, scoffer, embezzler, and hateful person does what he or she does because of a diseased heart. So if you want to change our world, do not begin by rectifying the outward. Instead, change the condition of the inward.
We of the modern world are reluctant to ask ourselves, when we look at the terrible things happening, “Why do they occur? And if we ask that with sincerity, the answer will come back in no uncertain terms: all of this is from our own selves. In so many ways, we have brought this upon ourselves. This is the only empowering position that we can take.
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