It is a beautiful spring morning. Javeria Sumbul, a homemaker, is on her wit’s end. Her elder daughter and son-in-law are coming over for dinner, and Javeria wants to make sure that her house is spick and span. Her younger daughters are extremely grumpy, as they know what their brother-in-law’s visit entails. Javeria is issuing instructions at top speed, and her daughters are running around, dusting, sweeping and de-cluttering the rooms. Javeria herself is taking out her best dinner set and aims to wash it herself, not trusting the maid to do so, lest she breaks even one piece and spoils the whole set.

By the time the family arrives, the house is sparkling clean, the furniture is glowing and the crockery is set out. As the elder daughter arrives, she is quickly surrounded by her mother and sisters, all eager to hear the latest goings-on at her in-laws. The son-in-law is happily sharing his office grievances with his all-ears father-in-law.

What an irony! A house is wiped clean of the last speck of dust. But the inmates either forgot or ignored to purify their hearts and souls along with it.

Islam stresses a lot on cleanliness and provides complete details regarding Taharah. Yet, at the same time, it equally emphasizes on inner cleanliness.

Our heart is also like a home, and it also needs to be purified, reflecting a warm, pleasing personality and portraying the true values of a Muslim identity.

A patient, kindhearted and knowledgeable person, who understands the importance of the relationship of one Muslim with another and is well aware of the modern-day challenges, is not only respected by his/ her family, but also has a wider horizon of relationships that are strengthened by his/her strong bond with Allah (swt) and the love of the Prophet (sa).

His simple living standard does not matter. His glow of Iman always keeps him at peace. Such is the hidden and beautiful power of Iman, which also needs constant nourishment and has to be protected against temptations of evil forces. A famous scholar once said that we should keep our

thoughts as clean and pure as water, because our thoughts build our Iman, just as the drops of water make a river.

How many of us feel that our hearts are being polluted when we are thoroughly engrossed in backbiting, lying, taunting and committing other atrocities of the tongue?

By focusing more on these real issues, we will not be psychologically or emotionally disturbed if we are not able to maintain our predetermined criterion of outer cleanliness. We will not have heated arguments with anybody. I request you to recondition your Iman and purify your hearts through Dhikr. May Allah (swt) enable us to nourish our souls through our Prophet’s (sa) best teachings, Ameen.