How can we purify our soul? Why is it important in Islam?
Purifying our soul (Ruh in Arabic) is the most important thing for a Muslim. Without a pure heart, no one can enter paradise.
Allah says in Quran 26: 88-89
The Day [Judgement Day] when neither wealth nor children will benefit [anyone]. But only one who comes to Allah with a sound [pure] heart.
Quran and Hadiths command us to clean our hearts from ill-feelings, ill-thoughts and from diseases like arrogance, envy, hatred etc.
The subject or theme of the Quran is "Man". God has described all the prerequisites to become successful in both the worlds. That's the reason, God has given man the consciousness and the understanding of right and wrong or good and bad, that has been built in our emotion or psyche that distinguishes human beings from animals. But we need to enhance this attribute constantly then only we can retain it otherwise we may lose this quality and will become even inferior to animals whereas we were supposed to be the noblest of civilised beings.
"We have certainly created man in the best of stature;
Then We return him to the lowest of the low, "(Quran 95 :3/4)
Purification of the soul is called Tazkiya Nafs in arabic which is not one time job ..we have to practice and apply it constantly. We need to understand what is Purification of the Soul and why its so important that Prophet pbub prime responsibility to purify the soul before teaching them the command of the Quran.Purification of the soul is a prerequisite for closeness to God. Indeed, the whole point of morality and spirituality is to purify one’s soul.
"Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allah ordered, by following the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds)".
" And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (i.e. disobeys what Allah has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism or by following polytheism, etc. or by doing every kind of evil wicked deeds)". [ Quran 91 : 9/10]
So in chapter Shams, God swear by His creation eleven times, after so much emphasis, God declares that the person who purifies his soul will be successful, and whoever pollutes and corrupts his soul will fail. On the Day of Judgment, there will be two groups of people: those who are prosperous and happy because they purified their soul, and those who are in an unfortunate position because they were careless and negligent of their soul.. Thats the reason purifyingthe soul is the important task in islam.