السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
In Surah Shams- Allah swears by the sun, the moon, the skies and the earth. Allah further swears by the Nafs and the soul. Allah gave us our sense of good and evil, our innate fitrah, the natural inclination of our heart. It is worthy to note that when Allah swears by things, it is to emphasise the importance of what is coming next and Allah has never taken so many oaths in the Qur’aan as He has in this short Surah, all to highlight this one point, “He has succeeded who purifies it (the heart)” and “And he has failed who instills it (the heart with corruption)”
This is a very significant point because Allah is showing us that at the end of the day nothing is more important than the purity of the soul. Allah pends the success of an individual based solely on the state of the heart.
Then Allah shifts focus and starts to talk about the people of Thamud and the way in which they transgressed and denied their prophet. To the unobservant heart, it seems as though the Ayaat do not link, but the Scholars have said that the reason for this switch from the self to a nation is because when we don’t have pure hearts as individuals, we become a corrupt community, corrupt society and ultimately a corrupt nation. So, while we might think that reforming ourselves will have a little impact on the global scale, Allah dispels this notion and in fact encourages us. When individuals fail to purify themselves, they become a failed nation, not just individuals as we see that Allah never gave the example of Fir’aun or Hamaan, Allah used a nation as an example.
Similarly, if we look at the companions of the Prophet ﷺ, each and every one of them was concerned with the purity and state of their heart which is why they were such a successful society. Every companion of the prophet ﷺ has a unique story, all were tested in different ways, and yet they pulled through it all. When the religion of Islam was new, and the muslims were being persecuted mercilessly, the Sahaba never threw in the towel and had this, “even if I change, everyone else is still going to be the same” attitude. These Sahaba understood that individual purification is necessary for the ummah to succeed.
Imam Ahmed (rahmatullah allays) was once asked a question, “What is the distance between us and the Arsh of Allah?”
He replied, ” A sincere duaa from a pure heart.”
Subhanallah!! May Allah grant us the ability to purify our hearts to the point where we are able to close the distance between our souls and Allah’s Arsh. Allahumma Ameen
We live in a difficult day and age, there’s no denying that, but this is no excuse for not striving to purify our hearts, we have to at least try.
‘Never will Allah change the condition of a people, until they change themselves.’Al-Qur’an 13:11