May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you!
Water is a precious gift from Allah. But do we truly value it as much as we should? Did you know that over 70% of the surface of our planet is covered in water? Did you know that about 60% of our body is made up of water? And did you know that although we can live several weeks without food, we can only live 3 to 5 days without water?
Water is truly precious. What rejoicing there must be in a desert land, when rain finally comes after many months of drought! How true the Honoured Quran is, when it tells us: "And Allah sends down rain from the skies, and gives life to the earth."- Sura 16:65 Al-Nahl.
Water is life giving. Water is essential for each one of us. But water doesn't just give us life. Water also cleanses.
Often there may be guests which come to our homes for a meal. We would not think of serving our guests on cups, bowls or dishes which haven’t been properly cleansed with water on the outside as well as on the inside. We wish to honour our guests by giving them only the best, giving them what is clean.
What I love about my Muslim friends, is that they want to give Allah only the best. I love the way they seek to pray to Allah five times a day. Not only that, they do something really wonderful by washing their head, face, hands and feet before they perform their daily prayers. This is called Wudu. They wash their mouth and nostrils too. It is a way of saying to Allah "I recognize your greatness, and I want to be clean before you." And truly God wants us to be clean. "For Allah loves those who turn to him constantly, and he loves those who keep themselves pure and clean."- Sura 2:222 Al-Baqarah.
Now although we may be able to clean ourselves physically on the outside with Wudu, Allah desires something far greater in depth for each one of us. He wants us to be clean on the INSIDE. We need Wudu performed on our spiritual hearts! The Honoured Quran tells us: "Allah only wishes to remove ALL ABOMINATIONS from you......and to make you pure and spotless."-Sura 33:33Al-Ahzab. We all need this type of Wudu, this cleansing of the heart. Our shameful thoughts, and our shameful deeds, have turned our hearts black. Would you eat a bowl of rice if you discovered even just one tiny piece of pork in it? One piece of pork makes the whole bowl of food unclean (haram)! In the same way, just one wrong desire, harboring just one unclean thought has contaminated our hearts and made us defiled in the sight of Allah. The Quran rightly says: "in their hearts is a disease." Surah 2:10Al-Baqarah.
In the Injeel given to Jesus (His peace be upon us), He tells us more about this disease. He said: "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, wickedness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."- Injeel Mark 7:21-23.
Allah is the master teacher, and frequently illustrates a spiritual truth through something we see in nature. The Honoured Quran teaches us:" Verily in the heavens and the earth are signs for those who believe."-Sura 45:3 Al-Jathiyah.
Travelers and camels crossing the barren desert in extreme heat are blessed by Allah's gift of Aloe Vera. This succulent desert plant possesses healing qualities. This succulent plant can also quench the thirst of the desert travelers, and nourish the body with its life-saving gel and its juice. The Aloe plant (known in Arabic as 'Sabbur') can also heal wounds and infections. It's medicinal qualities are famous and can improve the quality of our physical hearts by lowering blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol and stabilizing our heart rhythms. Similarly, Allah has given us a gift to heal the diseases of our spiritual hearts. Isa al-Masih ibn Maryam (Jesus the Messiah the son of Mary) has been sent to us as a “…gift of a righteous son.” Sura 19:19 Maryam. He possesses greater healing power than any Aloe Vera plant! He is able to heal the wounds and diseases of our spiritual hearts.
Allah has appointed him as our spiritual 'sabbur'. And he is the one who performs Wudu to wash away our spiritual heart disease. The Injeel sent by Allah to Jesus, tells us that Jesus gave Himself for us "to redeem us from all iniquity, and PURIFY unto himself a people zealous of good works."- Injeel Titus 2:14.
"He that believeth on [Jesus] as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."- Injeel John 7:38 Alhamdulillah ! Allah has a cure for our blackened and diseased hearts!
"O mankind, there has come to you a direction from your Lord, and a healing for the diseases in your hearts."- Surah 10:57 Yunus. From the ancient prophet of Allah whose name was Ezekiel, there comes this amazing promise of Allah what He would do for the helpless human agent who consents for Him to do this work!
Ezekiel 36:25-27: "I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. And a new heart also will I give you.....and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes."
Wow! Allah not only performs Wudu on our hearts, but he gives us His Spirit, His power and His presence within us to be obedient to Him! This is a sure promise of God, we need to believe His promises, for He will perform what He has stated, if we allow Him!
We know that Allah is the forgiving one "…Allah is oft-forgiving, Most merciful." - Surah 8:69 Al-Anfal. But just as the desert traveler needs to apply 'sabbur' to his wounds, so to benefit from Allah's cleansing and healing to us through Jesus, Isa al-Masish ibn Maryam (his peace be upon us), we need to submit to Allah by confessing to Him our shame and wrong doing, and turn away from it. Injeel 1John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness."
Injeel Acts 3: 19 "repent ye...that your sins may be blotted out." Yes, we can wash our face hands and feet......but we haven't the power to wash our own hearts from the filth and stains which sin has made. Only Allah can perform Wudu on our hearts. Now here is our opportunity! Will we let Him? Do we truly desire that for ourselves?
My dua: "Almighty Allah, you are the God of purity and holiness. As a flower always stretches up towards the sunlight, so I reach up to heaven and call out to you for forgiveness for my uncleaness. I recognize that I have brought dishonour and shame upon your Holy name by the wrong things I have done, and the unholy things I have thought. Please send Lord Isa al-Masih to me so he can perform Wudu on my heart. Please make me clean. Ameen"