The word TAZKIYA [when applied to NAFS] has the following meanings:
-Increase and augmentation [in goodness and righteousness]
-Growth and development [in goodness and righteousness]
-Development of self [i.e. NAFS]
TAZKIYA is different from TAHAARAT, which is
-Freedom from dirt, dust or filth
-Freedom from evil or sins
-Distance or remoteness from evil or sins
TAHAARAT encompasses all the following aspects:
Physical: Freedom from dirt, dust and filth/ cleanliness of body
Mental: Freedom from evil and sinful thought; Freedom from wrong beliefs, prejudices, etc.
Spiritual: Freedom from the evil effects [on the personality/self] of sinful deeds
TAHAARAT is a negative virtue in that it does not develop any positive virtues in man but just it gets rid of negative and undesirable things.
TAZKIYA is a positive virtue in that it develops in man positive attributes
Physically, it means, physical development, growth and wellbeing
Mentally, it stands for the development of the mind
Spiritually, it means development of the SELF, i.e. developing in oneself the Divine attributes such as ILM, KHABR, TAKHLEEQ, QUDRAT, MUADDAT, RAHMAT and so on. Or it would mean to become better in goodness and righteousness.
Why attain TAZKIYA?
The following benefits of TAZKIYA are given in Quran:
1. FALAAH which means, success, prosperity, felicity, fortune, good state, the attainment and acquisition of what one desires; the conversion of latent potentialities into actualities [91:9, 87:14]
2. The attainment of Paradise and permanence therein [20:76]
How to attain TAZKIYA?
Quran gives the following means and modes for attaining TAZKIYA:
1. By spending money in the cause of Allah [9:103, 92:18]
2. By developing Divine attributes in oneself according to humanly possible capacity [87:14-15]
3. By following Allah’s instructions in all routine and specific affairs [2:232, 24:28]
4. By lowering the gaze and guarding the chastity [24:30]