By Imam Abdullah Allawi al-Haddad
“You must take care of your outward and inward cleanliness, for the one who is completely clean becomes inwardly and in his spirit a spiritual angel, although in his body and outward form he remains a physical human being. The Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, has said: ‘Religion is based on cleanliness.’ And: ‘God is clean and likes cleanliness.’
Inward cleanliness is achieved by purifying the soul from vile traits of character such as pride, ostentation, envy, love of the world, and other similar things, and by adorning it with noble traits of character such as humility, modesty, sincerity, generosity,a nd so forth. The true nature of these and the way to rid oneself of vile traits and acquire noble ones were recorded by Imam al-Ghazzali in the second half of the Ihya’. Know this and make use of it!
As for outward cleanliness, this depends on avoiding transgressions, and keeping to obedience. The one who adorns his outward with perseverance in good works, and his inward with taking on praiseworthy attributes, has completed his cleanliness. Otherwise, he would only have a share of it proportionate to his remoteness from reprehensible traits and acts, and nearness to good ones.”
(p 47 of “The Book of Assistance” by Imam Abdullah ibn Alawi al-Haddad)