There are many laboratories in the world, working and specializing in detergents. Each one trying to produce the best detergent, which would be the easiest in removing stains.
Each company makes a claim that their detergents are the best, giving you a power-cleaning wash and removing the toughest stains.
In the spiritual world, we find that the spiritual heart is such a sensitive entity that is easily stained. Some stains are easy to remove; others are very difficult to do away with.
Thus, the spiritual heart also requires detergents for the heart to remain ‘whiter than white’, ‘brighter than bright’ or ‘super bright’ – as we read in different advertisements.
Those stains of the spiritual heart (i.e. one’s minor sins) which are easy to remove, are washed away with the water of Wudhu (ablution), with Salaah and with many different Ibaadaat, which the Ahaadeeth have informed us, have the effect of removing the stains of sins.
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said : ‘Whoever performed Wudhu and performed it well (i.e. according to the prescribed rules), all his sins will go out, even from under his nails.’
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Each of the five Salaahs expiates the sins committed since the Salaah preceding it.’
The ‘Ulama mention that Ahaadeeth of this nature refer to minor sins. Major sins require sincere Taubah.
Major sins leave ‘tough’ stains which require a hard wash with a very strong detergent. The power detergents, which have the effect of removing the big and unsightly blotches and splotches of major sins on the spiritual heart are sincere Taubah and Istighfaar, and if one wants a bright, white spiritual heart, then the ‘bleach’ of Zikrullah should be used – just as we use bleach to whiten garments.
Of course, the effect upon our hearts is dependent on our sincerity, our abstinence from all sins, as well as our obedience to Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).
If the stains of major sins are not removed, then the heart not only becomes pitch black, it becomes hard, and at this stage the person’s Imaan is on dangerous ground.
Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Qur`aan Shareef :
“No! But that which they used to commit has covered their hearts with rust…”
[Surah Muttaffifeen 83 : 14]
The rust that accumulates with indulgence in sins covers the heart and deprives the person of the ability to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong, Haq (Truth) and Baatil (Falsehood).
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) explained : “When a Mu’min (believer) sins, a black dot appears on his heart. If he repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, his heart becomes cleansed and polished. If he continues to commit more and more sins (without repenting), the spot continues to spread and ultimately covers all of his heart.”