Just as no one is permitted to enter the prayer until they have removed all physical impurities, no one is admitted into the divine presence until they have removed all spiritual impurities.
Every child is born with a pure heart but as time goes by the heart becomes polluted by what it is exposed to. One of the main causes of this pollution is keeping the company of people who have impure hearts. One of the best means of preserving the purity of your heart is to keep the company of people with pure hearts.
If we look at the early generations they were not overly concerned with physical impurities – their concern was the purity of their hearts.
A pure heart may increase in purity and may carry on increasing forever. Physical purity has a limit but spiritual purity has no limit.
We know that the purity of the Prophets is greater than the purity of the Siddiqun; and the purity of the Messengers is greater than the purity of the Prophets; and the purity of the Messengers of Resolve is greater than the purity of the rest of the Messengers; but the highest level of purity is reserved for Muhammad ﷺ. He is the purest of the pure.
May Allah attach our hearts to him so that we attain something of his purity.
Extracts from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz’s class on the Secrets of Purification from Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din, Dar al-Mustafa 7th Jumada al-Akhirah, 1442