The Meaning of Purity
Nazahah linguistically: is furtherance from evil. One says nazuha nazahatan and tanazzaha tanazzuhan if one means to say: ‘He has distanced himself.’ The statements nazh al-khuluq and nazihuhu and nazihu al-nafs all refer to the abstinent, noble, self-isolating, not mixing with others or going to their homes with his self or wealth. Nazzaha nafasahu `an al-qabih: ‘One removed himself from what is ugly.’  Lisan al-`Arab, Ibn Manzur (13/548).
Nazahah technically: is gaining wealth without debasement nor tyranny to others. It is also described as distancing oneself from lowliness and filth.  Qut al-Qulub, Abu Talib al-Makki (2/476); al-Ta`rifat, al-Jurjani (p. 240). The Difference between Purity and Abstinence (`Iffah)
Abstinence is refraining from the forbidden, while purity is withholding from the permissible. In abstinence there is preservation of religiosity, while in purity there is preservation of decency.  al-Basa’ir wa al-Dhakha’ir, Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi (5/121). Commandments of Purity and Encouragement towards it in the Qur’an and Sunnah
❖ Allah, exalted, says: “Purify your garments” al-Muddaththir: 4. This is the purification of the heart, wealth, and purifying the self from debauchery, sins, and defects.  al-Istidhkar, Ibn `Abd al-Barr (1/333).
❖ al-Nu`man ibn Bashir, Allah be pleased with them both, said: “I heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ saying: ‘The lawful is clear, and the unlawful is clear. Between them are doubtful matters a lot of people do not know of. Whoever avoids doubtful matters, he has freed his religiosity and honour of guilt…”  Reported by al-Bukhari (52) and Muslim (1599). Meaning, requesting innocence and purity of what may adulterate them.  Fath al-Bari, Ibn Rajab (1/229-230).
❖ al-Hasan ibn `Ali, Allah be pleased with them both, said: “I memorised from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ: ‘Leave what irks you to what doesn’t.’”  Reported by al-Tirmidhi (2518) and al-Nasa’i (5711). al-Tirmidhi said: “It is sound, authentic.” al-Nawawi graded it as sound in al-Majmu` (1/181), al-Mulaqqin authenticated in Sharh al-Bukhari (14/42), and so did al-Albani in Sahih Sunan al-Nasa’i (5711). Quotes of the Predecessors and Scholars on Purity
❖ `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz said: “If the judge has five traits, he is complete: knowledge of what was before him, purity from greed, forbearance to the enemy, emulation of the scholars, and consulting those of knowledge and sound opinion.”  al-`Iqd al-Farid, Ibn `Abd Rabbih (1/78).
❖ Ibn Hazm said: “Purity of the self is a virtuous quality which is borne of deliverance, munificence, justice, and understanding.”  Rasa’il Ibn Hazm (1/371).
❖ al-Mawardi said: “The honourable self seeks preservation, adhering to purity, persevering through the harms it can persevere through, bearing all the difficulties it can bear. Its toughness and its preservation are maintained through this.”  Adab al-Dunya wa al-Din, al-Mawardi (p. 193). Categories of Purity
Purifying oneself from lowly desires. Purifying the self from doubtful matters. Benefits of Purity
It is a form of obedience to Allah, exalted. From its fruits is Allah loving the slave, as well as the people loving him. It is a cause of piety, preserving the self from deviation and going astray. It is a praiseworthy moral which bears the fruits of others like it, like contentment and awe. Whoever adorns himself with it, has adorned himself with a quality of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Forms of Purity
Purifying oneself from: Doubtful wealth. Doubtful situations, learnt from: “It is but Safiyyah bint Huyayy.”  Permissible matters that may lead to the impermissible. Blaming the people and obscene language. Barriers to Acquiring Purity
Greed for this world and forgetfulness of the next. Gluttony and love of gathering wealth. Cowardice, as it begets weakness and humiliation. Miserliness and selfishness, as they beget greed. Indulgence in desires. Means to Acquiring Purity
Supplication. Contentment and avoiding greed. Deliverance, munificence, and justice. Asceticism for what the people have. Not befriending or accompanying those of greed and gluttony. Examples of Purity from the Life of the Prophet ﷺ, Companions, and Predecessors
❖ Abu Hurayrah, Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: “I return to my family, and may find a date on my bed. I raise it to my mouth to eat it, then fear it may be a charity so put it down.”  Reported by al-Bukhari (2432) and the wording is his, as well as Muslim (1070).
❖ `Umar, Allah be pleased with him, said: “I do not see it as lawful that I eat from this wealth of yours other than I would eat with my own wealth: bread and oil, and bread and ghee.” He would then be brought a plate of oil, and another with ghee, but would excuse himself, saying: “I am an Arab man, and do not find oil decent.”  Reported by Ibn Abi al-Dunya in al-Wara` (190).
❖ `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz had disavowed himself from war booty, and so was not given anything of it except that he gave it to the Muslims. Ibn Abi Zakariyya entered upon him one time and said: “Commander of the Faithful, I wish to speak to you of a matter.” He replied: “Speak.” He said: “It reached me that you give the single worker from your workers three-hundred dirhams.” He said: “Yes.” He asked: “Why is that?” He replied: “I wished to enrich them above treachery.” He said: “You, Commander of the Faithful, are more deserving of that.” He then extended his arm, saying: “Ibn Abi Zakariyya, this grew from booty, and I shall never return to it any element of it.”  Sirat `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz, Ibn `Abd al-Hakam (15/54). Purity in Poetry and Proverbs
❖ A bedouin said: “the honour of purity is more prestigious than the happiness brought about from a benefit.”  al-Amali, al-Qali (2/167).
❖ The poet said:
“I purify myself from harmful speech and vulgarity;
I most certainly lean towards Islam and peace.
My intellect, religion, and bashfulness refrain me
From ignorance; I absolve others from their wrongs.
How far is my state to yours in terms of desire;
Each bowl overflows with that which it holds.”  al-Daw’ al-Lami`, al-Sakhawi (4/310-311).