Again, from these Traditions it appears as if forgiveness of sin had no connexion with purification of heart, so that, even although a man's heart has not been changed and has not been rendered pure, and though he still cherishes in his heart evil desires and bad passions, yet, through repeating the fixed prayers and reciting the Qur'an and visiting saints' tombs, his sins will be forgiven. But it is evident that remission of sins and eternal salvation have not been obtained by a man, nor has he become acceptable to God, unless his heart has been purified and drawn away from sin and inclined to delight in and perform the holy will of God. For the man who keeps in his heart, as he used to do, the love of sin, and whose heart and spirit are full of vileness, will certainly not be accepted by God who is the holy one. And if we suppose that an impure man could approach God's pure presence, then nearness to God would to him, through the impurity of his heart, become the very torment of hell. Hence it is necessary that remission of sin should be obtained by means which will in the process render man's heart pure, and by reason of which he will gain such a character and inclination as to render sin, vile and hateful in his sight and keep him from yielding to it. Therefore the man who has obtained forgiveness of sin must beware lest he should love it once more or should again give a place in his heart to evil thoughts and desires.


On the contrary, he should with all his heart desire what is good and with all his might strive to fulfil God's holy will. Accordingly we see that those methods which do not accomplish such a change of character, and do not turn a man away from sin, and do not draw him to God, and do not cleanse his heart, cannot bring about the pardon of sin. And, since a man's heart cannot possibly be cleansed and purified and his inward part completely changed and freed from evil by means of washings and purifications and reciting the fixed prayers and reading the Qur'an aloud, therefore it is clear and perfectly certain that forgiveness of sin is not to be gained by such means as these.

Although the Traditions which we have quoted above seem quite clearly contrary to this conclusion, yet what we have said is evidently in accordance with reason and conscience. And that change of heart and mind is necessary before a sinner can enter paradise is taught in certain Traditions also. For instance, Imam Muslim, in his book of Traditions, says 1 that Muhammad said, 'He in whose heart is an atom's weight of pride shall not enter paradise'; and, 'There is no slave whose master has desired him to tend a flock, and who dies while he is dealing deceitfully with his flock, to whom God has not forbidden paradise.' Similarly al-Ghazali relates 2 the following saying of Muhammad

1 Vol. i, pp. 172 and 211.  
2 Ihya ' Ulumi'd-Din, part iii, pp. 127, 253, 342.