Every act of worship has a double dimension, the outer, physical act and the inner state of the heart.
In Salaah the outer, physical actions are the Qiyaam (Standing position), Ruku’ (Bowing), Sajdah (Prostration) etc. while the inner dimension of the Salaah is the Khushoo’ (Concentration), Khudhu’ (Humility) and Ikhlaas (Sincerity). In the act of giving Zakat there is the outer action of giving the money to the recipient and then there is the inner action of making an intention of giving the Zakat solely for the pleasure of Allah ta’ala.
For any deed to be accepted it is necessary for both the outer and the inner to be correct. It is similar to a clock with its dials and inner machinery. Both are necessary for the time to be displayed. If the dials are beautifully decorated with jewels while the inner machinery is defective or if the inner machinery is of a high quality while the dials are defective, the time will not be displayed.
One can rectify the outer actions by consultation with an expert i.e. a qualified Scholar of jurisprudence. For the inner self to be rectified and purified (which is more difficult) i.e. to remove pride and develop humility, to remove greed and develop generosity, one needs to consult with a qualified Shaykh of Tasawwuf.
This in essence, is the path of Sulook or Tazkiyah, the path of purification of the heart.
From the Majlis of Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat