يسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والحمدلله لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين
In the name of God, the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate.
All praise and thanks be to God, and may peace and blessings be upon the most noble of Prophets and Messenger.
Sincerity in all we do is a commandment of Allah:
“Say, ‘Indeed my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded and I am the first among you of the Muslims.‘” -Surah al-An-aam ayat 162-163
“And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, sincere to Him in religion, inclining towards truth and to establish the prayer and to give Zakah. That is the correct Deen.” Surah Bayyinah ayah 5
Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjaani (may Allah have Mercy on him) defined Ikhlas as “not seeking any audience for your deeds other than Allah.”
Ikhlas is to make drawing closer to Allah one’s only goal in an act of worship, without seeking a worldly benefit or to tell people.
We’re warned throughout the Qur’an and Sunnah to have sincerity in the Tawheed (oneness) of Allah, sincerity in our intentions, sincerity in our Tawakkul (placing of trust and reliance) in Allah, sincerity in our worship (i.e. salah, sujood, du’a, siyaam/fasting, Hajj, zakah, sadaqah, tawba, recitation of al-Qur’an, etc.) and sincerity in all our actions and words.
Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (may Allah have Mercy on him) addressed his students on one occasion about Surah al-Mulk ayah 2 that means: “He who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deed.” Noting that “It is those deeds which are most correct and most sincere. If a deed is done sincerely, yet is not done correctly, it will not be accepted. And if a deed is done correctly, but not sincerely for Allah, it will not be accepted. It must be done sincerely (for Allah alone) and correctly (in accordance to the Sunnah).
THREE ANTAGONISTS OF IKHLAS TO BE AWARE OF! – Riyaa, Sum’ah and ‘Ujb.
i.) Riya’ (ostentation/pretension/boast) is to perform an act of worship to show off to people; seeking their praise or some other vanity. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) called Riya’ the lesser Shirk (polytheism).
ii.) Sum’ah is to speak good for the sake of people’s compliments or praise, or the desire to be heard.
iii.) ‘Ujb (conceitedness/arrogance/narcissism) is a situation where one becomes impressed with his/her self for the good deeds they’ve done.
Let us all insha’Allah take a moment to ponder on these three antagonists and make sure that we are not victim to them in any of our daily actions insha’Allah.
“Actions are but by intentions and every man shall have only that which he intended. Thus he whose migration (Hijrah to Madeenah from Makkah) was for Allaah and His Messenger, his migration was for Allaah and His Messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated.” Narrated by Imaam al-Bukhari (Hadeeth No. 1) and Muslim (Hadeeth No. 1907).
The acceptance and correctness of any action depends upon the intention behind it. Indeed, the Prophet (pbuh) has narrated from Allah that if a person performs an act for Allah’s sake and also for the sake of someone else, then Allah will reject the deed entirely and leave the whole of it for the partner that the person made.
Ibn al-Mubarak (may Allah have Mercy on him) said: “Perhaps a great deed is belittled by an intention. And perhaps a small deed, by a sincere intention, is made great.”
May Allah, Mighty and Exalted is He above having any partner, equal or opponent, make us all among His mukhliseen (sincere slaves) and keep us aware and resistant of those diseases that corrupt our righteous actions and convert them to arguments against us on the Day of Accounting. Ameen.
Ya’qub al-Makfuf (may Allah have Mercy on him) would say: “The sincere one is he who hides his good deeds in the same way that he would hide his bad.”
Anything good I have said is from Allah SWT and anything bad is from me.