Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Sincerity towards Allaah – Ibn Taymiyyah
All praises due to Allaah, the most high, we praise him and seek his assistance. We ask him for his forgiveness and take refuge in him from the evil within ourselves and from the evil of our deeds. I bear witness that there is no God but Allaah the most merciful, alone, he has no partner and I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and last messenger, may blessings and peace be on him and on his family and on his companions.
As salaamu aleykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu.
ikhlaas = sincerity…..something we all find difficult.
Amir al-Mu’mineen Abu Hafs ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, radiya’llahu ‘anhu, said, “I heard the Messenger of Allaah, may Allaah bless him and grant him peace, saying, ‘Actions are only by intentions, and every man has only that which he intended…..1
Imam Ash shafiee said that this hadith is a third of all knowledge. Therefore how great is the intention, how important is the intention and what will become of our actions when it has departed from us. When a person perfects and purifies his intention then naturally his actions become sincere , as for a person whose hearts incline towards and are overwhelmed by worldly matters, they find this difficult to accomplish and even obligatory actions prove to soon become difficult and tiresome.
Be wary O muslims that your sincerity towards your Lord is unsafe from impurities..so renew your intention again and again and again. Remember who you stand before in salaat, acknowledge that the all hearing, the all seeing Lord knows all that we harbour in our defective hearts and be certain that Allaah is all aware of what you do. Often the stresses of our daily lives follow us around constantly….ever had that bothersome problem that occupies your thoughts endlessly sometimes even finding your mind drifting over this matter throughout the duration of your salaat. What is wrong with us, where has our logic and knowledge disappeared too…Allahaul musta’an have we forgotten who are Lord is.
Indeed if we contemplated over our Lord and his beautiful attributes more frequently and if we ascertained his ability then surely we would find ourselves most absorbed and concentrated and in a mixture of hope and fear. Indeed the most astute of the slave of the most merciful would forget his problems and issues as they would have realized that only Allaah is able to solve their problems thus logically they would focus all their attention onto him.
Let us not find ourselves amongst the ignorant and ungrateful, lest all of our efforts be nullified and oh what a sorry state we shall find ourselves in on that the day where all souls shall be gathered and examined for what they used to do.
As Allaah says in the quran:
‘And something will come to them from Allaah which they had never anticipated, for the evil of their deeds will become apparent to them. 2
‘Shall We tell you who will lose most in respect of their deeds? Those whose efforts were astray in the life of this world, while they thought that they were doing good works.’ 3
By Allaah if that ayaat does not make you think or create a shiver in your heart then certainly some evaluation of yourself on your part is due.
When this worship is contaminated with any intention of showing off or seeking a good reputation, it becomes invalid and its reward is lost.As someone said it is much harder for the people to purify their intentions than to execute any of their actions. In order to be truly sincere one has to give up the worldly desires and devote himself to the love of his Lord. He has to contemplate on the next world that is to come and this would leave no place in his heart for the love of this world.
The Sahabah, the best generation of this ummah, were afraid of being insincere and hypocrites. Imam Bukhari mentioned on the authority of Abu Maleeka that he said: ‘ I met thirty of the companions of Muhammed (peace and blessing of Allaah be upon him), every one of them fears for himself from hypocrisy. So ask yourself how sincere are my actions of worship. We must evaluate our actions to make sure that they are sincerely for the sake of Allaah (swt).
May Allaah, exalted is he, make us amongst those whose actions are sincerely for his sake. Aameen.
[Inspired and some taken from "the purification of the soul" complied from the works of Ibn rajab, Ibn al qayyim and Abu hamid al-ghazali]. May Allaah be pleased with them all.
All things correct are from Allaah and all errors are from myself and shaytaan. wAllaahu ta’ala ‘Alam.