How to attain Sincerity (Ikhlaas)

Sincerity to Allaah cannot be accomplished without knowledge. Knowledge is the first step for building character and personality. When a Muslim acquires knowledge he becomes capable to recognize how he should be devoted to Allaah. Sincerity means having no other goal in ones life other than pleasing Allaah. Sincerity, is achieved when Muslims have the intention to please Allaah in all their endeavours whether in speech or action.

The Muslim seeks generous rewards from Allaah without considering any other motive. He or she does not try to gain worldly favours in terms of self promotion or personal interests. In this way, the Muslim will always serve Allaah and submit to Him, rather than being subservient to short term benefits. In order to avoid losing the rewards of our deeds, we should pay attention to our hearts in three stages:

First: Before starting to do anything, ask yourself, am I doing this to please Allaah and to seek His Forgiveness and reward? Or am I doing it to impress people and seek their praise? If you have any doubt about the sincerity of that task, then you should renew your intention and free it from anything that would interfere with sincerity. On the other hand, if it is sincere, you will feel ease and comfort deep in your heart, and therefore you should go ahead with that task with full confidence. Second, While still engaged in a given task, a person may encounter interference from his vain desires or Shaytan.

One may like to be seen while engaged in that task. There is nothing wrong with people seeing you while doing a task for the sake of Allaah. But if love of publicity and praise dominates ones actions, then there is cause for concern because this may lead to the rejection of that deed by Allaah. A good indication of sincerity is the similarity of a persons behavior in the presence of people and in there absence. Third, after completing an assignment or a job, do not continue to boast about your role in it.

This feeling becomes particularly obvious if someone wrongs you or someone is chosen for a position you were seeking and you resort to hurting by defaming him. This cause of action destroys your good deeds and will turn out to be detrimental to you. Signs of sincerity Here are some criteria that indicate to us weather we are on the right track to sincerity and pleasure of Allah Almighty.

-To have good intentions before starting a task.

-Our foul habits are changed by acts of worship.

-To perfect One's duty in private and in public.

-To dislike been praised by others, with Duaa, Oh Allah, forgive me for what they do not know about me,and make me better than what they think of me

-To welcome advise from friends. -To not seek leadership and not nominate yourself for position of authority. -To be constantly mindful of One's shortcoming and to advise or wish orders well.

-To feel that your contribution is minimal compare to others.

-To love performing the fajr, Ishaa and night prayers.

-To prefer giving charity in secret. These are some of the signs of sincerity (ikhlaas). We therefore have to exert ourselves to achieve sincerity because it is a great loss to work hard and end up losing everything. Does Feeling Happy after Doing Good Weaken Ikhlaas? In the Quran aswell asthe Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sollam) we are constantly encouraged to offer as many good deeds as we can. Shaytan, expectedly, will never let us feel the joy of these good deeds. Before offering the deed, Shaytan spares no pain in trying to weaken our morale so as to prevent us from doing such a deed by which one draws nearer to Allah having offered the good deed, we are subject to a new phase of whisperings and temptations from Shaytan.

This occurs when Shaytan tries to put in our mind that we have done that deed out of love for peoples praise and in order to be known among them as a person of righteousness. In this case, a Muslim should ward off all these whisperings and never lend an ear to Shaytan. Feeling joyous after offering a good deed is something natural. Allaah says:"Say: In the bounty of Allaah and in His mercy: therein let them rejoice. It is better. than what they hoard. "(Q10[Yunus]: 58)

The verse signifies that when something good occurs and when guidance is attained. happiness arid prosperity will consequently be achieved. In this sense. the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) says:"When you feel happy by offering a good deed and sad for committing an evil deed. then you are a true believer." Also. when a person receives praise for a good deed he has offered. this is a form of glad tidings given to him. It is an evidence of Allaahs love for that person. Once, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was asked about a man who offers a good deed which earns him people praise, he said: "This is the near glad tidings given to a believer. (Muslim)

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that a man came to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and said: "What about a man who offers a good deed in secret, and feels joy for offering it when he sees its effect on people?" The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) answered: "He will have double reward. one for the charitable deed done in secret and another for the good result of the deed." A truthful sincere person always accuses himself of being insincere and of being negligent.

Such a truthful person never feels conceited nor haughty; rather he always thinks of himself as still in need of more sincerity to have his deed accepted by his Lord. The place of Taqwa (piety and devotion) is the heart. It is for this that Allaah said: "... it surely is from devotion of the hearts." (Q22[AIHajj]:32)

Aishah (RA) the mother of them faithful, once asked the Prophet (sallalaahu alayhi wa sallam) about those people who are referred to in the verse: "And those who give that which they give with hearts afraid because they are about to return unto their Lord." (Al-Muminun: 60) He answered: "It refers to those people who perform prayer, fast and give charity and have genuine fear that this will not be accepted from them." Then, he recited: "These race for the good things, and they shall wfn them in the race." (Q23[A1-Muminun1: 61)

We now have a good and clear conception as to the meaning of Ikhlaas. This Ikhlaas which is a feeling in the heart should be present in all our actions, prayer, zakah, fasting, dhikr until even the smallest of actions such as picking something harmful off the road or smiling to another Muslim brother.


 This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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