Ikhlas lillah- Sincerity-Introduction:During the time of Musa (a.s), there was a pious man, who used to pray day andnight. One day some people came and told him that there was a garden where atree was being worshipped by a group of people. On hearing this, the pious manpicked up an axe and went with the intention to cut that tree. Shaitan came tohim in a form of old man and asked him what he was doing when he told himhis intention shaitan said:"What have you to do with it? If Allah wished the treeto be cut, he would have sent his Prophet to do it."The two went on arguing and quarrelling till they came to blows. The manmanaged to knock the Shaitan and was about to kill him. The Shaitan beggedhim for pardon and release saying, "Let me suggest you one thing which wouldhelp you in this world as well as in the next world. I shall pay you two dinarsevery day. You can pay partly to the poor and partly spend for your own self.Leave this tree uncut till Allah commanded whether it was right or wrong to cutit."The pious man was misled by the Shaitan and he agreed. On the second day,he saw two dinars under his pillow. He was delighted with the money and spentsome on the poor. But on the following day, he did not see the money again asexpected, so he again took over his axe and came at that tree. Shaitan askedhim the same question as why he wanted to cut that tree. When he answeredShaitan told him that he had no power to do it so it was better he went backhome. He did not agree and again they fought. This time the Satan succeeded inoverpowering the pious man and knocked him down on the floor.The pious man was surprised at this and asked Satan why it so happened thathe could not overpower him this time. The Satan replied: "Whoever does a gooddeed purely for the pleasure of Allah, no one can face him but if he does it withan aim of worldly gain, then he loses strength and stands to fail."It was the change in his intention which made the pious man overcome byshaitan.
. The ingredient that we all need to work on throughout our lives as Muslims isikhlaas (sincerity); in sha Allah, that shall be our topic for todaySincerity has been interpreted as being upright, sincere, truthful, pure, distantfrom show and ostentation in ones intention and conduct, and being away ofthe things that cloud or foul ones heart.“Ikhlas means purging actions of all impurities.” And the ‘impurities’ meandesire to please oneself and other creatures.Sincerity can rightly be called the life and soul of the entire moral edifice ofIslam. If the action lacks sincerity however dignified or pious it may be it will notfetch any reward from Allah.In defining ikhlaas, Al-Jurjaani rahimahullah said that it is to not seek anyaudience for your deeds other than Allah.Sincerity in all we do is a commandment of Allah.ُ ۡ قُ ۡ إِ ۡ صَلتِى ونسكِى ومحۡاىَۡ ومماتِى ِ ۡ ر ۡ ٱلع ٰـلَمِينَۡ (١٦٢) َ ۡ شري ۡ لَ ۡ ۥ ۡ وبذٲلِ ۡ أُمِرتُۡ وأَنۡ أَو َ َا ل ل َ ِ ك ه ۖ َ َِ ك َ ُ َ َ َ ُ ُ َ َ ي َ َ َ لِلِ َ ب َ ََ ل ن )٢٦١( َۡٱلمسلِمِين ُSay, “Indeed my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are forAllah, Lord of the worlds/ No partner has He. And this I have been commandedand I am the first [among you] of the Muslims” )An‘aam 6/162-163).)٢١( َۡقُ ۡ إِن ۡ أُمِرتُۡ أَ ۡ أَعبدَۡ ۡ مخلِصا ل ۡ ٱلدينَۡ (٢٢) وأُمِرتُۡ ِِلَ ۡ أَكونَۡ أَو ۡ َ ٱلمسلِمِين ُ ل ُ ن َ ُ ه ُ ن ُ ٱلِل َ ل ى“Say: ‘Verily, I am commanded to serve Allaah with sincere devotion; and I amcommanded to be the first of those who bow to Allaah in Islaam.” (Az-Zumar:11-12) Prophet (s.a.w) said : ِّ َ َ ْ َال " إ َِّنما األعم ُ بِالنيَّاتِ، وإ َِّنما لِك ُِّ امرِ ُ ما نوى ََ َ َ َ ل ْ ئ
“Surely, all actions are but driven by intentions and verily, every man shall havebut that which he intended.”. Actions are acceptable when they are done to please Allah and according tothe sunnah of the Prophet(s.a.w)The beauty here is that this hadith can referto any action, no matter how simple. So for example, even washing the dishes,with the intention of pleasing Allah by looking after our families, can earn usreward.Sincerity in every aspect of life-- When we look over the text of the Qur’an and Sunnah, we will come to the realization that Allah (s.w.t) and His Messenger sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam speak about sincerity in different aspects: Allah (s.w.t) says in the Quran: ِ ۡ َة ِ َ َ َۚ ُ وا َ ٰ ة َ ۡ ُوا َ َ ٰ ة ُ َ َ ا ِ ُ ا ّل ۡ ُوا ٱّلل ُ ۡ ِ ه ٓ ومٓ أُمروٓ إِ َ ٓ لِيَعبُد ٓ ََٓ مخلِصينَٓ لَ ُٓ ٱلدِّينَٓ حنَفَاءَٓ ويُقِيم ٓ ٱلصلَو َٓ ويُؤت ٓ ٱلزكو َٓ ٓ وذٲلِكَٓ دينُٓ ٱلقَيِّم98:5 And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah,offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer;and to practise regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight.-(surah al – bayyinah) From ahadith we learn that sincerity is required in every aspect of life-• Sincerity in Tawheed of Allah•in our Intentions ,• in our Worship (salah, sujood, fasting, standing in Ramadan, standing in thenight of Qadr) ,•in love for the masjid, zakah, sadaqah, Hajj, jihaad, repentance, supplications,recitation of the Qur’an, and so much more
The Quran and Sunnah speak about:• Sincerity in all our verbal statements ,akhlaaq,tawakul (having trust in Allah))in short in all actions of heart as well as the limbs.Allah says, "Their flesh and blood dies not reach Allah but your fear of Him(tawqa) does reach Him." (22:37)Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "It means that your intentionsreach Him."Benefits of sincerity-With ikhlaas we can be saved from misguidance as Yusuf alayhis salaam wassaved. Hear Allah’s words:لَو َ ۡ أَن رءا بره ٰـنَۡ ربهِۦ ۡ ڪذٲلِ ۡ لِنصرفَۡ عن ۡ ٱلسوءَۡ وٱلفحشاءَۡ ۡ إِن ۡ ۥ م ۡ عبادنا َ ِ َ ِ َ ه ُّ َ َ َ ۖ ه ِن ُ ُ ِ َ َ ُ َ َ ۖ ََ ك َ ل١٢( َۡ)ٱل ۡخلَصِ ين م ُAnd thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, hewas of Our mukhlaseen servants (Yusuf 12/24)the Prophet said, describing the luckiest person who will have hisintercession on the Day of Resurrection: "The one who said, ‘Laa ilaaha illaAllaah (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah)’ sincerely from hisheart." [Al-BukhaariWith ikhlaas, the books can be turned in our favor in the last minutes of ourlives just as what happened to the man that murdered 99 men. Allah saved himin the end because of his sincerity in repentance.
With ikhlaas one will be saved from Hellfire and granted a lofty position inJannahMoreover, a small amount of sincere work can be a cause for attaining thesatisfaction of Allah The Almighty as in the Hadeeth of the Prophet in whichhe said:“Fear the Fire, even if by giving half a date (in charity).” [Al-Bukhaari]Omar Ibn Al-Khattab says: (Whoever is sincere in his intention, Allah eliminatesall the troubles/issues between himself and people). Ref: Az-Zuhd, Hannad IbnWho is the sincere one-Ya’qoob Al-Makfoof rahimahullah used to say, “The sincere one is he who hideshis good deeds in the same way that he would hide his bad.”From the Seerah, Sa’ad ibn Waqqaas narrates:“… as for Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl (after the conquest of Makkah) while escaping bysea, a terrible storm befell them. The owners of the boat shouted, ‘At thismoment pray to only God and pray sincerely, for your gods cannot avail us inany way through salvation from this storm.’ Ikrimah said, ‘By Allah, if ikhlaascan only save me on the sea, then on land nothing but it can save me.’ )He thenraised his hands and pronounced(, ‘O Allah if you save me, you have upon mean oath that I shall not rest until I arrive at Muhammad sal Allaahu alayhi wasallam and place my hand in his.”He then came to RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam, became Muslim, andwas later martyred in jihaad.Lack of sincerity-
On one hand where sincerity is so important then on the other hand insincerityin our actions is something very dangerous and can lead a person to ruin. IbnMas’ood radi Allahu anhu would advise his students, “If your intention is to: Toshame the ignorant, to argue with the Fuqahaa’, or to cause people to turn theirfaces in your direction then do not seek knowledge. Intend with your actionsand words that which is with Allah, for indeed that which is with Allah shallremain and everything else shall perish.”Ibnul Qayyim rahimahullah said, “Deeds without sincerity are like a travelerwho carries dirt in his water-jug. The carrying of it burdens him and it brings nobenefit.”Conclusion:Today we talked about sincerity as the soul of our all actions. It is themovements of our body coinciding with our heart’s actions but if our body doessomething contrary to what is in our heart than that is not ikhlas, it is hypocrisywhich is the opposite of ikhlas. It is so important because it is the command ofAllah (s.wt) and prerequisite of all our ibadaat. A sincere person gets greatreward even for his intentions and a person who is insincere will be depriveddespite all his action that he did with insincerity. Everything that is loved - if it isnot loved for His sake then this love is nothing but distress and punishment.Every action that is not performed for the sake of Allah is wasted and severed.We should expect all rewards from Allah (s.w.t) because- Allah (s.w.t) says inQuran ّل َ َر َّ ۡ ُوم)١٢( ٍ۬ وإِن من شى ٍ۬ إِ ٍَّ۬ عندنَا خزآٮنهٍُ۬ۥ وما ننزلُهٍُ۬ۥۤ إِ ٍَّ۬ بِقد ٍ۬ معل ِ َُ َ َ ُِ َ َ َ ِ َ ۡ ء ّل ِ َ"There is not a single thing except that its depositories and treasures arewith Us." [Al-Hijr (15): 21)How to attain sincerity:
We should make dua to Allah (s.w.t) to give us the treasure of sincerity. Al-Imam Ahmad said: "Before you do anything, check your intention (niyyah) - ask yourself before performing an action: "Is it for the sake of Allah?" We should look at our actions are they same in private and public or not. After completing a job and assignment we should see do we boast about our role in it or we expect reward from Allah (s.w.t)- if we have good intentions before starting a task.- our Habits are changed by acts of worshipwe perfect our duty in private and in public.- we dislike being praised by others, and we make dua Du`aa: “O Allaah, forgiveme for what they do not know about me, and make me better than what theythink of me.”- we welcome advice from friends.- we do not not seek leadership and not nominate ourselves for positions ofauthority.- we are constantly mindful of one’s shortcomings, and to advise or wish otherswell.- we feel that our contribution is minimal compared to others.-we love performing the Fajr, Ishaa’, and night prayers.and prefer giving charity in secret. We conceal our good deeds from others.Then we are good to go inshaAllah These were some of the criterias that indicate to us whether we are on the righttrack to sincerity and the pleasure of Allaah Almighty or not-We should always focus on our actions of the limbs as well as the heart—Themoment we thought we are sincere that is the point we will lose it. We should
always fear for our intentions and renew them as we check our facebookaccount every now and then I implore Allaah Almighty to make us among the sincere, who are mindful ofAllaah without others knowing about it. ۡ ۡجزاكمۡهللاۡخيرن