Please Allah Alone ~ Develop Ikhlaas (Sincerity) in your Heart
Adapted from a Majlis of Moulana Naeem Motala SB
وَمَآ أُمِرُوٓا۟ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ حُنَفَآءَ وَيُقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَيُؤْتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ ٱلْقَيِّمَةِ
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 practice regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight ~ Surah Bayyinah 98:5
An inspiring series of talks expounding on a vitally important aspect one should inculcate and build within oneself : Sincerity (Ikhlaas)
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Ingredients of Ikhlaas
Allah is well aware of what is in our hearts. There must not be a speck of insincerity in our heart. The nature of our intentions should be purely and solely for the pleasure of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. Ikhlaas means ‘to free something’ ~ Free your heart and free your intention from everybody else besides Allah. Any action we do must be pleasing to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala and Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and in conformity of the Shariah. The two important ingredients of any action performed are, adhering to the Sunnah and implementing Sincerity. The beginning of all actions is Sincerity (ikhlaas) …
Innamal a’malu binniyat ~ “Actions are dependent upon their Intentions”
عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّةِ وَإِنَّمَا لاِمْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَإِلَى رَسُولِهِ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَإِلَى رَسُولِهِ وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى دُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوِ امْرَأَةٍ يَنْكِحُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ “ .
On the authority of Omar bin Al-Khattab, who said : I heard the messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam say : “Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah 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.” ~ Related by Bukhari and Muslim
There is nothing in the Ahadith of the Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam that is as comprehensive, rich, and more beneficial than this Hadith. Imam Bukhari RA selected the first hadith, ‘Innamal a’malu binniyat’ of Sahih Bukhari Shareef as an introduction to the whole collection. It shows the sincerity of purpose of the author and also warns the reader that good and noble deeds inculcated by the Hadith found therein will only bear fruit if there is sincerity attached to their intentions and would be worthless if the motive is not sincere. Therefore, the one who is seeking (Taalib), the one who is listening or the one who is reading the book also corrects his intention solely for the pleasure of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.
An Analogy discussed >The roots of a tree are hidden beneath the soil. The presence of roots give rise to the sprouting of branches, leaves and fruit. If the roots are destroyed, the entire tree will decay and become decomposed and will not flourish. Similarly, the roots of the tree represent Ikhlaas … Ikhlaas is the root of all our deeds and actions (A’maal).
One must conceal one’s deeds (like the roots of a tree) to develop Ikhlaas. When Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala loves a person’s action (done with Ikhlaas) then He will bring it to the attention of people without the person striving for it through show (Riya). In Deen we require this Ikhfaa (concealment) and must hide our deeds, and not do things for show and ostentation. Do all your worship in private and conceal it like you would conceal sins.
However, there are also times when we have to perform deeds in public. The example given is of a person who is travelling, and the time for Salaah has set in. One is not going to to hide and read one’s Salaah. If one performs Salaah openly then disbelievers might see the beauty of Salaah and it will be an invitation towards Deen.
These deeds performed privately and in public (solely for the pleasure of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) together with Ikhlaas (the concealed ‘roots’) brings about the beauty of Islam.
Hadith highlighting the Importance of Sincerity
Hadith Qudsi 6 ~ On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) say: The first of people against whom judgment will be pronounced on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who died a martyr. He will be brought and Allah will make known to him His favours and he will recognize them. [ The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I fought for you until I died a martyr. He will say: You have lied – you did but fight that it might be said [of you]: He is courageous. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. [Another] will be a man who has studied [religious] knowledge and has taught it and who used to recite the Quran. He will be brought and Allah will make known to his His favours and he will recognize them. [The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I studied [religious] knowledge and I taught it and I recited the Quran for Your sake. He will say: You have lied – you did but study [religious] knowledge that it might be said [of you]: He is learned. And you recited the Quran that it might be said [of you]: He is a reciter. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. [Another] will be a man whom Allah had made rich and to whom He had given all kinds of wealth. He will be brought and Allah will make known to his His favours and he will recognize them. [The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I left no path [untrodden] in which You like money to be spent without spending in it for Your sake. He will say: You have lied – you did but do so that it might be said [of you]: He is open-handed. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. ~ Related by Muslim (also by at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasa’i)
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar Radiyallahu ‘anhuma narrates: I heard Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam saying: Three people (of an Ummah) before you, set out on a journey and they took refuge in a cave to spend the night. A rock slid from the mountain and blocked the cave. They said: Indeed you cannot be relieved from this rock, except that you invoke Allah on the basis of your good deeds. So one of them said: O Allah! I had very aged parents and I would not give milk to my children and other members of my family and slaves before my parents. One day I went far away in quest of something and I could not return to my parents before they had slept. I milked the evening milk for them and found that they were asleep. I disliked to give milk to my children and other members of my family and slaves to drink before them. So I stood by them, with the bowl of milk in my hand, waiting for them to wake up till it dawned. Then they woke up and they drank their evening’s share of the milk. O Allah! If I had done so to please You, relieve us from the distress imposed upon us by this rock. So the rock moved a little resulting in a small opening; but not enough for them to get out.
Nabi Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam then said that the second man said: O Allah! I had a cousin, whom I loved more than anybody. I desired to satisfy my lust with her, but she refused. Subsequently, a year of famine forced her to approach me. I gave her one hundred and twenty Dinars on the condition that she would yield herself to me. So she agreed and when I was able to get a hold on her she said: It is not permitted for you to break the seal of virginity except by its lawful right (that, is by marriage). I restrained myself from falling upon her and I walked away from her, though she was the most beloved of people to me, and I left the Dinars with her. O Allah! If I had done so to please You, then relieve us from the distress that we are suffering. So again the rock moved a little resulting in a small opening; but they were still unable to get out.
Nabi Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam then said that the third one invoked: O Allah! I hired the services of some labourers and paid all of them their wages except one, who departed without taking what was due to him. I invested his wage in a business and the business prospered immensely. He came back to me after a long time and said: O slave of Allah! Pay me my due. I replied: All that you see is yours: camels, cattle, sheep and slaves. He said: O slave of Allah! Do not make fun of me. So I said: I am not joking with you. So, he took all of it and drove away not leaving anything. O Allah! If I had done so, to please You, then relieve us from this distress. So the rock moved aside, and they got out walking freely. (Bukhari) ~ Volume 8, Book 73, Number 5 – Bukhari
Abu Sa’id Radiyallahu ‘anhu narrates that Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam came out from his house to us while we were talking about Dajjal. Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: Should I not tell you what causes me more fear for you than Dajjal? We replied: Certainly, yes. Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: Shirk-ul-Khafi (hidden polytheism), like a man who gets up to offer Salah and tries to improve his Salah because he sees someone looking at him. (Ibn Majah)
Note: Dajjal is the great Deceiver who will appear near the end of the world and will claim to be God and will be killed by ‘Isa alaihis Salam at his second arrival.
Key Topics and Further Discussions from the Lectures ~ The Necessity and Importance of Sincerity
• Amazing incidents depicting the Ikhlaas (sincerity) of : Hazrat Ali RA ~ Hazrat Abu Musa Al-‘Ash’aree RA ~ Imam Abu Hanifa RA ~ Ml Umar Paalanpuri RA ~ Shah Abdul Aziz RA ~ Ali bin Husain RA
• The way to acquire Sincerity
• Signs of Ostentation
• The smaller Shirk
”In conclusion, Ibn Al-Qayyim (Rahimahullaah) said, “Deeds without sincerity are like a traveler who carries ‘sand’ in his leather bag instead of provisions (food and drink). The carrying of it burdens him and it brings no benefit.”
May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala make us all to follow those, whose deeds are done in accordance with the Sunnah, deeds that are done sincerely for the sake of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.