Ikhlaas is an Arabic word for sincerity. There is a Surah (chapter), Number
112, named "Ikhlaas" in the Qur'an. It is also called "Tawhid."
meaning of sincerity is that what the person says and his/her deeds and actions
should be for the sake of Allah (SWT) and not to show to the people or to be
proud of himself or herself with them. Acceptance of deeds depends on sincerity.
Sincerity to Allah (SWT) is a sign of the completeness of faith. Allah (SWT)
looks into the heart and what is in it from intentions, not to the appearance or
the shape of the deeds.
has invited us to sincerity and persuades us to live within it.
Prophet (SAS) was asked: "Which of the three persons carries on Jihad, one who
fights for bravery and courage, one who fights tribalism or nationalism, or one
who fights to be seen or to show off?"
Prophet (SAS) replied: "The one who fights to uphold the message of Allah is the
person who carries on Jihad in the cause of Allah."
deeds, which the Muslims do, are not considered good unless they are done with
good intentions and for the sake of Allah (SWT). Only sincere people have the
moral courage to criticize the leaders when they do wrong things. The following
two examples illustrate this.
EARLY ISLAMIC HISTORY
(1).When Abi bin Ka'b (RA) recited the Quranic verse no. 110 in Surah 5, Al-Ma'idah,
infront of other Sahaba including Hadrat Umar bin Khattab (RA), the Second
711 CE Al-Walid was the Khalifa. In that year Al-Tariq conquered southern Spain
and Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the present day Pakistan.
In 717 -718 CE, in one of the battles that the Muslims waged against the Romans(Byzantine Forces or Eastern Roman forces), the Muslims – under the commandment of Maslamah bin Abdul Malik(rahimahullaah) – surrounded a city(Edirne in Turkey) that had a tall and well-fortified wall. The siege went on for months. Then one night, one of the Muslim soldiers came to General Maslamah and told him of a hole that he had accomplished to bore through the wall. “It is only large enough for a slim soldier.” He knelt closer. “Quickly, send with me someone who can squeeze through and fight the army on the inside until he has opened the gates for all of us to enter.” Maslamah sent out the news, and that night someone volunteered. In a sweeping assault, the gate was opened and the Muslims were victorious. Maslamah, overwhelmed with happiness, sent out the word that the soldier that entered the hole should come forward. No one showed. A day passed and the request was repeated. Another day, then another. No one arrived to take credit. On the fourth day, a soldier approached Maslamah, his face wrapped in a scarf. He said to him, “I have news of the soldier that entered the hole.” Maslamah got excited and sat up sharp, “Tell me who it is?” “First, however,” said the soldier, “he has three conditions before exposing himself.
you agree to this?” “Of course,” Maslamah said.
“The first is that you do not try to compensate him for what he did( that is no reward).
The second is that you do not tell anyone who he is ( that is no publicity or fame).
the third is that you shall not ask for his presence ever again.
Do you agree to these conditions?”
“It is agreed,” Maslamah said.
The soldier, uncovering his scarf, said, “It is I. I went through that hole only for the sake of Allah.”
turning, he walked away. After that day, Maslamah was often heard praying to
Allah, “O Allah, (on the Day of Resurrection-Qiyamah) grant me companionship
with the soldier of the hole.”
ingredient that we all need to work on throughout our lives as Muslims is
Ikhlaas (sincerity). Sincerity in all we do is a commandment of Allah:
"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 6: 162,163
they were not commanded except to worship Allah, sincere to Him in religion,
inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give Zakah. That is the
correct Deen." Surah Bayyinah, 98:5. In defining Ikhlaas, Al-Jurjaani
– rahimahullaah - said that it is not to seek any audience for your deeds other
than Allah. When one looks over the text of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, they will
come to the realization that Allah Ta'aala and His Messenger – (sal Allahu
alayhi wa Sallam)– speak about sincerity in different aspects: Sincerity in
Tawheed of Allah and sincerity in our intentions. Sincerity in our worship,
such as in Salah, Sujood, Fasting, standing in Ramadan, standing in the night of
Qadr, sincere love for the Masjid, Zakah, Sadaqah, Hajj, Jihaad, repentance,
supplications, recitation of the Qur’aan, and so much more. The Qur'aan and
Sunnah speak about sincerity in all our verbal statements, sincerity in our
refined and upright Akhlaaq (character), sincerity in our Tawakkul (placing of
our trust) in Allah, and sincerity in all of our actions. Commenting on the
verse: He who created death and life to test you (as to) which of you is best in
deed, Surah Al-Mulk, 67:2.
deed must be done both sincerely and correctly-sincerely, as in for the sake of
Allah alone; and correctly, as in accordance with the Sunnah."
whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and
not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone." Surah al-Kahf, 18:
Ikhlaas one will be saved from Hellfire and granted a lofty position in Jannah.
Bukhari and Muslim reported that the messenger, Rasoolallah (S.A.W.) said:
"Three men were on a journey when they were overtaken by a sand storm and
therefore they took shelter in a cave. A rock slipped down from the mountain and
blocked the entrance and hence nobody could exit from the cave. One of them
said: "The only way for deliverance left is to beseech Allah(SWT) in the name
of some virtuous deed."
Thereupon one of them supplicated(made Du'a), "O Lord, my parents were very old,
I used to offer them their nightly drink of milk before(infront of) my children
and the other members of the family. One day I went astray far away in search of
green trees and could return only after my parent had gone to sleep. When I had
milked the animals and brought their nightly drink to them, They were fast
asleep, but I did not like to disturb them, nor would give any part of the milk
to my children and other members of the family till after my parents had their
drink. Thus, with the milk vessel in hand, I awaited for their awakening, all
night till the flash of dawn, while the children cried out of hunger at my feet.
When my parents woke up, they had their drink. O Lord, if I did this thing only
to seek your pleasure, then do relieve us of the distress wrought upon us by
Thereupon, The rock moved a little but that not enough to let them pass out.
the second man supplicated (made Du'a): " O Lord, I had a cousin whom I loved
her more passionately than anyone who loves a woman. I tried to seduce her but
she would have none of me (this is she refused his advances), till in a season
of great hardship due to famine, she approached me (for help) and I gave her one
hundred and twenty Dinars (gold coins) on condition that she would have sexual
intercourse with me. She agreed, and when we got together and I was just going
to have intercourse with her, she pleaded: "Fear Allah, and do not break the
seal (hymen) unlawfully": whereupon I moved away from her, despite the fact that
I desired her most passionately; and I let her keep the money that I had given
her. O Lord, if I did this thing seeking only your pleasure, then do move the
distress in which we find ourselves."
Again the rock moved a little but not enough to let them pass out.
Then the third supplicated (made Du'a): "O Lord, I hired some laborers and paid them their dues, but one of them left leaving behind what was due to him. That is he did not take the wages, which were due to him. I invested it (his wages) in business and the business prospered greatly."
a lapse of some time, the laborer came back and said: "O servant of Allah, hand
over to me my wages. I said to him: All that you see is yours: the Camels, the
cattle, the goats and the slaves,"
He said: "Don't play joke with me, O servant of Allah"
I assured him: "I am mot joking".
took all of it sparing nothing. "O Lord, If I did this seeking only for Your
pleasure, do relieve us of our distress."
rock then moved away, and all the three came out of the cave safe and sound."
Sincerity is a topic that is not only key to Islam, but it is also a subject
that the Western philosophers have pondered for centuries. The English have a
saying that goes to the effect of: To hunt with the lantern of Diogenes.
Diogenes was a Cynic Greek philosopher of Sinope, who lived about 320 years
before Prophet Isa – alayhis salam. He believed there was no honesty or sincerity
– no Ikhlaas – in any human being. To vividly prove his point, he
was said to have walked in the streets of Corinth in broad daylight with a
lighted lantern looking for a sincere man. From here the English coined
the term to hunt with the lantern of Diogenes when speaking of a group of
people whose sincerity is extremely absent. Diogenes' father, Icesias, a banker,
was convicted of debasing the public coin, and was obliged to leave the country;
or, according to another account, his father and himself were charged with this
offense, and the former was thrown into prison, while the son escaped and went
to Athens. Here he attached himself, as a disciple, to Antisthenes, who was at
the head of the Cynics.
Renouncing every other object of ambition, he distinguished himself by his contempt of riches and honors and by his invectives against luxury. Diogenes reputedly lived in a barrel and owned nothing but a cloak, a stick, and a bread bag. (So it wasn't easy to steal his happiness from him!) The Cynics believed that people did not need to be concerned about their own health. Even suffering and death should not disturb them. Nor should they let themselves be tormented by concern for other people's woes. He wore a coarse cloak, carried a wallet and a staff, made the porticoes and other public places his habitation, and depended upon casual contributions for his daily bread. He asked a friend to procure him a cell to live in; when there was a delay, he took up abode in a pithos, or large tub, in the Metroum.
cannot be doubted, however, that Diogenes practiced self-control and a most
rigid abstinence -- exposing himself to the utmost extremes of heat and cold and
living upon the simplest diet, casually supplied by the hand of charity. In his
old age, sailing to Aegina, he was taken by pirates and carried to Crete, where
he was exposed to sale in the public market. When the auctioneer asked him what
he could do, he said, "I can govern men; therefore sell me to one who wants a
master." Xeniades, a wealthy Corinthian, happening at that instant to pass by,
was struck with the singularity of his reply and purchased him. On their arrival
at Corinth, Xeniades gave him his freedom and committed to him the education of
his children and the direction of his domestic concerns. Diogenes executed this
trust with so much judgment and fidelity that Xeniades used to say that the gods
had sent a good genius to his house.
During his residence at Corinth, an interview between him and
Alexander is said to have taken place. Plutarch relates that Alexander, when at
Corinth, receiving the congratulations of all ranks on being appointed to
command the army of the Greeks against the Persians, missed Diogenes among the
number, with whose character he was acquainted. Curious to see the one, who
exhibited such haughty independence of spirit, Alexander went in search of him
and found him sitting in his tub in the sun. "I am Alexander the Great," said
the monarch. "And I am Diogenes the Cynic, "replied the philosopher. Alexander
then requested that he would inform him what service he could render him. "Stand
from between me and the sun," said the Cynic. Alexander, struck with the reply,
said to his friends, who were ridiculing the whimsical singularity of the
philosopher, " Alexander is reported to have said, "Had I not been Alexander, I
should have liked to be Diogenes." As it turned out, both Diogenes and Alexander
died on the same day in 323 B.C. Alexander was 33 and Diogenes was 90. Diogenes
left behind him no system of philosophy. After the example of his school, he was
more attentive to practical than to theoretical wisdom.
Indeed insincerity in our actions is something very dangerous and can
lead a person to ruin.
Masood –( radi Allahu ‘anhu) – would advise his students, “If your intention is
one of these three, do not seek knowledge: To shame the ignorant, or to argue
with the Fuqahaa’, or to cause people to turn their faces in your direction.
Intend with your actions and words that which is with Allah, for indeed that
which is with Allah shall remain and everything else shall perish.
”In conclusion, Ibn Al-Qayyim –( rahimahullaah) – said, “Deeds without sincerity are like a traveler who carries in his water-jug dirt. The carrying of it burdens him and it brings no benefit.”
May Allah Ta'aala 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.
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