Importance of Sincerity
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday Speech was delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, N. C., on December 25, 1987)
Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-An'am, (verse 162 and 163), what can be translated as, "Say (O Muhammad): "Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the world. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims."
Also Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-Bayyinah, (verse 5), what can be translated as, "And they have been commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone."
Islam has invited us to sincerity and persuades with in it. The meaning of sincerity is that what the person says and his deeds should be for the sake of Allah (S.W.T.) not to show the people or to be proud of himself with them.
Acceptance of deeds depends on sincerity. A man came to the prophet (S.A.W.) and said: O Messenger of Allah I do deeds for the sake of Allah and I like to show the people my position. The prophet (S.A.W.) did not answer till it was revealed (verse 110), in surat Al-khaf, what can be translated as, "Whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord"
Sincerity to Allah (S.W.A.) is a sign of the completeness of faith. Imams Abou Dawood and At-Termithi reported a good hadith that the messenger (S.A.W.) said: "Whoever loves for Allah, hates for Allah, gave for Allah and forbade for Allah, then he completed his faith."
Allah (S.W.T.) looks to the heart and what in it from intentions not to the appearance or the shape of the deeds. Imam Muslim reported that the messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: "Allah does not look to your bodies and appearances, but He looks to your hearts."
Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) 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?" He replied: "The one who fights to uphold the message of Allah is the person who carries on Jihad in the cause of Allah."
The deed which the Muslims does is not considered good unless it is due to good intention and for the sake of Allah (S.W.A.) Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Actions are but by intentions 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." Imam At-Tabarani said that the occasion of this hadith as Ibn Mass’od said: "A man got engaged with a woman called the mother of Qais. She refused to marry him until he migrates. Then he migrated to Madinah and married her. The people used to call him the immigrant of the mother of Qais.
The sincerity of deeds for the sake of Allah (S.W.T.) is a security and protection for the believers from the problems of the life.
Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that the messenger (S.A.W.) said: "Three persons of a people before you, were on a journey when they were overtaken by a storm and therefore they took shelter in a cave. A rock slipped down from the mountain and blocked the exit from cave. One of them said: "The only way for deliverance left is to beseech Allah in the name of some virtuous deed." Thereupon one of them supplicated, "O Lord, my parents were very old, I used to offer them their nightly drink of milk before 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 vessel in hand, I awaited their awakening till the flush of dawn, While the children cried out of hunger at my feet. When they woke up, they had their drink. O Lord, if I did this thing seeking only your pleasure, then do relieve us of the distress wrought upon us by this rock." Thereupon, The rock moved a little but that not enough to let them pass out. Then the second man supplicated: " O Lord, I had a cousin whom I loved her more passionately than any loves a woman. I tried to seduce her but she would have none of me, till in a season of great hardship due to famine, she approached me (for help) and I gave her one hundred and twenty Dinars 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 unlawfully": whereupon I moved away from her, despite the fact that I desired her most passionately; and I let her keep the money 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: "O Lord, I hired some laborers and paid them their dues, but one of them left leaving behind what was due to him. I invested it in business and the business prospered greatly." After a 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 your: Camels, cattle, goats and slaves," He said: "Don't play joke with me, O servant of Allah" I assured him: "I am mot joking". So he took all of it sparing nothing. "O Lord, If I did this seeking only for your pleasure, do relieve us of our distress." The rock then moved away, and all the three came out of the cave safe and sound."
The valid excuses, which forbid a person from good deeds does not decrease the reward so long as a person is sincere to Allah (S.W.T.). Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that Jaber the son of Abd-Allah said: "We were with the prophet (S.A.W.) in the battle of Tabook then he said: "There are some men still in Madinah are with you wherever you go (they were sick)." In another narration: "They are your partners in the reward."
Imams Abou Dawood and At-Termithi reported that the messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: "Whoever used to pray at night and he slept over, Allah will give him the reward of his prayer, and his sleeping as a charity on him."
Imam Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Whoever asked Allah shahadah (martyrdom) with sincere, Allah will let him reach the status of a martyr even if he died on his bed."
Allah (S.W.T.) says is disgusted with shirk and whoever performs a virtuous deed for Him and give a share to others, Allah (S.W.T.) dose not even take His share and leave the whole of it for others. Imam Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Allah (S.W.T.) has made the following statement: "I am most independent and free from needing associates. Whosoever does an act in which he joins other partners with Me, I shun him and his partners and become disgusted with him."
After all what we have heard we should seek sincerity in all our deeds to be good, expectable beneficial in this Life and the Here After.