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Sincerity (Ikhlas)

On Sincerity (Ikhlas), Selfishness and Intentions Behind All Action and Matters - Open or Secret:

Almighty, The Exalted, said:

And they are ordained naught else than to serve The Almighty, keeping religion pure for him, and man by nature upright and to establish worship and to pay the poor-dues. That is true religion. (Qur'an 98:5)

Their flesh and their blood reach not Almighty, but the devotion from you reacheth Him. (Qur'an 22:37)

Say (O Mohammed): Whether ye hide that which is in your breast or reveal it, Almighty knoweth it. (Qur'an 3:30)

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (raa) has related that he heard the Prophet (pbuh) recount the following:

"Three men on a journey were forced to take shelter in a cave when they were overtaken by a sever storm. A rock slipped down from the mountain and blocked the cave's entrance. One of the men said: The only way for deliverance left is to beseech The Almighty in the name of some virtuous deed. Thereupon one of them supplicated: 'O Lord, my parents are very old and I offer them their nightly drink of milk before I offer any to my children and the other members in the family. One day I came home very late and by the time I returned home, my parents had already gone to sleep. I milked the animals and brought their nightly drink to them, but I didn't want to disturb their sleep. At the same time, I didn't want anyone else in the family to drink the milk till after the parents had their drink. Thus 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 Thy pleasure, then do Thou relieve us of the distress wrought upon us by this rock.' Thereupon, the rock moved a little but not enough to let them pass out. Then the second man supplicated: 'O Lord, I have a cousin whom I loved more passionately than any man 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 Almighty, and do not break the seal unlawfully; whereupon I moved away from her, despite the fact that I desired her the most; and I let her keep the money I had given her. O Lord, if I did this thing seeking only Thy pleasure, do Thou 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 man 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 the business and the business prospered greatly. After quite some time, the laborer came back to me asking for his wages. I said to him: All that you see is yours; camels, cattle, goats and slaves. The laborer thought that I was joking with him. When I assured him that it was all his, he took all of it sparing nothing. O Lord, if I did this seeking only Thy pleasure, do Thou relieve us of our distress in which we find ourselves.' The rock moved away, and all the three come out of the cave safe and sound." (Bukhari and Muslim)

This tradition has a number of advantages. Among these, one is to seek The Almighty's mercy and help during trials and tribulations and to make one's good and pious deed as an agent for securing the same; another point is the high merit of service to parents. The importance and virtues of chastity, fulfillment of pledge, return of trust and fair consideration in dealings are also among good deeds of great merit according to this tradition. Finally, the sincerity and honesty are of equal importance. In short, according to Islamic incentive for all good work should only be the compliance of The Almighty's Orders without the anticipation for any worldly gains, in term of ostentation, publicity or monetary gains.


The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186

February 1991
Shahban 1411
The Virtues of Qur'an
Qur'an and Science
Sincerity (Ikhlas)
Stories of the Sahabah
Women in Islam
The Kid's Corner
The Prophet Adam
Teachings of the Prophet
Why I Embraced Islam
Islamic Dietary Laws