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10 December 2018 CE | 01 Rabbi al-Thanni 1440 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation


Sincerity and Insincerity


A man once came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and asked, “What of a man who joined us in the fighting, his intention being for fame and booty?” The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “He receives nothing.” The man repeated the question three times and each time the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “He receives nothing.” Then he (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah only accepts actions that are intended purely for His pleasure.” [An-Nisai]

Sincerity is to ensure that the intention behind one’s acts of worship and obedience to Allah is exclusively His pleasure. It is the freeing of one’s intentions from all impurities in order to come nearer to Allah. It is the perpetual contemplation of the Creator, to the extent that one forgets the creation.

Sincerity is a necessary condition for Allah’s acceptance of good deeds. In addition, the good deeds must have been performed in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam).

There are a great many instances where a person acts, thinking that his actions are purely intended for Allah’s pleasure, but he is deluded, for he fails to see the defects in them.

It is related that a man was used to praying in the first row in the Masjid. One day he was late for the prayer, so he prayed in the second row. Feeling embarrassment when people saw him in the second row, he realized that the pleasure and satisfaction of the heart that he used to gain from praying in the first row were due to his seeing people seeing him there and admiring him for it.

Insincerity (the seeking of reward other than Allah’s pleasure) is a subtle and intangible condition and actions are rarely safe from it.

It is much harder for the people of action to purify their intentions than it is to execute any of their actions.

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