Sincerity means being deeply devoted to Allah by heart

Updated 03 December 2015

Sincerity means being deeply devoted to Allah by heart

As for those who believe and do right actions and humble themselves before their Lord, they are the Companions of the Heaven, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. (Surah Hud, 23)

Sincerity means being deeply devoted to Allah by heart. A sincere person has a deep fear for Allah, profoundly believes in Him, sees and advocates the righteousness in the best way. A sincere person is the one who believes in Allah with certainty, the Hereafter, prophets, the Heaven and the Hell and angels.
Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and mercy be upon him) and all other prophets including Prophet Jesus, Prophet Moses, Prophet Abraham, Prophet Solomon, Prophet Joseph, Prophet Jonah, Prophet Job (peace be upon them all) are the sincere servants of Allah. We are aware of prophets’ sincerity because Allah sees them sincere and declares them to be so. All of the prophets were blessed people who were devoted to our All-Mighty Lord with great love and experienced sincerity in its most profound state. Likewise, due to their sincerity, all the prophets were blessed people who absolutely engaged in the most accurate act, whose deeds resulted in good and beauty and who truly turned to Allah in all their deeds.
Due to his fear for Allah and profound love of Allah, a sincere person is someone who readily discriminates between the right and the wrong, who absolutely implements what is right according to the Qur’an and, without seeing any limits in closeness to Allah and love for him, who discharges all the requirements of the religion in the most accurate and absolute manner. Consequently, sincerity is the kind of attitude which appears with fear of Allah, and closeness and love of Him and is experienced in the form as depicted in the Qur’an.
When one examines the Qur’an with a sincere heart one can immediately see that the Qur’an is the true Divine book. But if someone has never had access to the Qur’an, then he is Ahl Al-Fatrat, but if he believes in the one Allah, loves and fears Allah, does good works for His approval and prays, fasts and performs his religious duties as required by the religion, then that person may hope for Paradise.
However, nobody can ever be certain that either he or anyone else will go to Heaven or Hell. So long as a morally virtuous person lives for the approval of Allah he may hope for Paradise from Him, and one may hope that this person will be one of the saved, though one can never be certain of this. As Allah reveals in the Qur’an, all believers live “between hope and fear:”
Their sides eschew their beds as they call on their Lord in fear and ardent hope. And they give of what We have provided for them. (Surat As-Sajda, 16)
Since sincerity can only be experienced with unconditional belief in Allah, hoping for the Heaven merely saying, “I am sincere,” without fulfilling the decrees of the religion is an insincere view that only deceives the person himself. It is a great collapse of reason to appear with a reasoning commanding that “satanists can go to the Heaven if they are sincere” and try to show a criminal person who overtly murders a human being and who evidently denies Allah as a sincere person deserving the Heaven.
A person who denies Allah, commits crimes and engages in immoral acts commits all these misdeeds due to his insincerity and his disbelieving and rebellious mind. Such a person is not even remotely close to sincerity. He is dishonest and a liar. What is essential is not one’s seeing himself sincere but the recognition of his sincerity by Allah. As long as a satanist does not regret, repent and turn to Allah with sincerity, he is an unbeliever who is doomed to the Hell. (Allah knows the truth)
Almighty Allah gives as an example in the Qur’an of a man who owns a garden and who considers himself sincere and thinks that he deserves the Heaven even though he is in complete denial of the Hereafter:
He entered his garden and wronged himself by saying, “I do not think that this will ever end. I do not think the Hour will ever come. But if I should be sent back to my Lord, I will definitely get something better in return.” (Surat Al-Kahf, 35-36)
Our Lord informs us of the condition of the person whose garden was destroyed as a calamity that came over him due to his denial.
There was no group to come to his aid, besides Allah, and he was not given any help. In that situation the only protection is from Allah, the Almighty. He gives the best reward and the best outcome.
Almighty Allah “knows what their hearts keep hidden and what they divulge” (Surat An-Naml, 74). Those who are insincere to Allah are people who cannot appreciate Allah properly and who cannot comprehend this great fact. Almighty Allah, Who knows all what is concealed, is certainly the One, Who knows best the sincerity in a person’s heart. Our Lord states in one verse of the Qur’an as thus:
Your Lord knows best what is in your selves. If you are righteous, He is Ever-Forgiving to the remorseful. (Surat Al-Isra, 25)

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics,
religion and science.


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016

The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.