You may be busy with your next piece for hidayaonline,you may be just about to perform your Salaah or rush off to Hifz class. Or maybe you are a brother deciding to start a beard, or a sister donning the beautful Hijab or Niqaab. Whatever it is…Please STOP! And take a few minutes to read this…
The Prophet of Allah Muhammed (SAWS) said: Actions are only by intention, and every man shall only have what he intended. Thus he whose hijra was for the sake of Allah and His Messenger,his hijra was for Allah and His Messenger, and he whose hijra was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his hijra was for that for which he made hijra.(Bukhari)
Let us look deep into our souls to question ourselves today and let us be absolutely HONEST in our answers.We can fool the whole world but we cannot fool ALLAH. So here it is : How many of the good deeds that we are performing are TRULY and SINCERELY done ONLY for the pleasure of ALLAH TA’ALA??? Are we performing our actions truly with Ikhlaas?
Actions done only for HIM, and HIM alone. Not to seek the slightest bit of fame, praise or ulterior motive. Pure, unadulterated , sincere intentions. I am doing this act ONLY to please ALLAH. I am writing this article ONLY to please ALLAH.I am learning The Glorious Qur’aan ONLY to please ALLAH. Saying it, believing it and meaning it.
Astaghfirullah ! When I scanned my heart,I hung my head in utter shame.ALLAH is so Merciful, HE has concealed my faults even though I do not deserve it. The most hidden intention in the depths of my heart cannot escape my Creator. I claim to be performing such and such ‘Aamaal but when I strip each one down to it’s core and foundation-The INTENTION-I am disgusted at what I find.
To please who?
Many a times, it so happens that we think that our actions are for Allah TA’ALA, but in reality, they are lacking sincerity. Here is a story of a man who used to stand in the first row for every Salaah. As the Prophet (SAWS) mentioned in one of the Hadith that if people knew the reward of standing in the first row and calling the Adhan, they would fight one another to perform these acts. But once it so happened, that this man was late for prayers and had to stand in the second row. He felt embarrassed that people would see him in the second row, and it was then that he realized that the satisfaction he used to get from standing in the first row was from people seeing him in the first row and his sincerity in doing this act was impure. This is just a small example of how our sincerity towards our Lord is unsafe from being impure.
Ahhh..how often do we do things for show? Unconciously…There’s are bearded brother going past,so she lifts her scarf off her shoulders and places it on her head. He fancies a certain ‘pious’ girl, so he starts growing a beard. She loves to give charity,but only when Her friends are around.We can go on an on…but we get the point. This is all Riyaa-actions done for show.They lack the Ikhlaas needed to beautify these actions. They are like Mirages that fool us until we reach it to find nothing.
The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, said:
"What I fear for you the most is the minor shirk, that is ar-riyaa. Allaah will say on the Day of Judgement when He is rewarding the people for their actions: Go to those for whom you did riyaa for in the world then see if you find the reward with them."
[Related by Ahmad (5/428, 429) and al-Baghawee in Sharh us-Sunnah (4135) from the hadeeth of Mahmood bin Lubaid, radiyallaahu `anhu, with an authentic chain upon the conditions of Muslim.]
The Prophet, Sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, also said:
"Shall I not inform you of what I fear for you more than the maseeh ud-dajjaal? It is the hidden shirk. It is when a man stands up for prayer, then beautifies his prayer for another to look at."
[Related by Ibn Maajah (2604) from the hadeeth of Aboo Sa`eed al-Khudree, radiyallaahu `anhu. The hadeeth is hasan.]
One more hadith…
The illustrious Sahabi, Abu Hurairah (RA), narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
"People will come on the Day of Judgement with good deeds like the mountains of Tihaamah and Allah will make their deeds like scattered dust." The Sahabah asked, "Will they not be Muslims?" He (SAWS) replied: "Of course! They will have prayed as you pray, they will have fasted as you fast, they will have spent in charity from their excess wealth and will have given their portion to the night (i.e. in Salaatut Tahajjud); however, WHEN THEY WERE ALONE THEY WOULD VIOLATE THE SANCUTARY OF ALLAH (i.e. fall into the Haraam)." [Collected by Ibn Maajah from Thawbaan and authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in his Saheeh Ibnu Maajah, #3423].
The time for change…
It is time for us to change…how long will we carry on the way we do? On the Day of Qiyamah,when mothers will not even want to help their own children,such will be the terror of that Day ,when even the atoms weight of good and bad shall be brought forth,what shall be our position? Would we like all our good deeds, which we had slogged to perform in this Dunya,to go to waste? Imagine the shock and the unimaginable terror of finding out that( ALLAH forbid) all our good deeds have amounted to nothing! All our efforts amounted to nothing! Because the soul of those deeds-the Niyyah was not pure.Imagine the humiliation, the shame. Our ALLAH is so merciful to us…every breath we should only be taking to please HIM alone. It is not worth it doing doing anything to please anyone but HIM. Our living must be for ALLAH,Our dying must be for ALLAH,.And every action should be done first by cleansing our intention that we are doing it solely for HIS pleasure.
I am the worst and the most guilty of all.I am writing this firstly for MYSELF to take heed,that Inshallah this article shall bring about a change in MY life as well as all those who read it,Inshallah.I beg of you to remember me in your pious duas.
Some advice to all and myself:
"Muslim, Book 001, Number 0076:
It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) observed: He who believes in Allah and the Last Day ...speaks good or remains silent."
MashaAllah, excellent reminder Sister. I am glad I stopped and read it:).
Its sad (and frightening) how we start to do things (i.e. jilbab, niqab, beard, giving up haraam music/movies, etc.) for the sake of Allah, Glorious and Exalted, but with time these actions become part of our 'image' and constitute how we see ourselves. And then our intention changes so that we find ourselves doing these things in order to keep up the 'image'. Astaghfirullah.
May Allah, Glorious and Exalted, reward you for your writing. InshaAllah and Amin.on May 10, 2004 12:56 AM
MashaAllah, this column is more like a necessity than just a "by the way..." set of words.
Sincere actions becoming a norm and turning into the cause of our insincerity is a scary thought indeed. May Allah protect us from such a mishap. Ameen.on May 10, 2004 2:52 AM
I really enjoyed this article.
Here are some quotes from the salaf taken from
Hussain al-Awaaishah's -- "Book of Sincerity"
Ibn al-Qayyim (rh) said: Ikhlaas is the Tawheed of one's wish/intent.
It is reported from Ibn Mas'ood (Abdullah not Ali) (ra) that he said: Do not learn knowledge for three (things): To amaze and confound the foolish, to argue with the learned and to make peoples faces turn towards you. (But) seek what is with Allaah with your hearts and actions, since only that will remain and whatever is besides it will go.
It is reported from Sahl bin Abdullaah (rh) that he said: There is nothing which is tougher upon the soul than (achieving) Ikhlaas. How many times have I tried to remove riyaa' from my heart except that it sprouted in a different colour (i.e. in a different form).
It was said to Sahl: What is the hardest thing for the soul (to achieve)? He said: Sincerity, when there is no other desire in it.
It is reported from Ya'qoob al-Makfoof that he said: The sincere person is the one who hides his good deeds just like he hides his evil deeds.
It is reported from Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee that he said: Purifying the intention is harder than all other actions for those who act.
It is reported from al-Junaid that he said: To Allaah belong servants who understand, and when they understand they act and when they act they make (their action) sincere. Their recalling of Ikhlaas at the time of doing righteousness is what accumulates the greatest (good for them).
It is reported about Hawshab that he used to cry and say: My name has reached the large mosque.[i.e. he disliked to be known out of humility and that people should mention him for fear of fame and repute]
Ibn al-Jawzee reports from al-Hasan that he said: I was with Ibn al-Mubaarak one day and we came to a watering place. The people were drinking from it and Ibn al-Mubaarak came closer in order to get a drink. The people did not know him and shoved and pushed him. When he came out he said: Life is but this, meaning we are not known nor are we respected.
One of the people of wisdom used to say: When a man is speaking in a gathering and his speech amazes him let be silent and when he keeps silent and his silence amazes him let him speak.
It is reported from Alee (ra) that he said: The one who shows off has three charactersistics: Heis lazy when by himself, he is lively and energetic when with others and he in creases in his actions when he is praised and decreases in them when he is criticised.
Some of the salaf have said: Ikhlaas is that you do not seek a witness over your action besides Allaah and nor one who gives reward besides Him.on May 10, 2004 11:48 AM
Sorry here are some more from part of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali's Jaami ul-Uloom wal-Hikam
Imaam Ahmad said, "the foundations of Islaam are upon three ahaadeeth:
The hadeeth of Umar, 'verily actions are by intention'
The hadeeth of Aa`ishah, 'whoseover introduces into this affair of ours that which is not part it, then it is rejected.'
The hadeeth of Nu`maan bin Bashir, 'the halaal is clear and the haraam is clear.'"
Ishaaq bin Raahawayah said, "the foundations of the religion are upon four hadeeth:
The hadeeth of Umar, 'verily actions are by intention.'
The hadeeth, 'the halaal is clear, and the haraam is clear.'
The hadeeth, 'verily the creation of one of you comes together in the stomach of his mother for 40 days.'
The hadeeth, 'whosoever invents into this affair of ours anything which is not part of it, then it is rejected.'"
Abu Ubayd said, "the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, collected all the affairs of the Hereafter in one statement, 'whosoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not part of it, then it is rejected.' And all the affairs of this world in one statement, 'verily actions are by intentions.' Place them in every chapter."
Abu Daawood said, "I looked into the hadeeth of the Musnad (i.e. of Ahmad) and it consisted of 40 000 ahaadeeth. The I looked again and (found that) the 40 000 ahaadeeth revolved around 4 ahaadeeth:
The hadeeth of Nu'maan bin Bashir, 'the halaal is clear and the haraam is clear.'
The hadeeth of Umar, 'verily actions are by intentions'
The hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah, 'Verily Allaah is pure, and does not accept except that which is pure. And indeed Allaah ordered the Muslims with that which He ordered the Messengers.'
The hadeeth, 'from the excellence of ones Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.'"
And also from Abu Daawood, "it suffices man that he knows from all these ahaadeeth [the ones he collected in his Sunan] 4 ahaadeeth:
The first: His, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'verily actions are by intention.'
The second: His saying, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, 'from the excellence of a persons Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.'
The third: His, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'The believer will not truly believe until he wishes for his brother that which he wishes for himself.'
The fourth: His, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'the halaal is clear and the haraam is clear.'"
And in another narration from him, "Fiqh revolves around 5 ahaadeeth:
(The hadeeth), 'the halaal is clear and the haraam is clear'
His, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'do not harm and do not reciprocate harm.'
His saying, 'Verily actions are by intentions.'
His saying, 'The religion is advice/sincerity'
His saying, 'what I forbade you from then stay away from it, and what I ordered you with then do as much of it as you can.'"
"For the ones whose concern is this world Allaah will scatter his affair, and place poverty between his two eyes. And he will not get from the world except what is written for him. And for the one whose intention is the hereafter Allaah will gather for him his affair and place contentment in his heart, and the world will come to him willingly" [ibn Maajah, Saheeh al-Jaami no.6386]And Yahya bin Abu Katheer said, "Learn your intention for it is more serious than the action."Zayd ash-Shaamee said, "verily I like that I have an intention for everything even if it be eating and drinking"
And he also said, "have intention for everything, desiring the good, even if it be leaving for the toilet"
Sufyaan ath-Thawree said, "I have not treated anything more difficult then my intention, because it keeps changing."
Yusuf bin Asbaat said, "purifying the intention from its corruption is harder upon the workers than long striving (i.e. in their work)"on May 10, 2004 11:56 AM
As for the matter of always criticising ourselves in public as people sometimes fall into a bad habit of doing:
Haafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee (d. 795H) said in "Sharh Hadeeth Maa Dhi'baan Jaai'aan" (Explanation of the Hadeeth: Two Hungry Wolves)--
This book has been translated and is available under the title of "The Evil of Craving Wealth and Status"
"This matter is very vast, and there is a fine point here. It is that a person may criticise himself before some people, intending thereby that the people should see that he is modest and therefore be raised in their eyes and be praised by them. This is one of the subtle doors of ostentation/show (riyaa'" and the Pious Predecessors have warned us about it. Mutarrif ibn 'Abdullaah ibn ash-Shikhkheer said, 'It is sufficient to amount to conceit that a person criticises himself in a gathering intending only self-adornment, and this to Allah is foolishness.' "
Ok now back to studying. Good luck good people.
"And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).
And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things."
[Surah At-Talaaq 65: 2-3]
Assalam u alaikum,
Mashallah, this article was beautiful Bint Abdul Khaliq and Jazakallah khair Br.Ali for your useful comments. Inshallah they are going to help me especially when I have no heart to study.
May Allah(swt) give all of us the taufeeq to have ikhlaas in each and every action of ours. Ameen
As Salaamu Alaikum
Excellent advice from you all.Really makes us think...we think we are so 'up there' until we realise we that haven't even begun to climb yet.May ALLAH grant us all sincerity in our every action and make us among those that HE is pleased with.
MashaAllah sister, a reminder to us all indeed.on May 10, 2004 10:43 PM
But we should still always wear our hijab or grow our beard, all the same. It is better to do it than to not do it at all just because we may doubt our own motives! And we should not wish to ever be without these things, - unless perhaps only as a temporary punishment when we specifically deserve it.on December 7, 2005 4:11 PM
I agree with Reihenneh. I cannot see how anyone can neglect these things and still consider himself or herself to be a true Muslim. Besides, it would simply be unmanly to shave the beard or unfeminine to remove the covering anyway. This is merely a matter of plain decency, propriety and tradition as well as of religious obligation and duty, so even if we are doing it for the wrong reason, at least we are doing it, and fulfilling cultural tradition. Hopefully our religious convictions will develop eventually too as a result.on December 7, 2005 4:18 PM
As Salaamu Alaikum
I agree with you 100% that we should continue to perform good deeds even if we are finding it hard to do it with Ikhlaas but we need to strive towards this result always,guuard ourselves and pray to Allah to help us,as this is what will grant us the acceptance of these deeds.
One scholar put it very nicely,he said that our deeds are like the structure-the glass or the cup and the Ikhlaas is what you pour inside.Without the structure you cannot pour in the water into the glass,it needs to be there first.So continue with your deeds and strive towards Ikhlaas sincerely,insha Allah it will develop with Allah's help.
Was Salaamon December 8, 2005 10:05 PM