University of Essex Islamic Society Friday Khutbas
Allaah the Exalted said [to Shaytaan]: Then get out from here, for verily you are accursed, rejected. And verily, upon you is the curse till the Day of Judgement. He said: O my Lord grant me respite till the Day they are raised up. He (Allaah) said: Then you are of those who have been granted respite. Till the Day of the appointed time. He (Iblees) said: Because you have put me in the wrong I will beautify for them (what is on) earth and I shall mislead them all. Except your servants among them who are sincere.
Allaah further went on to say: Indeed you have no authority/power over My servants.
In this passage Shaytaan has made a promise, in front of Allaah, that he will misguide the whole of mankind. However, he did make an exception: The sincere servants of Allaah, and Allaah too reiterated to him, that he can have no authority over Allaah’s servants, those that are sincere.
Today’s topic therefore is Ikhlaas or Sincerity. Since the presence of this quality is a deliverance from the evils of shaytaan and therefore the Hellfire and entry into Paradise, it is a great and vital topic, the reality of which needs to be understood by every concerned and responsible muslim.
This Ikhlaas has been commanded by Allaah and He has made it binding upon the whole of mankind. He said: And they were not commanded except that they should worship Allaah and worship none but Him, offer prayers perfectly and give zakah and that is the correct religion.
Say: Verily I have been commanded to worship Allaah making the deen exclusively and sincerely for Him (alone).
And also: He is al-Hayy (Ever-Living) there is none worthy of worship except He, therefore call upon Him being making the deen exclusively and sincerely for Him (alone)
And as-Soosee, one of our Salaf, said: What Allaah intends/wants from the actions of the creations is Ikhlaas and nothing else.
The Definition of Ikhlaas
Ikhlaas is that ones speech/action/emotions/feelings are free from all impurities and desires of the soul. Such impurities and blemishes could be:
- desiring praise – ‘he is a scholar’, ‘he is a doer of good’, ‘he is a skilled reciter’, ‘he is brave’ and other such things.
- attracting attention to oneself
- to achieve one’s goals and objectives
- fulfilment of ones personal needs
- running away from rebuke and criticism
- showing off
- seeking worldly gains
When all these are removed and are non-existant so that none but Allaah is desired, the resultant feeling or situation is that of Ikhlaas. Allaah the Exalted said in the hadeeth qudsee: I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having partners. Thus whoever does an action for someone elses sake as well as Mine, will have that action rejected by Me to him whom he associated with Me.
Here are some more useful definitions from our Salaf which will help to conceptualise the reality of this Ikhlaas, the deliverer from the snares of Shaytaan:
Ya’qoob al-Makfoof: The sincere person is the one who hides his good deeds just like he hides his evil deeds.
It was said to Sahl: What is the hardest thing upon the soul? He said: Ikhlaas, when there is no other desire in it.
As-Soosee said: What Allaah intends/wants from the actions of the creations is Ikhlaas and nothing else.
Abu Uthmaan said: It is forgetting the sight of the creation by continual observance of the Creator
Ibraheem bin Adham said: He has not been truthful to Allaah who loved fame (and recognition)
Sahl ibn Abdillaah said: There is nothing tougher/harder upon the soul than Ikhlaas. How many times have I tried to extinguish riyaa from my heart and it is as
So this then is Ikhlaas, the sincerity with which Allaah commanded us and those who came before us. As for its opposite, then that is Riyaa or showing off, doing something in order to gain a portion of the world and other such things which we have mentioned previously.
Allaah has warned against this numerous times. He said: And We shall turn to whatever actions they did and make them into scattered dust.
Also: And if you were to associate partners (with Allaah) then vain would be your works and you would be among the losers.
The Messenger (sas) also said as is authentically reported from him: There is no servant who sets out seeking to be heard of or showing off except that Allaah will make all His creation know about him, will belittle him and hold him in contempt.
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree said: We were talking about Maseeh ud-Dajjaal in the presence of the Messenger of Allaah (sas).He said: Shall I not inform you about something which I fear more for you than Maseeh ud-Dajjaal? We said: Of course, O Messenger of Allaah! He said: The Hidden Shirk. A man stands for prayer and beautifies his prayer for those who are watching him.
The Messenger of Allaah (sas) explained that Riyaa is more dangerous to his ummah than Maseeh ud-Dajjaal!! And he gave an example of how it can occur. During the greatest of the acts of worship,the prayer!! How then for the other actions?
We now have a good and clear conception as to the meaning of Ikhlaas. This Ikhlaas which is a feeling in the heart should be present in all our actions, prayer, zakah, fasting, dhikr until even the smallest of actions such as picking something harmful off the road or smiling to another muslim brother.
We will now finish by listing a number of benefits that are attained as a result of this Ikhlaas and which give evidence to its greatness.
1. Aiding of the Ummah, due to the hadeeth: Allaah will help this Ummah on account of its weak ones, due to their supplications prayers and sincerity.
That is the affliction, the humiliation and the oppression which we find ourselves in can be removed on account of the sincerity that we as individuals try to develop and maintain as a lasting quality, and this in turn is what benefits and aids the ummah on a wider scale.
2. Love of the angels, due to the hadeeth: When Allaah the Exalted loves a servant He calls to Jibreel: Indeed Allaah the Exalted loves so and so, therefore love Him. So Jibreel loves him and then he calls the inhabitants of the heavens (i.e. angels): Indeed Allaah loves so and so, therefore love him. The inhabitants of the heaven love him and acceptance is made for him upon the earth.
3. Good repute, due to the hadeeth: There is no servant except that he has a reputation (amongst the angels) in the sky. If his reputation is good in the sky it is placed upon the earth and if it is bad it is placed upon the earth.
4. Removal of Difficulties, due to hadeeth in which three men set out on a journey and they get trapped in a cave. Each one of them calls upon Allaah to remove this affliction from them on account of their sincere actions which they had done previously. One man gave his parents preference over his own children despite the fact that they were starving, another man refrained from an illicit sexual relation with a cousin of his whom he loved dearly and the third gave back to a man who had worked for him but did not take his wages, the investments he had made with his wages. All of them said: O Allaah if I did this seeking nothing but Your Face then deliver us from this evil.
5. Answering of the supplication, due to the hadeeth we have just mentioned
6. Safety from misguidance, due to the saying of Allaah: Except Your servants amongst them who are sincere/purified.
So these are some of the benefits, and how great they are, for those who make their actions sincerely and purely for the sake of Allaah. I pray that Allaah benefits us all and gives us to drink from the fountain of Ikhlaas.
IKHLAAS: THE VIRTUES OF IT IN ONE’S ACTIONS
1. Sincerity in Tawheed.
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “A servant never says: “La ilaha illa Allaaha” sincerely except the doors of heavens are opened for it until it reaches the Throne (of Allaah)” (Sahih ul-Jami’, no. 5524).
He (saw) also said, “Indeed Allaah has forbidden the fire from the one who said, “La ilaaha illa Allaaha” seeking thereby the Face of Allaah.” (part of a hadeeth by al-Bukhari and Muslim).
2. Sincerity in Intention.
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Indeed actions are (judged) by intentions (behind them) and every man shall receive (for his action) only that which he intended”. (al-Bukhari, Muslim).
3. Sincerity in the prayer.
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “There is no person who performs wudhu, beautifying it, then prays two rakah concentrating therein with this heart and face except that Paradise becomes obligatory for him.” (al-Albaani declared it sahih in Sahih ul-Jami’ no. 5678).
He (saw) also said, “There is none amongst you who, when he goes to perform ablution, rinses his mouth and spits out the water and sniffs the water up his nose and then expels it except that the sins of his face, mouth and nose flow from him. Then when he washes his face as he has been commanded by Allaah, the sins flow away from him from the sides of his beard with the water. Then, when he washes his arms up to (and including) the elbows, the sins of his hands flow away with the water from the extremes of his fingertips. Then he wipes his head as Allaah has commanded him and the sins of his head flow away from him from the ends of his hair with the water. Then he washes his two feet up to (and including) the ankles and the sins of his feet flow away with the water from the ends of his toes. If he then stands, prays, praising Allaah, extolling Him, glorifying Him with what He is deserving of and empties his heart for Allaah, he will walk away from his sins in the same state as the day his mother gave birth to him”. (Muslim and others).
4. Sincerity in prostration.
He (saw) said, “there is no servant who makes a prostration for Allaah except that Allaah writes a good deed for him, removes from him an evil deed and raises his station by one degree. So increase in making prostration.” (al-Albaani declared it sahih in Sahih ul-Jami’, no. 5618).
5. Sincerity in the prayer of Ramadhan
He (saw) said: “Whoever stood for prayer in Ramadhan out of faith and expectation of reward will have his previous sins forgiven”. (al-Bukhari and others) The same applies for prayer during Laylatul Qadr (al-Bukhaari and others).
6. Sincerity in leaving one’s house for the prayer.
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “The (reward of the) prayer of a man in congregation is increased by twenty five degrees over his prayer in his house or in his market (i.e. his trading place). That is when he performs wudhu and beautifies it, then leaves for the masjid desiring nothing but the prayer and nothing makes him leave his house except the prayer. He does not advance a step (towards the masjid) except that he is raised by one degree and one sin is removed from him. When he enters the masjid he is engaged in prayer as long as the prayer is what keeps him back. The angels engage in prayer as long as the prayer is what keeps him back. The angels do not cease to send prayers upon him so long as he is engaged in his prayer. They said, “O Allaah! Send prayers upon him. O Allaah! Show mercy to him.” And a man never ceases to be engaged in prayer so long as he is waiting for it.”
In another narration, “(The angels say): O Allaah! Forgive him, O Allaah! Turn to him so long as he does not cause any harm or emit something (to nullify his ablution).” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).
7. Sincerity in Fasting.
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadhan out of faith and seeking reward, his past and future sins will be forgiven.” (Saheeh ul-Jami’, no. 6201).
He (saw) also said, “Whoever fasts a day in the path of Allaah, Allaah will make the Hellfire distant from him the length of a hundred years journey”. (an-Nasa’i, al-Albaani declared it hasan in Saheeh ul-Jami’, no. 6206)
He (saw) also said, “Whoever fasted a day in the path of Allaah, Allaah makes between him and the Fire a trench like the one between the Heavens and the Earth.” (at-Tirmidhi, Saheeh ul-Jami’, no. 6209).
8. Sincerity in Giving Charity The hadith regarding the seven who will receive Allaah’s Shade on the day where there will be no shade except His and amongst them is: “..and a man who gives charity and conceals it to such an extent that his left hand does not know what his right hand has spent.” (Muslim).
Allah’s Messenger (saw) also said, “Charity which is given in secret extinguishes the anger of the Lord and maintaining the ties of kinship increases one’s age”. (Saheeh ul-Jami’ no. 3691).
9. Sincerity in Performing Hajj
He (saw) said, “Whoever performed Hajj for the sake of Allaah, did not behave in an obscene manner and was not disobedient, will return in the same condition as the day his mother gave birth to him”. (al-Bukhari and others).
10. Sincerity in Seeking Martyrdom
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Whoever asked Allaah to be killed in the path of Allaah truly out of his heart, Allaah will give him the reward of a martyr even if he died on his bed.” (Muslim).
11. Sincerity in guarding the frontiers of the Muslim lands
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Whoever guards (The Muslim frontiers) for a day and a night for the sake of Allaah receives the rewards of a month’s fasting and prayer. And whoever died while guarding the frontier will have a reward similar to that, sustenance will be made to come to him and he will be made secure from trials.” (an-Nasa’i, al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak. Saheeh ul Jami’, no. 6135).
12. Sincerity in Equipping Someone for a Military Expedition.
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Whoever supplies and equips another (doing that) for the sake of Allaah in going upon a (military) expedition, will have the reward similar to the one whom he equipped without any of the latter’s reward being diminished”. (Ibn Maajah, al-Albaani declared it saheeh in at-Targheeb 2/96)
13. Sincerity in Repentance
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (ra) reports that Allaah’s Messenger (saw) said, “There used to be a man from among those who came before you and who had killed ninety-nine men. He asked about the most knowledgeable person of the people of the earth and he was directed to a monk. He caem to him and said that he had killed ninety-nine men so was there any chance of repentance for him. The monk said, “No”. So the man killed him and completed the number of his victims to one hundred. Then he again asked about the most knowledgeable of the people of the earth and he was directed to a scholar. He explained to him that he had killed one hundred men and asked whether there was any chance of repentance for him. He said, “Yes, and who is there that stands between Him and repentance? Go to such and such a land since there are a people there who worship Allaah ta’ala and go and worship Allaah along with them. Do not return to your homeland as it is an evil place.” The man left for the place he had been directed to and when he had reached half-way, death came to him. The angels of mercy and the angels of punishment began to argue about him and the angels of mercy said, “He came repentant to Allaah, directing his heart towards Allaah the Exalted” and the angels of punishment said: “He never did any good”. Then anotehr angel came to them in the form of a man and acted as an arbiter between them. He said, “Measure the distances of the two lands (from the place he died) and whichever of the two is nearest to him will determine his fate.” They measured the distances and found that he was closer to the land he was travelling to and so the angels of mercy took his soul” (al-Bukhari, Muslim).
14. Sincerity in Weeping from Fear of Allaah and in the Remembrance of Allaah
One of the seven who will receive Allaah’s shade on the day on which there is no shade by His is “.. a man who remembers Allaah when he is alone and his eyes shed tears”. (an-Nasaa’i, al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, Saheeh ul-Jami’, no. 1428)
24. Sincerity in Loving and Visiting for the Sake of Allaah
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Whoever is delighted (ie eager) that he should taste the sweetness of faith let him love a man, not loving him except for the sake of Allaah”. (Ahmad in al-Musnad, al-Haakim, Saheeh ul-Jami’, 6164).
Abu Hurayrah (ra) reports that Allaah’s Messenger (saw) said, “There was a man who set out to visit a brother of his in another town. Allaah had prepared for him along his way an angel (in the form of a man). When he met him he said, “Where do you intend to go?” The man replied, “I intend to see my brother in this town.” The angel said, “Do you have any favour which he owes you?” He said, “No, but I love him for the sake of Allaah ta’ala.” The angel said, “I am a messenger of Allaah sent to you to inform you that Allaah loves you as you have loved your brother”. (Muslim).
25. Sincerity in One’s Intention Even If It Is Not Acted Upon.
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Whoever asked Allaah to be killed in the path of Allaah truly out of his heart, Allaah will give him the reward of a martyr even if he died in his bed”. (Muslim).
26. Sincerity in Renouncing the Dunya and in Humility
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Whoever abandoned (a certain type of) clothing out of humility to Allaah, even though he was capable of (affording and wearing) it, Allaah will call him out in front of all the creation and put him to option about any of the garments of faith that he wishes to wear.” (at-Tirmidhi, Saheeh ul-Jami’ no. 6021).
He (saw) also said, “Whoever humbled himself for Allaah, Allaah will raise him”. (Abu Na’eem in al-Hilyah, from Abu Hurayrah, Saheeh ul-Jami’,. no. 6038)
27. Sincerity in Building Masajids
Allah’s Messenger (saw) said, “Whoever built a mosque seeking the Face of Allaah by it, Allaah will build for him what is equal to it in Paradise.” (al-Bukhari).
28. Sincerity in Visiting the Masjid of the Messenger (saw) for learning and teaching.
“Whoever came to this masjid of mine and did not come except to learn or teach goodness, (then he) is in the same position as the one who struggles and fights in the way of Allaah. Whoever comes for a purpose other than that, is in the same position as a man who (stands) looking at the enjoyment of others”. (Ibn Majah, al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, Saheeh ul-Jami’ no. 6060).
29. Sincerity in Following the Funeral Procession of a Muslim
“Whoever followed the funeral procession of a Muslim out of faith and expectation of reward and remained with it until he performed the funeral prayer (for the deceased) and until the burial, will return while having obtained the reward of two qeeraat, each qeeraat is equal to the mountain of Uhud. And whoever performed the funeral prayer, returning before the burial, will receive one qeeraat of reward.” (al-Bukhaari).
30. Sincerity in Feeding Someone
Allah ta’ala said concerning the sincere: “And they feed for the sake of Allaah, the indigent, the orphan and the captive, saying “We feed you only for the Face of Allaah, no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks.” (76:8-9)
A’ishah (ra) said, “I offered Allaah’s Messenger (saw) a sheep and he ordered for it to be divided amongst some people. When the servant returned, Aisha (ra) said, “What did they say?” The servant replied, “They said, “May Allaah send blessings amongst you”. Aishah then replied, “And may Allaah send blessings amongst them. We will return to them similar to what they have said to us and our reward (for the food) remains with us”. (Saheeh ul-Kalimut-Tayyib, no. 238).
It is from the perfection of the ikhlaas of Aishah (ra) that she did not expect anything from them, not even supplication.
TRUTHFULNESS AND SINCERITY
Collected by Abdul Wahhab bin Muhammad as-Salafi
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya
1- The slave cannot actualize ‘You are the One that we worship’ except with two principles: one of them is following the Messenger and the second is having sincerity (Ikhlaas) for the One worshipped. [Ibn al-Qayyim Tahdeeb al-Madrijâ 68]
2- Sincerity for Allaah is that a person’s intent is for Allaah and intends everything for Him, causing fountains of wisdom to spring up from his heart on to his tongue. [Ibn Taymeeyah ‘an-Naboowaat’ 147]
3- Whenever the sincerity of the slave strengthens, his worship becomes more complete. [Ibn Taymeeyah ‘al-Fatawa’ 10/198]
4- In relation to the amount of Tawheed a slave has for his Lord, and his sincerity for the religion for Allaah is the amount he is deserving of the generosity of Allaah upon him, from intercession and other things. [Ibn Taymeeyah As-Sarim al-Munkee 390]
5- A person does not show his actions to the creation, except due to his ignorance of the Greatness of the Creator. [Ibn Rajab Kalimat ul-Ikhlaas 31]
6- Ikhlaas cannot be achieved except after having Zuhud, and there is no Zuhud except after having Taqwa, and Taqwa is following the commands (of Allaah and His Messenger) and keeping away from prohibitions. [Ibn Taymeeyah ‘al-Fatawa’ 1/94]
7- Strive today in implementing Tawheed, since there is nothing that will deliver you to Allaah except Tawheed. Also, be eager in fulfilling its rights, since there is nothing that can save you from the fire except Tawheed. [Ibn Rajab Kalimat ul-Ikhlaas 54]
8- Whoever is sincere in regards to the actions of the Deen, which he does for Allaah, then he is from the pious Awliyah of Allaah. [Ibn Taymeeyah ‘al-Fatawa’ 1/8]
9- If you correct your hidden deeds subsequently Allaah will correct your outward deeds. [Ibn Taymeeyah ‘al-Fatawa’ 3/277]
10- Having the correct understanding of the Deen is light which Allaah throws into the heart of the slave, which is increased by having the Taqwa of Allaah and having good intent. [Ibn al-Qayyim Ilaam al-Muaq’een’ 1/69]
11- Ikhlaas is the way to salvation, Islaam is the ship to safety and Emaan is the seal of security. [Ibn al-Qayyim Dar miftah as-Sa’ada’ 1/74]
12- Certainly the strength of Yusuf’s sincerity – alayhi sallam – was stronger than the beauty of Azeez’s wife, stronger than her allure, and his want for her. [Ibn Taymeeyah ‘al-Fatawa’ 10/602]
13- The heart of the truthful person is filled with the light of truth and he has the light of Eemaan. [Ibn al-Qayyim ‘Madarij as-Salikeen’ 2/282]
14- The sincere person is fortified by Allaah due to his worship of Him Alone, intending his Face Alone. He has humility for Him Alone, and hope in Him Alone, requesting from Him Alone, submissiveness for Him Alone and has a dire need of Him Alone. [Ibn al-Qayyim ‘Madarij as-Salikeen’ 2/202]
15- There is nothing that drives away the afflictions of this world except Tawheed. That is why the supplication of the distressed person is with Tawheed. Such as, the supplication of Yunus. The distressed person does not supplicate by what Yunus supplicated with except that Allaah releases him from his hardship with Tawheed. There is nothing more gruesome for the distressed person except shirk, and there is nothing that can rescue you from it except Tawheed, it is the refuge for the creation, its shelter, its fortress and its aid. [Ibn al-Qayyim ‘al-Fawaid’ 96]
16-The reward is doubled in accordance with one perfecting his Islaam and with his perfecting the strength of Ikhlaas, in that action. [Ibn Rajab Jama’ al-Aloomâ 2/316]
17- If a benefit could be achieved from an action performed without Ikhlaas, then Allaah would not have criticised the hypocrites. [Ibn al-Qayyim Al-Fawaid’ 65]
18- Without doubt al-Ikhlaas negates the reason for entering into the Fire, therefore, who ever enters the fire, from those who said: “la illah ila Allaah (there is none worthy of worship except Allaah)” then this is proof that he never implemented the sincerity of “la illah ila Allaah” which would have prohibited him from the fire. [Ibn Taymeeyah ‘al-Fatawa’ 10/261]
19- If the slave perfects his Tawheed and his sincerity for Allaah and he establishes / fulfills all its conditions with his heart, and his tongue and his limbs then forgiveness for his past sins becomes obligatory. [Ibn Rajab Jama’ al-Aloom 2/417]
20- Fitnah continues upon the heart, except if the Deen of the slave is completely for Allaah. [Ibn Taymeeyah ‘al-Fatawa’ 10/545]
21- Without doubt, the sincere person has tasted the sweetness of his worship for Allaah, this is what stops him from performing worship for other than Allaah, since there is nothing more sweet or more blessed for the heart than the sweetness of Emaan in Allaah the Lord of the worlds. [Ibn Taymeeyah ‘al-Fatawa’ 10/215]
22- The different grades of doing actions for Allaah are in relation to what is in the heart from Emaan, sincerity, love and that what follows them. [Ibn al-Qayyim al-Waabil as-Sayib’ 22]
23- Sincerity is not combined in the heart along with the love of being praised by the people, and being commended by them, and also having greed for what the people have, except like water being combined with fire. [Ibn al-Qayyim ‘al-Fawaid’ 267]
24- Ikhlaas and Tawheed are a tree in the heart. Its branches are good actions. Its fruits are a good life in this world, and eternal comfort in the Hereafter, and just like in Paradise the fruits whose supply is not cut off, nor are they out of reach, likewise are the fruits of Tawheed and Ikhlaas in this world. [Ibn al-Qayyim al-Fawaid’ 292]
25- An action done without Ikhlaas and without following the Messenger is like a traveler whose sock becomes filled with sand, which weighs him down, and has no benefit. [Ibn al-Qayyim al-Fawaid’ 89]
26- Allaah loves from His slave that he beautifies his tongue with the truth, and his heart with Ikhlaas and love, turning repentantly and reliance upon Allaah. [Ibn al-Qayyim al-Fawaid’ 327]
27- Having sincerity for the Deen of Allaah is the foundation of justice, likewise committing Shirk with Allaah is a great injustice. [Ibn Taymeeyah al-Fatawa’ 1/87]
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace and blessings be upon our final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and all those who follow his guidance.