Believer: Between Ikhlas (sincerity) and Riya (Show off)
In the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
"So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord." Q: 18:110
"Allaah does not accept any deed except that which is done only for Him and to seek His Countenance. " al-Silsilah al Saheehah
One of the greatest things if not the greatest thing to keep clean and constantly under guard is sincerity. Whoever achieves it has succeeded in both lives. But is it an easy endeavor?
Ibn al- Qayyim said deeds are not measured by their quantity but rather by what is in the hearts (sincerity behind the deeds).Â
All actions should be preceded by sound intentions as much as possible, including when one eats, works, keeps company with friends and mixes with people. In essence, truthfulness in intention and sincerity in action at all times.
Man lives in a society where being famous equates success and this twisted notion has being instrumental in challenging his quest to perfect the sincerity of intention which he ought to attain. Deeds are only accepted if they meet two inseparable conditions; unless it is done sincerely for the sake of Allaah and in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (Pbuh).
Those that came before us would dedicate more time and energy in making their intentions sincerely for Allaah Alone and not for fame nor fortune. They would consider that as the main foundation of deeds without which deeds of the limbs will be reduced to mere physical excersice.
Below are two examples of acts of sincerity from the lives of our pious predecessors that would in shaa Allaah serve as a spiritual immune booster.â€Ž
It was reported in Hafidh Shamsuddeen Al-Dhahabi's compendium Siyar A'laam Al-Nubala that Dawud bin Abi Hind fasted for forty years without his family knowing, he would take his lunch out with him and donate it in the street.
We also had the likes of Ayyub Al-Sakhtiyani that would pray all night (Tahajjud) and hide it (from the people). In the morning, he would raise his voice as if he had just woken up.
Lest a questioner asks how then did the acts get to the public, we would answer by saying; any deed done in secret for the sake of Allaah, if Allaah wills He will make it known to the public even after the death of the sincere servant. Man needs not to beg to be heard, Allaah amplifies the voice of truth when it is coupled with sincerity.
Salmaan bin Faris (RA) said: "Every man has an inward aspect and an outward aspect. Whoever takes care of his inward aspect, Allaah will take care of his outward aspect."
Where does all these tales of sincerity in intention and deeds leave us? Today all our apparent good deeds are out on social media for all to see. AstagfrullahÂ
An apt example that is common among the youth today is; when we fast on Mondays and Thursdays, the whole world must know but here was Dawud bin Abi Hind for forty years he fasted not even his wife knew.
We give charity and donate to the poor with an accompanied media coverage thus exposing that very righteous deed that has the potential of raising our status (unless the benefits of publicizing such deeds is of great importance).
Have that one righteous deed between you and Allaah and don't expose it to the world.â€Ž
â€ŽBe sincere towards Allaah in your resolve to do good and when doing it.Â
Al-Fudayl ibn â€˜Iyaad (RA) said: Giving up a good deed for the sake of people is also showing off, and doing it for the sake of people is shirk. He said: If a person opens the door to noticing people and worrying about what they think then most of the doors to goodness will be closed to him.Â
May Allaah make our intentions sincere for Him Alone.â€Ž
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