The Vital Subject Of Ikhlaas (Sincerity of Intention) Which Plays A Pivotal Role In Tazkiyah. (Self-Purification)
All praises are due unto Allah alone. Durood and Salaams be upon Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam.
Allah Ta’ala says: “They have not been commanded, but to render ibaadat unto Allah sincerely, establishing the Deen for him and turning away from all others.”
In the above Aayah, three things are mentioned:
1) All ibaadah such as Salaah and Saum, Zakaat and Sadaqah etc. should only be rendered unto Allah sincerely.
2) Establishing the Deen, whether in one’s own self or in any other manner, should similarly be motivated by sincerity. All Deeni activities – writing, teaching, learning, Tabligh, assisting the poor etc. should be established and conducted with sincerity.
3) One should turn away from all others. Neither fear of criticism, nor favour of the creation should be a motivating factor in intentions, actions, deeds and speech. The gaze and focus of the heart should only be upon Allah Ta’ala.
Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:
“Verily Allah does not look at your external forms and your wealth, but he looks at your intentions and actions.”
In another Hadith, mention has been made of a person who will have mountains of deeds on the Day of Qiyamah. However, he will not receive a single reward. Instead, it will be told to him to seek his reward from those whom he sought to impress and please in the World. Another person will come with just a few deeds. However, he will be rewarded with mountains of Thawaab due to his sincerity.
Ikhlaas means that in one’s intention which find expression in actions, one only seeks Allah’s proximity.
Question: Is it against Ikhlaas to feel pleased when many people attend one’s Bayaans or people look up towards one?
Answer: Moulana Thanvi Rahmatullah alayh has mentioned that the Usool of Ikhtiyari and ghair-ikhtiyari solves many complications.
Ikhtiyari means to do think or do something voluntary, intentionally and deliberately.
Ghair Ikhtiyari means to do something involuntary, unintentionally and inadvertently.
Lifting your leg up. This is voluntary. This is Ikhtiyari.
The other leg will now bear the weight of the whole body and will be wobbly and unsteady. This unsteadiness is ghair-Ikhtiyari.
Back to the question: Feeling pleased when people are drawn towards one is not against Ikhlaas. It is something which is out of a person’s control. Just as sitting by a heater will warm one, so is this natural feeling of happiness which one experiences when doing good.
Yes, to deliberately do something in order to attract crowds and to be displeased when ignored is most certainly against Ikhlaas. This displeasure means that a person wishes to show off and become famous.
Understand well that in every evil trait such as greed, malice, pride etc. an element of ghair-Ikhtiyari will exist. Isolate that element in the mind, act contrary to its demands, and Insha-Allah, the heart will be graced with Divine proximity .
A person went to meet a pious Haji. The Haji Saheb, after greeting the visitor, called out to his servant:
“Bring some Zam-Zam in the glass which I bought from Makkah when I went for my fourth Hajj.”
The visitor immediately told the Haji:
“Hadhrat, what could the reason be for you specifying the fourth Hajj other than to impress me. Never mind the fourth Hajj, in my humble opinion your first Hajj has also not been accepted and should be repeated.”
Tears welled the eyes of the Haji. He thanked his friend profusely for alerting him to the sickness of boasting and showing off.
In those days, true wealth was learning about one’s shortcomings and a true friend was one who pointed out the shortcomings.
Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah Rahmatullahi Alayh was once returning home at night. A few students were accompanying him. They passed by an old man who was groaning with pain.
Hadhrat stopped and offered to massage the old man. The old man declined the offer.
Later that night, Hadhrat alone went and found the old man sleeping alone on his bed which was in the veranda.
Gently Hadhrat started massaging his legs. After a little while the old man opened his eyes and saw Hadhrat. He sat up startled.
Hadhrat said: “When I offered to massage you earlier on, you declined my offer. Perhaps you did so because the students were around. Now it is only me and you. Relax.”
As the Pious have Mentioned:
“Ikhlaas is more difficult than running with a full glass of water without spilling a drop of it.”
Shaytaan let out a secret of his when he confronted Allah Ta’ala. Whilst raging and ranting, he said that only those will be saved from his guile that are sincere.
Sincerity is the Seeraatal-Mustaqeem which we make Du’a for in ever Rak’aat of our Salaah.
May Allah Ta’ala endow us with the Taufeeq to pursue His Pleasure in all our activities.