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Saturday, July 17, 2004  

The Reality of Sincerity (Ikhlas)   As far as sincerity (ikhlas) is concerned, Allah Almighty says:   "They were only ordered to worship Allah, making their religion (din) sincerely His." (98:5) Hudayfa ibn an-Nu'man, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, what sincerity is. He replied, 'I asked Jibril about sincerity and he answered, "I asked the Lord of Might about sincerity and He said, 'It is one of My secrets which I place in the heart of whichever of My slaves I love.'"'"   Al-Qushayri said, "Sincerity is to make Allah alone your intention in obedience. It is that you mean to draw near to Allah by obedience. It is nothing else, not hypocrisy for the sake of a creature, nor earning the praise of people nor an act demanding praise from creation nor anything else other than drawing near to Allah Almighty!"   He also said, "It would be valid to call sincerity being on your guard against any consideration for other people."   Abu 'Ali ad-Daqqaq stated, "Sincerity is being on your guard against any considering creatures, truthfulness, and continuing to read the self (nafs). The sincere person does not show off, and the true man is not vain."   Dhu'n-Nun al-Misri said, "Sincerity has three signs: praise and blame from common people are the same for you; you forget to see actions when you act; and the reward of the action is paid to you in the Next World."   Abu 'Uthman al-Maghribi observed: "Sincerity is forgetting to see creation by constantly looking at the Creator."   Hudayfa al-Mar'ashi said, "Sincerity is that the inward and outward actions of the slave are the same."   Fudayl ibn 'Iyad said, "To refrain from an action for the sake of people is showing-off. To act for the sake of people is associating partners with Allah in idolatry. Sincerity is that Allah frees you from both considerations."   Sahl ibn 'Abdullah at-Tustari was asked, "What is stronger than the self?" He replied, "Sincerity, since it is something the self has no share in."   Yusuf ibn al-Husayn stated, "The greatest thing in this world is sincerity!"   Abu 'Uthman al-Magribi said, "The sincerity of the common people is that which the self has no share in. The sincerity of the elite is what is bestowed on them—it does not happen by them. Acts of obedience appear from them while they are cut off from them, and they do not see them nor reckon them."   Makhul said, "When a slave is sincere for forty days, the springs of wisdom must appear on his tongue from his heart."   Sahl at-Tustari said, "If anyone goes without (zuhd) this world for forty days with truthfulness in his heart and sincerity, miracles (karamat) will appear from him. If no miracles appear from him, that is due to lack of true sincerity in his doing-without." Someone asked Sahl, "How are the miracles manifested?" He said, "He takes whatever he likes from wherever he likes."   Sahl at-Tustari also said, "Shrewd men look into the obspractice ervation of sincerity and discover only that its movement and its stillness, its secrecy and its openness are for Allah alone. Nothing is mixed with it, neither the self, nor emotions, nor this world."   As-Sari as-Saqati said, "Do not do anything for people nor leave anything for them! Do not give anything to them, and do not unveil anything to them!" _____________________________________________________________________________________   The Reality of Truthfulness (Sidq)   As for truthfulness (sidq), Allah says:   "O you who believe! Have fear of Allah (taqwa) and be with the truthful." (9:120)   "Be among the truthful" because the one who sits with someone is influenced for good and evil. Nature is a thief. A man copies the one he mixes with a lot, even if he is not aware of it. Tarafa said,   Do not ask about a man. Ask about his close companions. Every man imitates his close companions.   This is the best path to travel for someone who wants to discipline himself. It is to mix with the perfect man so that his nature and good habits flow to him. The influence of actions is absolutely stronger than the influence of words.   Al-Qushayri noted, "Truthfulness is the basis of the matter and it is made perfect by it, and it is commanded." He said, "The least truthfulness is when what is secret and what is public are the same."   Sahl said, "The scent of truthfulness has not been smelt by any person who flatters wither himself or another person."   "Truthfulness is the sword of Allah," said Dhu'n-Nun al-Misri. "It is not applied to anything but that it cuts right through it."   Al-Harith al-Muhasibi said, "The truthful man is the one who does not care if his entire worth in the hearts of men should vanish away if it is for the sake of putting his heart in harmony. He does not like people to know about his least good actions, and he does not dislike people being aware of his bad actions. If he dislike that, it is proof that he desires to be greater in their eyes. This is not sincerity of the truthful ones."   It is said that if you seek truthfulness from Allah, He will give you a mirror in which you can see the baseless falsehood of this world and the Next.   The master, Abu'l-Qasim al-Junayd, said, "The truthful man is turned about forty times a day, while the show-off is fixed in the same state for forty years."   By this, he means that the truthful man changes direction with the truth, no matter what it is. When sees something in the Shari'a which is considered to be excellent, he promptly does it, even if it is at variance with his customary habit. If something arises in the Shari'a which is more important, but he cannot combine the two things, then he moves to the better one. He continues to behave like that. In a single day, he may have a hundred different states, or a thousand or even more, according to his mastery of gnosis, and the manifestation to him of fine points and subtleties.   The show-off, on the other hand, clings to one state alone, and if something arises which the Shari'a considers more important in some states, then he will still not do that important thing. He will hold fast to his state, because he is showing off his worship and his state to creation. He fears that people will stop loving him if he changes. He is very careful to ensure that their love continues. But the truthful one desires only the Face of Allah by his worship. Whenever the Shari'a gives greater weight to a certain state, he goes to that state, and does not turn to creation.   -Imam Abu Zakariyya Muhyi'd-din ibn Sharaf an-Nawawi, The Garden of the Gnostics (Bustan-ul-Arifeen)



posted by Abubak'r | 7/17/2004 07:40:00 AM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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