Importance of Sincerity

Is it not to Allah that sincere devotion is due? (Holy Quran 39:3)

Sincerity in Islam means to worship God out of true faith in Him. It means to do good deeds for God’s pleasure. Sincerity is about what is in your heart. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines sincerity as: “honesty of mind: freedom from hypocrisy.”

By Sheima Salam Sumer

Here are some quotes from the Quran and Sunnah about sincerity:

  1. God specifically uses the term’the sincere’ (mukhlaseen) to describe His servants who will be rewarded:
    But the sincere servants of Allah for them is a sustenance determined. (37:40-41)
    Then see what was the end of those who were warned, except for the sincere servants of Allah. (37: 73-74)
  2. God relates sincerity to prayers and charity:
    And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer, and to practice regular charity; and that is the Religion, right and straight. (98:5)
    We are feeding you for the sake of Allah. We do not expect from you any compensation or thanks. (76:9)
  3. God warns us about insincerity:
    So woe to the worshippers who are neglectful of their prayers those who want to be seen (of men), but refuse (to supply) neighborly needs. (107: 4-7)
    O Believers! Do not make your charity worthless by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day…(2:264)
  4. The purpose of life’s hardships is to test our sincerity:
    Do the people think that they will be left alone on saying, “We believe,” and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false. (29:2-3)
  5. God judges us based on sincerity:
    Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts, and He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing. (2:225)There is no blame on those who are infirm, or ill, or who find no resources to spend (on the Cause), if they are sincere to Allah and His Messenger: No ground (of complaint) can there be against such as do right: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (9:91)
  6. Religion is sincerity:
    The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Islam is to be sincere.” The companions asked, “To whom?” He replied, “To Allah, His Book, His prophet, the ones in authority over you and the general public.” (Source: Muslim, Tirmidhi)
  7. Our inner reality is more important than our outer reality:
    The Prophet (pbuh) said:
    “O God! Make my inside better than my outside, and make my outside (also) righteous.” (Source: Tirmidthi)
    and,
    “Allah does not look at your bodies nor does he look at your faces, but He looks at your hearts.” (Source: Bukhari, Muslim)
  8. One proof of sincerity:
    The proof of a Muslim’s sincerity is that he pays no heed to that which is not his business. (Source: Tirmidhi)
    Thoughts and Advice
    In order to be more sincere people, we should remind ourselves about God’s attributes. Some people feel distant from God due to a lack of knowledge. God is the One who is nearer to us than our jugular vein. He sees and hears everything we do. He knows our deepest secrets. He is Generous, Merciful, and Forgiving. Making dua to God is a great way to increase our sincerity to Him. Another way to increase sincerity is to make a clear intention for everything we do. The Prophet (pbuh) taught:
    “Actions are only (judged) by intentions. Each person shall be rewarded only for that which he intended.” (Source: Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidthi)
    (This is a modified version of an article that first appeared on the Quran Academy blog, www.Quranacademy.io)
    Sheima Salam Sumer is author of How to be a Happy Muslim Insha’Allah and The Basic Values of Islam. She can be contacted on [email protected] See her website www.howtobeahappymuslim.com
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