Praise be to Allah, the Witness, the Aware, the Overseer, the Seeing, the Merciful, the Concealer. I bear witness that there’s no god worthy of worship but Allah, the One without any partner, Sovereignty belongs to Him and praises are due to Him. And He’s over all things Competent. I bear witness that Muhammad is the servant and messenger of Allah. He sent him as a caller to the belief, inviter to the abode of peace, reciter of His book, guide for His creatures and as the one who enjoins what’s right and forbids what’s wrong.
To Proceed. Brothers in belief: I advise you and myself of having the fear of Allah, because Allah did not create his creatures uselessly and did not leave them neglected, rather, He created them for a great matter which He presented on the heavens, the earth and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and feared it. (O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment. Indeed, We offered the Trustto the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.) [Al-Ahzaab: 70-72].
The servants of the Most Merciful: today we’ll talk about the worship of the heart, which is one of the greatest worships. The good deeds increase in bounds by its presence and strength, the troubles are removed and a person attains the intercession of the prophet (peace be upon him). It’s a worship which is connected with all other worships. A believer tastes the sweetness of worship through it. It’s the sincerity of worship for Allah.
Allah, the Glorious said: (So worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion.) [Al-Zumar:2]. Allah, the Exalted said: (Unquestionably, for Allah is the pure religion.) [Al-Zumar: 3]. Allah, the Exalted further said: (And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth.) [Al-Bayyinah: 5].
Bukhari and Muslim have transmitted the hadith “Actions are to be judged only by intentions”. Al-Bukhari has started his Sahih with this hadith. The prophet (peace be upon him) said: (The luckiest person who will have my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who said sincerely from the bottom of his heart.) Al-Bukhari transmitted it. Hadiths concerning intention and seeking the face of Allah are many.
Al-Izz Bin Abd Al-Salam said: “Sincerity is that a person seeks the face of Allah through obedience to Him and does not seek anything else.”
Dear audience, sincerity has many grades and ranks. People generally get closer to Allah seeking His reward and fearing His punishment. And this is a great and massive thing. Even superior to it in rank is to seek the closeness to Allah for His Existence. That’s why you’ll find that a person who’s strong in this quality, he usually regards all orders highly and performs them whether they’re compulsory or optional and whether there’s a virtue concerning the act which calls forth for performing it or not. But, he does that in respect and awe of Allah, the Glorious who ordered to do it! The same is the case with the forbidden things which he avoids whether they are forbidden or unbecoming and whether there’s a warning in its respect or not, He avoids all the forbidden things in respect and awe of Allah, the Glorious.
The servants of Allah: when respect, sincerity and sense of worship get strong, shyness from Allah and accusing oneself of negligence also increase. That’s why he fears that his deeds might not be accepted. (And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearfulbecause they will be returning to their Lord.) [Al-Mu’minun: 60].
When sincerity strengthens in the heart of the worshipper, he becomes far from considering the deed and being happy with it. He feels what Allah has said in this verse: (But Allah has endeared to you the faith and has made it pleasing in your hearts and has made hateful to you disbelief, defiance and disobedience. Those are the [rightly] guided.) [Al-Hujuraat: 7]. Allah, the Exalted further said: (Had it not been for Allah’s grace and mercy upon you, none of you would have ever been purified. But Allah purifies whoever He wills.) [Al-Noor: 21]. Allah, the Glorious has informed us about the pious and hardworking persons that they used to sleep but little of the night, and in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness has been recommended after the compulsory prayer. They’ve asked to seek forgiveness in hajj despite its own importance. (Then depart from the place from where [all] the people depart and ask forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.) [Al-Baqarah: 199].
The servants of Allah, the fruits of sincerity are a lot. Sincerity paves the way for entering the paradise and getting salvation from the hell. Sincerity removes the troubles and makes the prayers accepted. The case of the three upon whom rock had closed the mouth of the cave, is not hidden from us. Each of them said: O Allah! If I did so to seek Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress we’re in. So, Allah delivered them from the distress.And sincerity increases the knowledge. (And fear Allah. And Allah teaches you) [Al-Baqarah: 282].
Sincerity protects a person from trials and immoralities. (And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants.) [Yusuf: 24]. A person gets rewards on the permissible things due to sincerity. Muaaz (may Allah be pleased with him) said: (I sleep and hope for Allah's Reward for my sleep as I seek His Reward for my night prayer.) Due to sincerity, a person will be in the shade on the Day of Judgement. It’s through the force of the sincerity that the deeds which appear equal will be superior to others and their rewards will be grater. Sincerity places blessing in knowledge and effort. Through sincerity, a believer tastes the sweetness of the worship. And it’s the sincerity which negates show-off and hypocrisy.
O’ Allah, pardon us and forgive us O’ Lord of the worlds, guide us and make us among your sincere servants.
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All praises are for Allah. (From Allah nothing is hidden in the earth nor in the heaven.) [Aal-Imran: 5]. I bear witness that there’s no god worthy of worship except Allah, the One having no partner, the Possessor of majesty, honour, greatness and pride. I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the seal of the messengers and prophets. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him always.
To proceed, indeed the sincerity is an area that encompasses the life and all its matters. (Say, "Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.) [Al-Anaam: 162]. Sincerity increases the effectiveness of a Muslim in his society because he does good deeds seeking the face (pleasure) of Allah, the Glorious even though nobody knew of it! As a result of the sincerity, a Muslim masters his work and continues in it, because he does not look towards the chief, rather he looks towards his Lord and anticipates the reward of his work from the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing, the All-Aware.
People are different in the realisation of sincerity and this difference is a reason for the difference in the gradation of the believers. That’s why it’s said that intention is the merchandise of the scholars! For example, a person who accepts a wedding invitation may hope for the reward for accepting the invitation that’s been ordered by the sharia. He may also hope for reward for making them happy. He may also hope for reward for shaking hands and greeting people. He may also hope for reward for joining the relating if the wedding is of a relative. So, these are four intentions and the deed is on!
Friends, there are ways to attain sincerity: honouring Allah, asking Him for sincerity and that a person should be in his privacy like he’s in public. And if his work in privacy is better, it’s greater.
Brothers in belief, good deeds are two types: First: compulsory acts whose benefit does not reach the other, like, prayer and fasting. These must have intention even if the purpose is to fulfil the obligation, he’ll be rewarded.
The second type: the contagious acts which benefit others life removing the harmful things. The scholars have differing views concerning this. Some said that he’ll not be rewarded except if he intended as per the hadith “Indeed, the deeds are judged by the intentions”, among other evidence. Some scholar said that he’ll rewarded for the benefit others receive even if he does not have any intention at the time of doing it. The prophet (PBUH) said that if someone does a farming and plants a plant and an animal eats of it or something is stolen from it, he’ll be rewarded for that. The words of Allah, the Glorious in the holy Quran proves that: (No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people.) [Al-Nisaa: 114]. And if he does that for mere reform, it’ll be good. Then, Allah, the Exalted said: (And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah - then We are going to give him a great reward.) [Al-Nisaa: 114]. This is extra to the goodness that has been mentioned in the early part of the verse. Undoubtedly, existence of intention has greater reward.
We concluded with the statement of Ibn Al-Mubarak (May Allah have mercy on him): “a small act may be magnified by intention and a big act may be diminished by intention.”
Then, send out blessings and peace…
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