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Sincerity : Just a drop will do : By Imam Ibinul Qayyim  

Sincerity beckons us toward our religion and beckons others towards us, but how much of it do we need in our life to make a difference?

"There is no one worthy of worship but Allah"

Each and every Muslim has been enlightened and blessed with the knowledge and by the words: La ilaha ill Allah (There is no one worthy of worship but Allah). However, each of us reflects that knowledge as sincerity in one form or another: whether it be the sincerity of our faith, our words or in our actions.

Our level of genuineness and sincerity is a good thermometer of our faith. This is because when we are being hypocritical in our faith, deeds or actions we can never be sincere even in private to ourselves. Sincerity must come from within, and can only accomplished through the correct intentions.

For example, if one was insincere seeking privately to show off amongst his peers—in doing a good deed, his efforts would be lost. The One who created us knows what is in our hearts and minds. Although we may be able to fool those around us, we can never deceive The All-Knower. He, subhanahu wa ta'ala, knows what is our intention before we even know it ourselves. We can never put on an act for the One who gave us life.

Another example is that of sincerity in acts of worship. Any saying that Islam has credited with reward is calculated in accordance to what is in the heart of the one who says it. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "He who said, 'suhhana Allah wa bihamdihi' a hundred times every day would have his sins forgiven even though they were as enormous as the sea froth." This reward is not promised to mere words uttered with the tongue. One who utters the phrase only with his tongue without being aware of its meaning and neglects putting it to actual practice will not be given more than what is in his heart. Indeed, the heart of such a man does not match his tongue. Actions are not judged by form and number; they are judged by sincerity. Although two actions might look the same, their reward might be as far apart as earth from heaven. By the same token, the salah offered by two men standing in the same row might be as far apart as the east from the west.

Consider the case of that man who comes on the day of resurrection with a card bearing the phrase "There is no god but Allah" and with ninety-nine volumes of records of wrong doings. The card will outweigh these volumes and the man will be relieved from torture. Similarly, consider that man
who lilted a tree trunk off the road. Allah will forgive his sins and the man will enter Paradise.

If you examine the stories in the Qur'an one by one, you will begin to realize that forgiveness and salvation are granted because of the sincerity of the heart whether in words, by deeds or by faith. We must all come to understand and realize the power of sincerity in everything we do. It is one of the most valuable lessons we can learn in our lives, because we never know when a drop of sincerity in our heart will grant us an ocean of forgiveness or sail us on toward Paradise.



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"Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided."

Holy Qur’an 16:125

"Narrated Aishah (radhi-yallaahu 'anhaa): The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and receive good news because one's good deeds will not make him enter Paradise.” They asked, “Even you, O Allah's Messenger?” He said, “Even I, unless and until Allah protects me with His pardon and His Mercy."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith No. 474