RAMADAN with WISDOM [Part 10] – “Upon firm faith”
You might not be unfamiliar with the word ‘Ikhlas’ translated as sincerity. You hear it on every Friday during the Juma’a. We might actually claim to possess Ikhlaas. But do we really own it? Are our actions righteous in terms of sincerity?
Sincerity is the foundation of a perfect deed; one among the condition for an acceptable deed and the essence of Tawheed. The worshipper intends of all his deeds for the Face of Allah, for His reward and His pleasure. Sincerity demands that ‘a worshipper to maintain the six foundations of faith, the five signs of Islam, and fulfillment of faith- Ihsan- as well as the rights of Allah and the rights of His worshippers’. An action without sincerity is void.
Sincerity is to single out Allah- free from all imperfections- alone in one’s intention in one’s obedience to Him and it includes all acts of worship; upright, pure and sincere deeds; being away from showiness and ostentation; defending from every foul of heart; straightforwardness in thought; pursuit of no worldly purpose in one’s relation with God.
One’s sincerity to Allah is destroyed by two insincere acts: Shirk al Akbar (Polytheism) and Riyaa (The hidden shirk). Shirk is worshipping other than Allah, seeking pleasure, fearing and ascribing Allah’s attributes to other than Him and this a grave mistake. Riya’a on the other hand is not as major as Shirk al Akbar, rather it is indeed a big mistake for some form of the Riya’a leads to major shirk. Riya’a or hidden shirk is to perform deeds just to be seen by people, or for their praise, or to honor them, or doing deeds for the sake of worldly matters. At the same time abandoning one’s deed for the sake of people is also Riya’a.
Prophet (S) said that he feared Riya’a than Massih Dajjal (The anti Christ): “Shall I not inform you of what I fear most for you than al-maseeh ad- dajjaal?” They said, “Yes O Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Hidden shirk (riyaa). A man stands to pray, so he beautifies his prayer when he notices someone looking at him.”[Ibn Majah, Baihaqi, Sahih Jami’a].”
You should be aware that hidden shirk comes into one deeds, at the very beginning, in between and after the deed. The remedy from Riya’a is to repent and pray for sincerity.
Fasting and Sincerity
There are two prophetic traditions on the authority of Abu Huraira (R) regarding sincerity in the context of Fasting or Ramadan. Allah’s Apostle said:
“Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.”
“Whoever establishes the prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not to show off) then all his past sins will be forgiven.”
“Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
The prophetic tradition explicitly states that the fasting, the night prayer and the night of Qadr eliminate a person’s previous sins. Of course, it is something to be happy about, but when it comes to the condition of sincerity or sincere faith? It is big time we consider Ikhlaas.
 ‘Al-qawlu–s-sadeed fee maqaasidi at-Tawheeed , Sharh kitabu-tawheed’: Abdu Ar Rahman As Sa’adi
 Abdul Malik Al Ramadanee
 Ibn Majah, Baihaqi, Sahih Jami’a
 Sahih Bukhari