Ikhlas (sincerity) in Islam and its importance

Ikhlas (sincerity)

If a believer servant intends a good deed, then Allah Ta’ala gives him one reward. But if he completed a good deed, Allah will reward him tenfold. Of course, when a believing servant does good deeds with Ikhlas (sincerity), then Allah Ta’ala will reward him at least tenfold. But if Allah wills, He can reward him more than ten times. And there is no limit to the maximum reward. Verily, if Allah wants, then He can reward seven hundred or more for a simple good deed. Remember, if someone intends to do a bad deed but he does not do it, then Allah Ta’ala surely will grant him a reward for forsaking that bad deed.

So now, I will describe some important information about Ikhlas (sincerity) and some verses of the Quran, and a few hadiths related to it, from which many people are indifferent. And I will try to present every piece of information clearly with the correct reference; Insha Allah. Of course, the identity of Ikhlas becomes clear from its definition. So let’s know its definition first.

What does Ikhlas (sincerity) mean?

Ikhlas is The intention of the servant by obedience to gain nearness to Allah. Not another purpose. (i.e., Doing good deeds only for the sake of gaining the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, for the purpose of gaining nearness to Allah Ta’ala. Not for any other purpose.) [Embroidery of Riyadh Al Saliheen, page no. 9]

Ibn al-Qayyim (Rh) has mentioned that Ikhlas is To make Allah one through the intention in obedience. (That is Only to do the intention of pleasing Allah while doing good deeds). [Madarij al-Salikin, Volume 2, page no. 91]


Some say that Ikhlas means that the works of the servant are to be equal in openly and secretly.

Imam Ibn Abi Dunya (Rh) narrated that when the work is done for the sake of Allah it is called Khalis (i.e., Ikhlas). [Kitab Al-Ikhlas wa An-Niyah, page no. 50]

Why is Ikhlas (sincerity) important?

Whatever work the servants do with sincerity, Allah accepts it quickly. A little work with Ikhlas is more dear to Allah. Servants who do all their work with sincerity are called Mukhlis (مخلص) servants. Allah loves this kind of servant so much. Therefore, whoever will be more sincere in good deeds, Allah will give him countless rewards. Verily, sincerity is the best way to gain Allah’s pleasure and the strongest trick to staying away from the path of Satan.

So if a person continues to do good deeds equal to the mountain, and if by this deed he does not seek the pleasure of Allah or does not expect the reward of Hereafter, Rather, he does it for worldly purposes Or to show the people, then this kind of good deed is of no value to Allah. Verily, that person will be among the losers in the Hereafter.

On the other hand, if a person gives people to drink a glass of water for the sake of Allah’s pleasure or in the hope of the reward of Hereafter, Allah will give him the best reward for this deed. And his work is of great value to Allah for his Ikhlas (sincerity). The sincere deeds of some people are so lovely to Allah that He forgives all the sins of their life.

And the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and your deeds.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 2564]

Another thing to note is that both intention and sincerity are the work of the heart. Whatever human wishes to do, that wish is called intention. And the intention to please Allah is called sincerity.

Verses of the Quran related to sincerity

Allah Ta’ala said: “So invoke Allah, (being) sincere to Him in religion, although the disbelievers dislike it.” [Surah Ghafir, verse 14]

“He (Allah) is the Ever-Living; there is no deity except Him, so call upon Him, (being) sincere to Him in religion. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. Say, (O Muḥammad), Indeed, I have been forbidden to worship those you call upon besides Allah once the clear proofs have come to me from my Lord, and I have been commanded to submit to the Lord of the worlds.” [Surah Ghafir, verses 65 – 66]

“Indeed, I have sent down to you the Book (O Muḥammad) in truth. So worship Allah, (being) sincere to Him in religion. Unquestionably, for Allah the pure religion. And those who take protectors besides Him (they say), ‘We only worship them so that they may bring us nearer to Allah in position.’ Indeed, Allah will judge between them concerning that over which they differ. Indeed, Allah does not guide he who is a liar and (a confirmed) disbeliever.” [Surah Az-Zumar, verses 2 – 3]

“Say (O Muhammad), Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has Him. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first (among you) of the Muslims (i.e., those who submit to the will of Allah).” [Surah Al-An‘am, verses 162 – 163]

Allah Ta’ala also said:

“Say, (O Muḥammad), My Lord has ordered justice and that you direct yourselves (to the Qiblah) at every place (or time) of prostration, and invoke Him, sincere to Him in religion. Just as He originated you, you will return (to life). A group (of you) He guided, and a group deserved (to be in) error. Indeed, they had taken the devils as allies instead of Allah while they thought that they were guided.” [Surah Al-A‘raf, verses 29 – 30]

“Say, (O Muḥammad), Do you argue with us about Allah while He is our Lord and your Lord? For us are our deeds, and for you are your deeds. And we are sincere (in deed and intention) to Him.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 139]

“And when waves (of the sea) come over them like canopies, they supplicate to Allah, sincere to Him in religion (i.e., faith). But when He delivers them to the land, there are (some) of them who are moderate (in faith). And none rejects My signs except everyone treacherous and ungrateful. O mankind, fear your Lord and fear a Day when no father will avail his son, nor will a son avail his father at all. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the Deceiver (i.e., Satan).” [Surah Luqman, verses 32 – 33]

The Hadiths related to sincerity

Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and your deeds.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No 2564]

Anas bin Malik (RA) reported The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said (to His companions), “You left behind some people in Madinah who are with you wherever you went and whatever you spent (of your goods) and whatever valley you crossed.” They asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him); how can they be with us when they are still in Madinah? He replied, “Valid excuses detained them. (But they are associated with you in terms of rewards due to their intention and Ikhlas).” [Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith No 2508]

Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA), The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The (reward of) deeds depend on intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he intends. So, whoever migrated for Allah and His Messenger, then his migration will be for Allah and His Messenger, and whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for marrying a woman, then his migration will be for what he migrated for.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 2529]

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also said:

“May Allah beautify a man who hears a saying of mine, so he understands it, remembers it, and conveys it. Perhaps he carries the Fiqh to one who has more understanding than him. There are three with which the heart of a Muslim shall not be deceived. 1. Sincerity in deeds for Allah, 2. giving Nasihah (Good advice) to the A’immah (The leaders) of Muslims, and 3. sticking to their Jama’ah (Muslim community). For indeed the call (Al-Dawah) is protected from behind them (i.e., Al-Dawah protects them from the plot of Satans and the misguidance).” [Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 2658]

And verily, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Any good deed which you will do for the sake of Allah will increase your dignity and superiority through it.” [Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith No. 4409]

How can I get Ikhlas (sincerity)?

There are different ways to gain sincerity. The most effective ways of those are: –

(1) To take reckoning from himself in all deeds. I mean, Before doing any work, think about whether it is possible to get nearer to Allah by doing this work, whether Allah Ta’ala will be satisfied with it, and whether the work is according to Islamic law? So if there is no hindrance from Islamic law in this work, then you will do it for the pleasure of Allah, but if there is any hindrance from the Islamic law in it, then you will abandon it. And Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“The wise man is the one who takes account of himself and strives for that which is after death. And the helpless man is the one who follows his own whims and he hopes in Allah (about success in the Hereafter without doing good deeds).” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith No. 4260]

 (2) Asking the reward for good deeds only to Allah. Not to anyone else. And not to do good deeds for worldly gain or to show off to the people. Allah Ta’ala said in this regard, “They (are those who) fulfill (their) vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread. And they give food despite (their) love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive. (They say), We feed you only for the face (i.e., satisfaction) of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude.” [Surah Al-Insan, verses 7 -9]

(3) More love to do good deeds in secret rather than doing good deeds in public.

And verily, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah Ta’ala will give shade under the throne to the specific people. one of them is

“A man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity).” [Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 660]

And the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) also said, “Whoever of you can keep his good deeds secret, he should do it” [Sahih Al-Jami Lil Albani, Hadith No. 6018]

(4) Trying to perform every act of worship properly and keeping in mind the fear that Allah Ta’ala may not accept my good deeds for my mistake and error on the Day of Resurrection. In this regard,

Aishah (RA) the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about this Ayah (the verse of the Quran):

surah muminun 60

‘And those who give what they give while their hearts are fearful (Lest their deeds not be acceptable) because they will be returning to their Lord.’

Aishah (RA) said: ‘Are they those who drink the wine and steal?’ He (peace be upon him) said: “No, O daughter of As-Siddiq. They are those who fast, perform Salat, give charity while they fear that their Lord will not accept it from them; It is those who hasten to do good deeds, and they are the foremost of them (i.e., of good deeds).” [Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 3175]

(5) To Remember the death in all time.

Because it helps to increase sincerity in good deeds and to keep away from showing the people. Verily, Allah Ta’ala said: “Ultimately, the throes of death will come truly; that is from what you will try to escape.” [Surah Qaf, verse 19]

And the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Remember often the destroyer of pleasures (i.e., the death).” [Sunan An-Nasa’i, Hadith No. 1824]

(6) Making Dua more and more to Allah Ta’ala to gain sincerity. And the Duas (the supplications) that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to do in more time, among them, two notable Duas (the supplications) are:

*‏ يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ ‏(O Changer of the Hearts! Strengthen my heart upon Your Religion). [Jami at-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 2140]

*‏ اللَّهُمَّ مُصَرِّفَ الْقُلُوبِ صَرِّفْ قُلُوبَنَا عَلَى طَاعَتِكَ ‏(O Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to your obedience). [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 2655]

Our Dua to Allah Ta’ala

May Allah grant us all grace to worship and to do good deeds with sincerity, to stay away from Riya (i.e., to show the people). May Allah include us among the sincere servants. Ameen.


Post a Comment