How to attain Sincerity (Part 3) – Sunday 20th Nov. 2011
The fifth means that help attain sincerity is: abandoning covetousness – coveting to what is in the hand of the people.
To covet for their praise, love, wealth, position and any worldly gain. To make one adorn his outward image (appearance and behavior) to attain what is in the hands or to attain their praise, accordingly one will fall into Riyaa’ (showoff). Therefore, one should despair from the people and what is in their hand.
Ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahullah) used to say, “Never sincerity and love of praise join together in the heart. This is like water and fire.”
6. Legal Isolation
This means, you see yourself not associating profusely with people. The legal isolation means avoiding excessive mixing with people.
Ibn al-Jawzi (Rahimahullah) said, “Whoever is intending to gather his concern and reformation of his heart, let him avoid excess association with people.”
Bear in mind, being around bad friends, surely will contaminate the heart and will run into a person who adorns himself in front of them, and it will be difficult and his heart will be distracted. But, associating with religious people will help one to become sincere. Therefore if you are seeking sincerity , first slaughter the covetousness with the knife of desperation, then come to the praise of the people and belittle it.
If you overcome these two matters, then sincerity will become easy upon you.
How can it be easy to slaughter covetousness/greediness and the zuhd in the praise of people?
The slaughter of covetousness is in Allah’s Hands Alone, noone owns it except Him. Noone cane bring the slave anything from this treasure/stores except Him. [Fawa’aid al-Fawa’aid.]
Allah says in Surah al-Hijr 15:21
وَإِنْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا عِنْدَنَا خَزَائِنُهُ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ إِلَّا بِقَدَرٍ مَعْلُومٍ
And there is not a thing but that with Us are its treasures (depositories), and We do not send it down except according to a known [i.e specified] measure.
Allah’s statement indicates that there is nothing which one seeks or wishes for but it is asked for the One Who has its stores, the keys of these stores are with Him. Therefore, seeking what one wishes from other than Allah, then this means he is asking or seeking from the one who does not own nor able to bring it. [Fawa’aid al-Fawa’aid]
Similarly, the praise of the people will not benefit the person.
Ibn al-Jawzi (Rahimahullah) said, “I wonder about the man who seeks nearness to the heart of the people by showing or pretending that he is ascetic, forgetting that their hearts are in the Hand of Allah.”
If He accepted his deeds and was pleased with him, He will turn the hearts of the people to him. And if He sees that he was not sincere, He will turn the hearts of the people away from him.
Therefore, sincerity requires ones intention should not draw the hearts towards him because that would be attained by hating it not by seeking it.
So, whoever seeks the praise of the people or to attract their attention him by his deed, his deed will be lost because it is not accepted by the Creator not with the creation; because their hearts are turned away from him. The deed is lost and the life is gone.
Let the slave fear Allah, and intent to seek the one who would benefit him for his intention and not be occupied with the praise of the people. [Sajd al-Khaatir]
Important Note: One of the hidden forms of Riyaa’ is to use sincerity or practice sincerity in order to obtain worldly gain such as fame, nobility, to attain wisdom or knowledge etc. [The story of Abu Haamid al Gazali and the Hikmah].
Therefore, the sincere people do not ask from the one who they do good to any praise or even Dua’a. Because Dua’a is a kind of compensation and favour.
Evidence that shows Dua’a is a kind of compensation.
The narration quoted by the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), “ Whoever does good deeds by you, then compensate him. If you do not find anything to give him in compensation, then supplicate for him until you think that you have compensated him. [Abu Dawood and An-Nasa’i]
So when they are compensated with Dua’a, they return it with Dua’a like it, in order to get the full reward from Allah.
Narrated by Aisha (Radia Allaahu ‘anha), “The meat of a sheep was given as a gift to the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). He said, “Distribute it”. When the servant came back, Aisha asked him, “What did they say to you?” He replied, “They said BaarakAllahu feekum.” Aisha answered “Wafeehum BaraakAllah (And may Allah bless them too).
We reply to them, what they say to us, so the full reward will be remained for us. [An-Nasa’I and authenticated by al-Albani].
Out of complete sincerity of Aisha (Radia Allaahu ‘anha), she was not waiting for anything in return, not even their Dua’a.
This is affirmed in Allah’s Book in Surat al-Insan 76:8-9:
وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا
إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلا شُكُورًا
And they give good in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan and the captive.
(Saying): “We feed you only for the Countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude”.