- Sincerity (purity of intention) is the spirit of deeds.1)
- “Ikhlas (perfect sincerity) has been interpreted as being upright, sincere, and pure; being distant from show and ostentation in one’s intention and conduct; and being immune to whatever clouds or fouls the heart. Purity of intention, straightforwardness in thought, pursuit of no worldly gains in one’s relationship with God, and loyalty in servanthood to God are also included in this.
- Ikhlas requires that one seeks nothing worldly while worshipping and obeying God, that one fulfills the duty of servanthood only because God orders it, and that one remains silent concerning any personal experiences of God’s special treatment and special gifts and seeks only His approval and pleasure. Sincerity is one of the most significant qualities of those who are most faithful or loyal to God; loyalty is regarded as the source, and sincerity as the sweet water that originates from it. The most eloquent of humanity, upon him be peace and blessings, declared that one who drinks uninterruptedly from this water for forty days will find channels of wisdom opened from his or her heart to their tongue, and that such a person will always speak wisely.”2)
- “Sincerity is a mystery between God and a servant, and God puts it in the hearts of those He loves. One whose heart is awakened to sincerity does not worry about being praised or accused, exalted or debased, aware or unaware of deeds, or of being rewarded.”3)
- “If the actions that do not have sincerity and candor are temporarily successful, it should be well known that it is a Divine stratagem. If we do not want to be subjected to worldly and otherworldly disappointment, we must perform all our deeds with the consciousness of seeing (being in the presence of) God and being seen by Him, that is, with extraordinary sincerity and candor. We should not say a word, write a word, or perform an action without considering ihsan (devotion to doing good and doing it as if seeing God or in the awareness of God’s seeing His servants). From our simplest gestures to the blink of an eye, we must seek His consent in all our attitudes and behaviors. Because all deeds that are not connected to Him are lies.”4)
- “The truth of sincerity is as follows: Know that it is possible for someone to interfere in something. For this reason, when that thing is purified from the interference of something else, it is called ‘pure’. The act that purifies something is called ‘ikhlas’ (purity of intention). God Almighty states: ‘And surely in the cattle (feeding on the pastures of the revived earth), there is a lesson for you: We give you from that which is within their bodies, (marvelously distinguished from) between the waste and blood, milk that is pure and palatable to those who drink.’ (Nahl, 16:66). The purity of milk is that it is not mixed with blood, dirt and other substances that are likely to mix. It is to be purified from everything possible to mix with milk.”5)
- Bayazid Bistami says: “I worshipped my Lord for thirty years with all my strength. Then I heard a voice saying: O Bayazid! The treasures of God Almighty are full of acts of worship. If you intend to reach Him, see yourself as insignificant at the door of God and be sincere in your deeds.”6)
- “Sahl b. Abdullah Tustari said, ‘No one knows hypocrisy except those who are sincere.’”7)
- “Abu Ali Daqqaq says: ‘It is a deficiency for sincere people to feel their own sincerity. When God wants to make their sincerity pure, He makes them unaware of their sincerity. Thus, they are made to attain sincerity of intention.’”8)
- “Abu’l-Qasim Junayd said: ‘Ikhlas is a secret between God and His servant. The angel cannot write because it does not know it, the devil cannot mislead because it does not see it, and carnal soul cannot mislead because it does not realize it.’”9)
- “All may perish except the knowledgeable, and the knowledgeable may perish except those who practice, and those who practice may perish except the sincere, and the sincere are in grave danger.”10)
- “Whoever seeks and strives earnestly (sincerely) shall find.”11)
- “So, the only means of salvation is sincerity. It is of great importance to attain sincerity. ‘An atom’s worth of sincere action is preferable to many insincere ones.’ What will cause us to attain sincerity is that we must do our religious duties only because they are God’s commands and in order to please God. We must never interfere in God’s business.”12)
- “Greed … damages sincerity and injures the deeds done for the sake of the Hereafter. For if a pious, righteous person is greedy, they will seek the acceptance and respect of people. One who considers the acceptance and respect of people cannot have complete sincerity or purity of intention.”13)
- “For sincerity is never fruitless, even if it is for the sake of evil. Whatever one seeks with sincerity, God will grant it to him or her.”14)
- “One can gain God’s good pleasure through sincerity, not through a multiplicity of followers or great success. For it is God Who will or will not confer these latter, and they cannot be demanded.”15)
- “Since whatever is done is for God’s sake, it is not considered small or great, valuable or valueless. An atom expended for God’s sake with sincerity becomes like a star. Besides, what is of importance is not the nature of the means employed, but the result it yields. So long as the result intended is God’s good pleasure, and whatever is done is religiously lawful and done with sincerity, that is, purely for God’s sake, it is not small, but great.”16)
- “In this world, and particularly in the services done for the afterlife, a most important foundation, and a greatest power, and a most acceptable intercessor, and a firmest point of reliance, and a shortest way to the truth, and a most answerable prayer, and a most blessed and marvelous means of achieving one’s goal, and a most sublime virtue, and a purest form of worship is sincerity, or doing something good or any religious deed purely for God’s sake.”17)
- “… power lies in truth and sincerity. Even those who are wrong may have power through sincerity despite being wrong.”18)
- “One of the most influential means of attaining sincerity and preserving it is contemplation of death. While long-term worldly ambitions damage sincerity and cause ostentation and worldliness, the “contemplation of death” leads one to abhor ostentation and gain sincerity. By never forgetting death and always considering the transient nature of this worldly life, one can be saved from the tricks of the carnal soul.”19)
- “The fact that the strivings on the way of Hizmet gain a value in the sight of God depends on sincerity. The more sincere and genuine you are in this matter, the more trust you will receive. The more you turn to God and fix your eyes on Him, the more He will favor you with his grace and help.”20)
- “Naturally, one must be sincere while fulfilling the duty of glorifying the name of God so that he does not experience loss. A mukhlis (sincere) person means one who represents sincerity (ikhlas). But individuals must be fixed on a consciousness of sincerity in such a ways that, they should not just suffice with being mukhlis (sincere) ones but seek to become mukhlas ones; mukhlas refers to God’s letting a person attain pure sincerity, and thus becoming completely pure and virtually becoming a pure embodiment of sincerity. This is a quality with which the purified ones as Prophets Abraham, Moses, Enoch, and the final Prophet was blessed with, peace be upon them all. (See: Sad, 38:47). Even though not in the primary sense like the Prophets, other believers as well should lay their eyes on these lofty horizons in a secondary sense, constantly seek to act in compliance with the Divine Will, fulfill all acts of worship just because they are Divinely commanded and not attach their devotions to any worldly returns, even abstract themselves from otherworldly expectations other than ridwan (God’s being pleased with someone), and leave the results to God Almighty.
- A person who has attained such consciousness will spontaneously react against anything other than sincerity (ikhlas). For example when such a person makes a dazzling accomplishment, he never cherishes expectations as appreciation and compliments from others when he effects an excitement in hearts with the words he speaks or touching lines he writes. When a consideration occurs not only to their imagination and mind, but even to their dreams, they withdraw to one corner and say ‘Your forgiveness O Lord, I have associated partners with You,’ writhe with the concern, and purifies it through repentance (tawbah), contrition (inaba), and penitence (awbah).
- One of the most important ways of attaining ridwan in the Hereafter is a consideration of sincerity to such a degree. In this respect, it is possible to say that however a person deepens in sincerity (khulus), he will attain ridwan that fast.”21)
- “Ikhlas, or sincerity means doing a certain deed for the sole reason of fulfilling God’s command, relating its result to God’s good pleasure, and leaving the fruits of that deed to the Hereafter. In this respect what matters according to a person who takes sincerity as basis at every issue and deed oriented to the Hereafter is fulfillment of certain services of goodness; not their being necessarily done by this or that person. If we put it in other words, what really matters is sometimes sounding like a reed flute to enrapture those whose hearts are beating in unison, sometimes speaking up for truth as a chorus to let people hear the truth, making them experience the Sufi states of astonishment, passion, and stupor, and thus letting them reach the presence of God. Given that this is the target and purpose, no matter who realizes such a purpose, one must feel glad as if he or she personally did it.”22)
- “There are things that consume sincerity, pierce it, gnaw it like a moth. (Master Bediüzzaman) calls such things as “base feelings.” Some feelings like the desire of the flesh… Feelings like comfort, desire for fame, fear, or dissipation. And he calls “insignificant benefits.” Even if such material benefits are great, if they make you lose important gains related to otherworldliness and spirituality, all of them are minor things, they are worldly benefits; they make you lose great things, with them sincerity is broken.”23)
- “A profundity of sincerity is not to perform an act because of God, and to avoid doing things that are not in accordance with His consent.”24)
- “Late Dr. Nureddin Topçu would refer to those who try to prove themselves with showy recitations as “throat performers,” for he was so open to sincerity and constantly emphasized its importance. Bediüzzaman’s stance in this regard is dizzyingly deserving of appreciation. He did not wish to accept anything without sincerity; he slammed down anything that did not come from the bottom of the heart and trampled over it. There is need for a few dozens of such monuments of sincerity in our time, for they will change the face of the world. It has not been seen until now that those who perform their duties depending on wages, discretion, and veneration have done anything permanent, even if they may become a means for a temporary movement. Yes, people who perform actions considering worldly benefits, appreciation and veneration, even if they temporarily make an impact, have not been able to do anything permanent and serious until now, nor will they be able to do so in the future.
- The Umayyads, Abbasids, Khwarazmians, Ayyubids, Seljuks, and Ottomans who came after the Pride of Humanity and his Rightly Guided Caliphs fulfilled many services for Islam. Particularly at certain periods, they served as representatives of the Age of Happiness, and then took leave from this world as good memories. However, they were never able to equal the accomplishments of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. The underlying reason is those blessed caliphs dizzying sincerity of the deepest kind. What humanity needs today is not outward forms, formality, populism, appreciation, applauses, and big claims, but real Islam’s practical representation and its indication by personal state.”25)
- Thomas Michel, “Sincerity at the Heart of Gülen’s Theology”
M. Fethullah Gülen, Kalbin Zümrüt Tepeleri, İstanbul: Nil Yayınları, 2008, p. 109.
Ibid., p. 111.
Al-Ghazali, Ihya, 5/106–107.
Zafer Erginli, Metinlerle Tasavvuf Terimleri Sözlüğü, İstanbul: Kalem Yayınevi, 2006, p. 419.
AlGhazali, Ihya, 3/414, 4/179, 362; Al-Ghazali, Maariju’l-Quds, p. 88; Al-Ajluni, Kashfu’l-Khafa, 2/415.
Ibnu’l-Jawzi, Al-Mudhish, p. 490; Ibni Hajar, Muqaddimatu Fathu’l-Bari, p. 14; Al-Ubshayhi, Al-Mustatraf, 2/125.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, The Gleams, New Jersey: Tughra Books, 2013, p. 183.
Ibid., p. 184.
Ibid., p. 211.
Ibid., p. 213.
Ibid., p. 219.
Ibid., p. 225.
Ibid., p. 228.
Ibid., p. 230.
M. Fethullah Gülen, Diriliş Süvarileri ve İhlası Kırmanın Büyük Vebali”, 18 January 2015, Bamteli.
sincerity.txt · Last modified: 2022/06/24 16:07 by Editor