Sincerity – The Difference Between Belief and Disbelief

You can have no Islam without sincerity. The shahadah given without sincere belief will not be accepted. The whole religion is based on sincerity. A person who is sincerely looking for the truth and his purpose, Allah will guide him to it. It is not enough to do the actions without having the right intentions, which is to please Allah alone.

Allah says in the Quran:

وَمَآ أُمِرُوٓا۟ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ حُنَفَآءَ وَيُقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَيُؤْتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ ٱلْقَيِّمَةِ

“And they were not commanded except to worship Allāh, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakāh. And that is the correct religion.” (98:5)

This is all that Allah asks of us. That we sincerely follow His path. This is the foundation of Islam.

إِنَّ ٱلْمُنَـٰفِقِينَ فِى ٱلدَّرْكِ ٱلْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ ٱلنَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيرًا

إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ تَابُوا۟ وَأَصْلَحُوا۟ وَٱعْتَصَمُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَأَخْلَصُوا۟ دِينَهُمْ لِلَّهِ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ مَعَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَسَوْفَ يُؤْتِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًۭا

Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire – and never will you find for them a helper –  Except for those who repent, correct themselves, hold fast to Allāh, and are sincere in their religion for Allāh, for those will be with the believers. And Allāh is going to give the believers a great reward. (4:145-146)

هُوَ ٱلْحَىُّ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَٱدْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ ۗ ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ

He 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 Allāh, Lord of the worlds. (40:65)

The Prophet PBUH says in the famous hadith on intention.

“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”  (bukhari and muslim)

Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather He looks at your hearts and actions.” (Muslim)

This is a really beautiful hadith. Isn’t it the case that we as people sometimes look down at others, because of their appearance? When’s the last time you saw an ad campaign or a marketing campaign with ugly people or even average looking people? Why do they do that? It’s because we look up to good looking people. And the same for the rich. It’s unfortunate but we might look down at our own Muslim brothers and sisters due to their appearance or lack of wealth. We might not want to even listen to them speak, but we’ll listen to podcasts and read articles about celebrities or rich “successful” business men, while they are all disbelievers.

But Allah who is All-Knowing and All-Just doesn’t do that. He looks at our intentions and correct actions.

If we were sick and had to choose between two doctors, both of equal abilities and experiences. One is a doctor for the money, and the other is a doctor because he sincerely wishes to help people. I think we would all choose the sincere doctor, due to his virtue.

In the “Ettiquette of Seeking Knowledge” sheikh Bakr Aboo Zayd explains 

that seeking knowledge without sincere intention transforms that act from being one of  the best acts of worship to becoming one of the lowest forms of violation. There is  nothing that destroys the blessing of knowledge as much as riyaa (showing off). As such  freeing one’s self from everything that blemishes one’s intentions, such as wealth, glory  and attention is of huge importance. If these things are allowed to blemish one’s  intentions then it will corrupt it and the blessing of the action will be lost. 

In a hadith of the Prophet PBUH, he describes 3 people who will be the first to be  sent into the hellfire. Before the disbelievers, 3 people who reached a high level of  prestige due to their deeds. A martyr, a scholar, and a wealthy charitable person. All will  claim to have done it for Allah, and Allah will reject all three, calling them liars. They  did it for worldly gain, and they received their reward in the world, so what do they want from Allah now? All three will be dragged by their faces and thrown into the hellfire. 

They were seemingly worshiping Allah greater than you and I. As scholars, as  fighters, as charitable individuals. If they did it sincerely for Allah, all these deeds would be deeds that would give them immense reward. A scholar teaching the religion would  get the same reward as all his students, and those that learn from them until the day of  judgment. An immense reward. The sincere martyr would be spared from the trials of  the grave, he will be automatically forgiven all his sins and so on. An immense reward.  And the charitable person who like the scholar would receive deeds for his charity so long as people continued to benefit from it. Imagine building masaajid and receiving the  reward of everyone who prays in it until the day of judgment. A huge reward. But  because they did it for other than Allah, it sends them to the lowest level of hellfire. 

May Allah protect us from that.

It is lessons like these that we must strive to teach our children, so that they are the best of mankind rather than the worst of mankind. It is a struggle keeping our kids firm on the Truth especially with all the distractions and the trials of modern day life.

It is for this reason that I, by Allah’s Mercy, have made a graphic novel aimed at Muslim youth. First and foremost the graphic novel is entertaining so that the child wants to read it, rather than being forced to read it. Secondly it is relatable, dealing with real everyday problems that children may encounter. Lastly it is informative with authentic knowledge from the Quran and Sunnah aimed at reminding our children of the value of Islam even when they are playing and entertaining themselves.

So if you’re looking for a fun and effective way to teach your children about Islam, give our graphic novel a try. You won’t be disappointed!

A fun moral comic for kids

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