Ikhlas in Islam-Sincerity According to Quran and Sunnah

Ikhlas means sincerity, purity or solitude. In religion Islam, it denotes purifying our feelings and intentions to get closer and seek the pleasure of Allah Almighty. Ikhlas or sincerity is a fundamental concept in Islam. We must have sincerity in our every action and deeds, every action that we performed should be solely for Allah’s sake. If we are sincere then we will be successful in this life and hereafter. In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) stated: “And they were not commanded except with this: that they should worship Allah, being completely sincere in the Din.” (Quran 98:5)

In Islam, any form of worship that we do, we need sincerity in it. Sincerity cannot be shown when we worship Allah (SWT) but we can create a sense of sincerity through our intentions. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Religion is sincerity, religion is sincerity (Al-Nasihah), religion is sincerity.” They said; “To whom, O Messenger of Allah?” He (SAW) said: “To Allah, to His Book, to His Messenger, to the imams of the Muslims and to their common folk.” (An-Nisa’i)

Allah Almighty specifically uses the word sincere (Mukhlaseen) in the Noble Quran to describe His servants who will be rewarded in this world or in the Hereafter. “But the sincere servants of Allah—for them is sustenance determined” (Quran, 37: 40-41). In another verse of the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “Then see what was the end of those who were warned, except for the sincere servants of Allah.” (Quran, 37: 73-74)

Ikhlas or sincerity is not correct until we are truthful in our speech, action, striving and while we desire nothing but the Face of Allah Almighty and the Home of the Hereafter that will never end. Allah (SWT) says: “And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it as it should be strived for while being a believer then his striving will be acknowledged (rewarded).” (Quran, 17:19)

The purpose of life’s hardships is to test our Ikhlas towards Allah (SWT). In the Noble Quran, Almighty Allah stated: “Do the people think that they will be left alone on saying, “We believe,” and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.” (Quran, 29:2-3)

Our inner reality is more important in the eyes of Allah (SWT) than our outer reality. In hadith Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Allah does not look at your bodies nor does he look at your faces, but He looks at your hearts.” (Bukhari)

Sincerity is the essential quality that guards our hearts and protects us from the treason of evil spiritual forces. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in hadith: There are three traits by which the heart of a Muslim will not be deceived (or consumed by hatred): sincere deeds for Allah, offering goodwill to the leaders of the Muslims, and keeping to their community.” (Tirmidhi)