Ikhlas : The essence of sincerity for Islamic aqeedah

The concept of Ikhlas is very essential to understand the Islamic aqeedah. Because Islamic aqeedah is not simply to believe in eternal life and an omni-potent creator but it is also a informational psyche that is perpetual and a life-style that fuels this psyche.

Like many words that act as a milestone for Islamic aqeedah, the word Ikhlas is very “thick” and has many semantic layers. It can mean sincere, free from hypocrisy. In order to have such a heart, to fill it with Ikhlas one has to purify it first.

Not just the set of religious exercises that are fundamental to Islamic belief system, but the entire way of life for an average Muslim must seek the “will of Allah(j.j)” only.

Being religious means to establish a social position. One can feel lonely or in need of social acceptance and a circle of believers can welcome warmly a believer. So in this case, we can easily question the motives of a believer.

Is he seeking truly information about the very meaning of his life?

Is he trying solve his existential crisis or is he seeking comfort in a group of friends that share similar values?

If the latter is the case, what would prevent him from showing “extra care” in his religious exercises since being more pious would mean climbing the social ladders faster in such a circle of believers?

Showing off to others is a big no-no when it comes to religious exercises in Islam. If one is sincere about his worship to Allah(j.j) he can’t seek social acceptance from others. If he is awarded such a status without asking for it, then it is ok.

But here lies a delicate balance: When we seek knowledge in our pursuit of purifying our faith, do we aim for the “will of Allah(j.j)” only or we care to strengthen our social bonds?

There is nothing wrong to strengthen our social bonds, in worldly manners. However, we should keep our “aqeedah” free from such bonds.

In order to establish such a difficult balance, the concept of Ikhlas comes in to our aid. There are many studies in the history of Islam, derived from many hadith and Quranic verses regarding this concept.

Ikhlas is such a shield that even the devil can’t approach souls who has some:

(Iblis) said: “O my Lord! because Thou hast put me in the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair-seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in the wrong,-

“Except Thy servants among them, sincere and purified (by Thy Grace).” (Al-Hijr 15/39-40)

Ikhlas can be such a concept that is difficult to comprehend for modern-thinkers where today’s world is full of “intermediates” when we aim to reach our goals.

In Islamic aqeedah, there is only one aim: to reach and gain the will of Allah(j.j). And to do so, there is only one “intermediate”, the very soul of the worshipper fueled with Ikhlas.

There can be nobody between the soul and Allah(j.j), if the soul has “Ikhlas”…

If the soul is not sincere in his quest for knowledge from Allah(j.j), he will fill his path with many “unnecessary and mundane nuisances” without even realizing it.


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