Some Words On Sincerity & The Purity of Intention – By Ibn Al-Qayyim

 الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين،  أما بعد


Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:

O seekers of knowledge, you have indeed written and studied, and so if knowledge requested you in the house of action (implementation) you would become insolvent. If you were to be disputed over sincerity you would become bankrupt. The tree of sincerity:


{أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ}

((Whose root is firmly fixed)) (Ibraheem: 24).


It is not harmed by the convulsion of:


{أَيْنَ شُرَكَائِيَ الَّذِينَ كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ}

((Where are My ‘partners’ which you used to claim?)) (Al-Qasas: 62).


As for the tree of riyaa (showing off); then indeed it becomes uprooted under the breeze of:


((Whoever used to worship a thing then let him follow it)).[1]


The riyaa of the show-offs reduced Masjid Ad-Diraar[2] to a rubbish heap and ruins:


{لَا تَقُمْ فِيهِ أَبَدًا}

((Do not stand [for prayer] within it – ever)) (At-Tawbah: 108)


And yet the sincerity of the sincere raised the level of the dirty and dishevelled to:


((Perhaps the dishevelled and dusty)).[3]


The heart of the one you are showing off to is in The Hand of The One you turned away from, He turns it away from you to other than you. So neither the reward of the sincere ones did you attain – nor to what you intended through riyaa (showing off) did you accomplish, and so relinquished was the reward and praise; and so not this nor that.

Do not chisel the name of the sovereign upon the forged dirham; for indeed it does not enter the treasury except after decisive analysis.

The sincere one seeks to pass unnoticed upon the creation by covering his condition, and by way of his discreet unobtrusiveness the review is found to be sound for him.

Meanwhile the show-off delves in bribery at the door of the king. Giving off the illusion that he is from amongst the exclusive ones (close associates) – when in actuality he is alien. So ask him then of the secrets of the king; he will be made a shambles of. Yet if still it is hidden from you; then observe his conduct with the attendants of the king.



(Taken from: Badaa-i Al-Fawaa-id vol 3 p.1224-1225)



[1] Part of a lengthy hadeeth reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.773) & Muslim (no.182) & others in which the people will be told on the Day of Resurrection: ((Whoever used to worship a thing then let him follow it)) and so from them will be those that will follow the sun and from them those that will follow the moon and from them will be those who will follow the taaghoot (everything that is worshipped besides Allaah).

[2] Masjid Ad-Diraar was the name given to the place of worship established by the hypocrites during the time of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his companions. The believers at the time were warned against this Masjid in the verses revealed in Soorah At-Tawbah (107-109) and so were forbidden from praying within it due to the corrupt intent of those that had established it. Imaam Al-Qurtubee (rahimahullaah) said in his Al-Jaami’ le-Ahkaam Al-Qur’aan (vol 8 p.254): “Ad-Diraar is that within which there is no benefit for you and is harmful for your neighbour.” The purpose behind the establishment of this Masjid is outlined by Shaikh ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) who stated in his book: Qawl Al-Mufeed vol 1 p.232 that it was:

  1. To cause detriment to Masjid Qubaa; thus it was known as Masjid Ad-Diraar (the Mosque of harm & contention).
  2. To commit disbelief with Allaah; as disbelief was endorsed within it – and Allaah’s refuge is sought, as those that took it up were the hypocrites.
  3. To cause divisions between the believers, so instead of a row or two being filled in Masjid Qubaa; only half a row would be intended to be filled whilst the rest should pray in an alternative Masjid. The Legislation however observes the union of the believers.
  4. To be an outpost for those who wage war on Allaah and His Messenger.

[3] The full hadeeth: ((Perhaps the dishevelled and dusty one possessing two shabby garments who is turned away from the doors of the people; were he to swear by Allaah – He would fulfil that)). Reported with this wording from the hadeeth of Anas bin Maalik by At-Tabaraanee in Al-Awsat (no.865) and At-Tahaawee in Mushkil Al-Aathaar (no.680). It was also reported by Al-Haithamee in Majma’ Az-Zawaa’id (vol 10 p.264) and he said: “in its chain of narration is ‘Abdullaah bin Moosaa and he has been deemed reliable; and the rest of its men (narrators) are from the men of the Saheeh.” Shaikh Al-Albaanee declared the hadeeth to be Saheeh li-gharihi (authentic due to other than it) in Saheeh At-Targheeb wat Tarheeb (no. 3212). It is reported with similar wording by Muslim (no.7119) from the hadeeth of Abee Hurairah in which the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: ((Perhaps the dishevelled one who is turned away at the doors; were he to swear by Allaah – He would fulfil that)).


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