Ep. 14 The Forties – Sincerity – A Trust in a Muslim’s Heart

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Al-Salam ‘Alaykum, this is Syed Ali Imran – and you are listening to the Forties podcast, brought to you by Mizan Institute.

This is episode 14 – Sincerity – A Trust in a Muslim’s Heart

3- حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مُوسَى بْنِ الْمُتَوَكِّلِ رِضْوَانُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ السَّعْدَآبَادِيُّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ خَالِدٍ عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبِي نَصْرٍ الْبَزَنْطِيِّ عَنْ حَمَّادِ بْنِ عُثْمَانَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي يَعْفُورٍ عَنِ الصَّادِقِ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ ع قَالَ: خَطَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص النَّاسَ‏ فِي‏ الْحِجَّةِ الْوَدَاعِ‏ بِمِنًى فِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْخَيْفِ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وَ أَثْنَى عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ نَضَّرَ اللَّهُ عَبْداً سَمِعَ مَقَالَتِي فَوَعَاهَا ثُمَّ بَلَّغَهَا مَنْ لَمْ يَسْمَعْهَا فَرُبَّ حَامِلِ فِقْهٍ غَيْرِ فَقِيهٍ وَ رُبَّ حَامِلِ فِقْهٍ إِلَى مَنْ هُوَ أَفْقَهُ مِنْهُ ثَلَاثٌ لَا يُغِلُّ عَلَيْهِنَّ قَلْبُ امْرِئٍ مُسْلِمٍ إِخْلَاصُ الْعَمَلِ لِلَّهِ وَ النَّصِيحَةُ لِأَئِمَّةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَ اللُّزُومُ لِجَمَاعَتِهِمْ فَإِنَّ دَعْوَتَهُمْ مُحِيطَةٌ مِنْ وَرَائِهِمْ الْمُسْلِمُونَ إِخْوَةٌ تَتَكَافَى دِمَاؤُهُمْ يَسْعَى بِذِمَّتِهِمْ أَدْنَاهُمْ هُمْ يَدٌ عَلَى مَنْ سِوَاهُمْ.

Hadith #13: Imam Sadiq: The Messenger of Allah (p) addressed the people in the farewell Ḥajj in Mina, in the Masjid al-Khayf. He thanked and praised Allah and then said:

May Allah assist a servant who hears my words and pays heed to them, and then propagates it to those who were unable to hear my words. So many carriers of knowledge are not knowledgeable, and so many propagators of knowledge transfer knowledge to those who are more knowledgeable than them.

There are three qualities that a heart of a Muslim does not act treacherously towards 1) Sincerity in action for Allah, 2) wishing the leaders of the Muslim well, and 3) sticking with the congregation of the Muslims, because their prayer encompasses those behind them and the Muslims are each other’s brothers. Their lives equally match each other’s lives and even the least important among them also strives to fulfill their responsibilities to the congregation.

A Muslim is meant to maintain the trusts, and this hadith says that there are three trusts in particular that a Muslim should never betray. He should protect and safeguard this trust, first is his sincerity towards Allah – by obeying him absolutely, not showing off and doing acts for others, the sincerity towards deeds are a trust that is in the heart of a Muslim that he must safeguard.

A second trust is to wish well for the righteous Muslim leaders, they have our back and we should have their back by giving them support, listening to their commands and orders and whatever political decisions that they make.

A third trust is the Muslim community itself and to not abandon them, in fact sticking with the congregation of the Muslims is to one’s own benefit, and being treacherous towards it will result in nothing but loss.

What we learn from this ḥadīth is that sincerity in one’s deeds is a trust – an amānah – that a Muslim has in their heart. Allah has asked us to perform certain deeds and he has asked us to maintain ikhlāṣ in them, this is an amānah, a trust. So anytime we come across a decision that we have to make, we have been entrusted by Allah to make the correct decision and to not betray Him by falling for the whispers of the Shaytan.

We’ve already established that sincerity is expected in all deeds – even those that aren’t specifically acts of worship, meaning acts that require the intention for their validity. If one betrays a trust and is treacherous towards it, then that will have repercussions.

In the context of our discussion, we should know that the rewards mentioned for many deeds that are non-worship are only going to be given if we perform those acts with sincerity.

To illustrate, praying in the masjid has a certain reward – praying in the masjid is 12 times more than just praying at home, praying in the masjid of a local bazār is 12, praying in your own local masjid is 25 times and a masjid jāmi’ is 100 times, Masjid Kufa and Aqsa is 1000 times, Masjid Nabawi is 10,000, and Masjid al-Ḥarām is 100,000 – all these masjids have their own allocated rewards. Now praying in the masjid is not a condition for the Salat, it is a non-worship, but let’s say you come to the masjid because it’s really cold outside and you want a place to warm up a little, so you come to the masjid, and now that you are here, you didn’t come here because of the fact that it’s a recommendation to pray at the Masjid, no you came here because of some other reason, in this case you are not deserving of the reward that is allocated for someone to goes to the masjid to pray. Or even if you go to the masjid with the intention to show off, in this case, though your Salat may be valid since you aren’t showing off in your Salat per say, but the reward that is allocated for those who pray at the masjid is not given.

This is because the reward is given to those who are fulfilling the command of Allah and are doing what pleases Him. Allah has said, it is recommended to pray at the masjid, so if your motivation to go to the masjid is not because Allah has commanded us to do so and told us about its recommendation, rather your motivation to go to the masjid is something else – then the reward which was meant to be given to those who go to the masjid to pray is not given.

This is a very crucial point that Sayyid Ahmad Zanjānī is making here, because what he’s really alluding towards is that what ends up manifesting itself in the physical world is not always relevant. Meaning, in both situations a person ended up at the masjid and prayed at the masjid – whether the reason why they were at the masjid was that they wanted to warm themselves up, or whether they went to the Masjid because Allah has commanded us and told us that it is recommended to do so. On a physical level, both scenarios seem the same – yet, in one case the act is not being done sincerely for God and so they are not deserving of the allocated reward, while the latter is. Please listen back to episode 3 if you need to refresh your memory on the discussion related to the motivating factors and elements for a deed.

In the next episode, we will see how the Imam Sadiq(a) informs us that the degree of sincerity one has is an indication of how strong their faith and belief is in Allah (swt).

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