Ikhlass (sincerity) is like Jannah (Heaven) for a Mu&"men. It is the soul of the pious and a secret between Allah and His slave. Ikhlass thwarts evil thoughts and Shaytan&"s (Satan) whispers to the slave. It means directing all of your actions to Allah and no one else. The Mu&"men must not seek the pleasure of anything or anyone except Allah. He must never seek praise or tributes from people, but always expect rewards from only Him alone.An example of pure ikhlass can be seen in the actions of Ayoub As-Sakhtiyani who used to perform Salah all night long. He did not tell any body about it and when the morning came, he used to act as if he had just woken up from sleep.
To have Ikhlass means one perfects and completes an action in the best manner possible. It is the dearest trait in this world. It is to single out Allah with your intention when carrying out acts of worship through continuously observing only Allah alone. What is done for Allah&"s sake alone is rewarded, but what is done for others beside Allah goes in vain and is lost into thin air. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"The reward of deeds depend upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrates for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration will be for what he emigrated for&" (Narrated by al-Bukhari).
Ikhlass has a very prominent status in religion; it is unequaled by any other trait. Deeds are only accepted by Allah if they are performed with Ikhlass. Allah reminds us in numerous ayat of the Qur&"an about Ikhlass. Some of these ayat are: &"They were not commanded except to worship Allah, (being) sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth&" (Al-Baiyinah: 5).
Allah (mighty and majestic is He) says: 162- Say: &"Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.’ 163- ‘No partner has He. This I have been commanded, and I am the first (among you) of the Muslims&" &" (Al-An&"âm: 162-163).
Allah (mighty and majestic is He) says: &"(He) Who created death and life to test you (as to) which of you is best in deed&" (Al-Mulk: 2).
He also says: 2- Indeed, We have sent down to you the Boo, (O Muhammad) in truth. So worship Allah, (being) sincere to Him in religion. 3- Unquestionably, for Allah is the pure religion (Az-Zumar: 2-3).
Allah the Exalted says: &"So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone&" (Al-Kahf: 110).