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).
First: having pure Tawheed of Allah (mighty and majestic). Allah says: 2- …(being) sincere to Him in religion. 3- Unquestionably, for Allah is the pure religion (Az-Zumar: 2-3).
Allah the Exalted also says: &"They were not commanded except to worship Allah, (being) sincere to Him in religion&" (Al-Baiyinah: 5).
Every outward action which contradicts one’s inward thoughts and deeds is false
Second: being a true follower of the Prophet (peace be upon him), obeying him in his commands, abstaining from his prohibitions and believing in whatever he conveyed. Allah (mighty and majestic is He), says: &"O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those in authority among you. If you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best (way) and best in result&" (An-Nisâ&": 59).
Third: if you want to have Ikhlass, be careful to continue to do good deeds properly, and always remember the seven kinds of people who will be in Allah&"s shade on that Day when there will not be any shade but His, one being described below: &"A man who givese charity in secret…&" (Narrated by al-Bukhari).
Also remember that: &"The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions…&" (Narrated by al-Bukhari).
Fourth: always praise Allah from the bottom of your heart, and stop looking at what people have. Your bond should be with Allah, your Creator (mighty and majestic is He), for a person who has Ikhlass does not look forward to having a worldly gain or a spouse to marry, but rather he looks forward to achieving Allah&"s Mercy.
Fifth: you have to throw your self at the doorstep of Your Lord, demonstrating submissiveness and subordination, imploring Him to provide you with Ikhlass, to purify you from hypocrisy, and to forgive all of your sins and wrongdoings.
To have Ikhlass is to abstain from seeking a person to see your good deeds except Allah, and to expect rewards from only Him.
Sixth: to avoid and be aware of hypocrisy and showing-off. If a slave of Allah begins to know the path to hypocrisy and lets it enter the soul, he will completely distance himself from being able to have Ikhlass. An example of this is when one describes himself, or accepts that people name him as a Waley (a pious man who is supported by Allah), or boasts about his good deeds and acts of worship. Allah (mighty and majestic is He) says: 15- Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments - We fully repay them for their deeds therein, and they therein will not be deprived. 16- Those are the ones for whom there is not in the Hereafter but the Fire; and lost is what they did therein, and worthless is what they used to do (Hûd: 15-16).
Hypocrisy is an act of minor shirk and it suffices that one of its disastrous results is that Allah does not accept a person&"s deeds, even if it appears to be good, but He throws it back at its doer.
Seventh: seeking companionship of those who are sincere. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend&" (Narrated by at-Tirmidhi).
Ikhlass cannot exist in a person’s heart together with the love of praise and tributes from others, just as fire cannot exist with water.
Eighth: Conealing oneself when worshipping Allah, and performing acts of worship in secret. Allah the Exalted says: &"If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you&" (Al-Baqarah: 271).
Ninth: seriously and continuously searching one’s soul at all times. Allah (mighty and majestic is He) says: &" Those who strive for Us - We shall surely guide them to Our ways&" (Al-&"Ankabût: 69).
Contemplate over Allah&"s Words which He uses here: &"…for Us &" !!
Tenth: continuously supplicating Allah and seeking His Face and pleasure. A slave in need of Allah will obtain His mercy and be granted his needs if he continuously knocks on Allah’s door.
1-Acceptance of deeds: It is a very important fruit of Ikhlass, since Ikhlass is a precondition for the acceptance of deeds. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"Certainly Allah the Exalted only accepts those deeds done with sincerity and (performed) solely to earn His pleasure&" (Narrated by an-Nasa&"i).
2-Victory and dominance: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Verily, Allah grants victory to this nation because of the weak people in it; by their invocation, prayer and sincerity” (Narrated by an-Nasa&"i).
3-Hearts become cured from moral diseases: These diseases are envy, malice, spite and treachery. In the farewell piligrimage sermon, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"The heart of a believer possessing these three qualities can never be overpowered by malice or enmity; the believer who performs all actions with complete sincerity (i.e. solely for the pleasure of Allah the Exalted in accordance to the manner that has been prescribed by the Prophet), showing obedience to the leaders of Islam and fulfilling their rights, and remaining steadfast (and upholding the religion) with the Muslim Ummah (nation). Such people’s supplications encompass the entire Ummah” (Narrated by at-Tirmidhi).
Ibnu &"Omar said: &"If I am sure that Allah accepts even one sajjdah (prostration) of my salah and even one dirham of my sadaqa (charity), there would not be a visitor more beloved to me in this world than death. Do you know from whom Allah accepts deeds?&" &"Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous (who fear Him)&" (Al-Mâ&"idah: 27).
4-Worldly actions are added to righteous deeds and are rewarded: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “… and in man&"s sexual intercourse (with his wife), there is Sadaqa (charity).” They (the Companions) said: “O Messenger of Allah; is there reward for him who satisfies his sexual passion among us?” He said: “Tell me, if he were to devote it to something forbidden (e.g. fornication), would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he were to devote it to something lawful, he should have a reward.” (Narrated by Muslim).
5-It drives away bad ideas and satanic, evil thoughts: Allah (mighty and majestic is He) tells us about what Shaytan said when Allah drove him out of Jannah, away from His Mercy: 39- (Iblees) said: “My Lord, because You have put me in error, I shall surely make (disobedience) attractive to them on earth, and I shall mislead them all” 40- “Except, among them, Your chosen servants&" (Al-Hijr: 39-40).
6-Relief from distress and calamities: an example of this is the famous story of the three men who were forced to take shelter from rain in a cave overnight, and a large rock closed the cave door and they could not leave the cave. The Hadeeth has been authenticated in the two most authenticated books of Hadeeth (i.e., Al-Bukari and Muslim).
One person is he who secludes himself from worldly pleasures, though he craves for them in his heart, and the other person is he who mingles with and sees all these worldy pleasures but secludes his heart from craving for them. The latter is wiser that the former.
7-Being saved and secure from the dangers of temptations: an example of this is what happened to the Prophet of Allah, Yusuf (Joseph) (peace be upon him). Allah tells us about this: &" She certainly determined (to seduce) him, and he would have inclined to her had he not seen the proof of his Lord. And thus (it was) that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants&" (Yûsuf: 24).
One virtuous small deed might be abundantly rewarded because of one’s niyah (intention), and many good deeds might be scarcely rewarded also because of one’s niyah.
8-Receiving the reward despite being unable to carry out the good deed that one intended to do. Allah (mighty and majestic is He) says: &"Nor (is there blame) upon those who, when they came to you that you might give them mounts, you said: &"I can find nothing for you to ride upon.&" They turned back while their eyes overflowed with tears out of grief that they could not find something to spend (in the cause of Allah)&" (At-Taubah: 92).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: &"Whoever asks Allah for martyrdom, sincerely from his heart, Allah will cause him to reach the status of the martyrs even if he dies in his bed&" (Narrated by Muslim).
9-Entering Jannah: Allah (mighty and majestic is He) says: &" You will not be recompensed except for what you used to do&" (As-Sâffât: 39).
Hide your good deeds as you hide your bad actions.
Allah the Exalted also says: 40- …but not the chosen servants of Allah. 41- Those will have a provision determined -42- Fruits; and they will be honoured 43- In gardens of pleasure 44- On thrones facing one another. 45- There will be circulated among them a cup (of wine) from a flowing spring, 46- White and delicious to the drinkers; 47- No bad effect is there in it, nor from it will they be intoxicated. 48- With them will be women limiting (their) glances, with large (beautiful) eyes, 49- As if they were (delicate) eggs, well-protected&" (As-Sâffât: 40-49).
This is one of the greatest fruits of Ikhlass.