1. Ikhlaas (Sincerity) – Hifz Memorising Spirituality

by Shaykh Yahya al-Ghawthani

Al-Ikhlaas Sirr ul-Fath – Sincerity is the secret to success.

When a person exerts himself to his limits and progresses in ways unimaginable, yet in spite of his efforts lacks sincerity in his  actions or does not have Tawakkul (firm trust and conviction) in Allah Ta’ala, his actions will always remain deficient. It is for this reason we find many inventors and visionaries who benefit mankind with their ideas and inventions but due to the lack of sincerity in their work – the sincerity (Ikhlaas) that stems from having faith in Allah Ta’aala – their outcome will be bleak.

As believers we must remind ourselves of this verse of the Qur’an, where Allah Almighty says:


قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُم بِالاخْسَرِينَ أَعْمـلاً
Say: “Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds”

الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِى الْحَيوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا
Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds. (Al-Kahf, Ayah 103,104)

They strove and toiled but their efforts were ultimately wasted because they lacked the crucial elements of Imaan and Ikhlaas.
We therefore praise Allah excessively for the bounty of Islam and Imaan.

In reality,  to truly expand on the topic of Ikhlaas (sincerely seeking Allah’s pleasure alone), lengthy discourses are required as the examples of Ikhlaas are numerous. From among these examples (of Ikhlaas) are the incidents of Imaam Nawawi, Imaam Shaatbi and the incident of Imaam Ahmad.

The example of Imam Shatibi’s Ikhlaas is truly amazing. He would do Tawaaf (circumambulation) of the Ka’bah with his compilation, hundreds, rather thousands of times saying, “Oh Allah, if I have composed it seeking your pleasure, then decree that it will remain (for time to come)” – And Imaam Shaatbi did not leave it at that. He went on to write it on some sheets which he placed written in a bottle, sealed and cast into the sea and then invoked Allah Most High to keep it safe if it was written seeking His divine pleasure. The days passed and one day, as a fisherman was out fishing, he saw the bottle amongst the fish and opened it. In the bottle he found a sheet on which was inscribed a Qaseedah (verses) about Qiraa’ah. The fisherman said to himself, “I take an oath by Allah, I know this not except that it can be traced back to Imaam Shaatbi. I will go and enquire from him about it.” When the fisherman went to Imaam Shaatbi and mentioned what he had found in the sea, the Imaam said to him: “Open it and recite what is in it”,


The fisherman began reciting:

بدات باسم الله في النظم اولا … تبارك رحمان الرحيم موئلا
و ثنيت صلى الله ربي على الرضا … محمد المهدي الى الناس مرسلا

As the fisherman went on reciting, Imaam Shaatbi began weeping and narrated to him the incident of the Qaseedah.
The outcome of this is that we witness in every place, students of Qur’anic Sciences memorise this Qaseedah, and it that has gained much popularity. Whether you go to Indonesia, India, Egypt, Shaam, Turkey; it is famous in every place because its composer was sincere in his deeds.

 Principle No. 1:

ما قصد به وجه الله تعالى , لا بد أن يبقى
Whatever is done solely seeking the pleasure of Almighty Allah (its effect and blessing) is sure to be long-lasting