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13 Aug 2015

Not Misunderstanding The Term ‘Ikhlaas’

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bismillah

This term ‘Ikhlaas is one that many of us use often as Muslims. We have been hearing it since Allah guided us to Islam. What we need to do though, is ask ourselves how many of us really understand the meaning of this term. We need to figure out whether or not anyone has sat down with us and explained to us in detail that which is meant when we use this word. After all it is not an English word. So chances are, we don’t understand it like we think we do.

Taking all of this into consideration, when I came across this question asked to Sheikh Uthaimeen about this exact issue, I felt it important that I share it with all of you. May Allah reward the Sheikh generously and continue to aide all of us in obtaining beneficial knowledge. Allahuma ameen.


When Sheikh Uthaimeen was asked –

What is the meaning of ‘Ikhlaas’? If the worshiper wanted something else by his worship then  ‘Ikhlaas’, than what is the ruling?

The Sheikh replied –

Having Iklaas for Allah means – ((That an individual wants from his worship to obtain a closeness to Allah and to find a way to entering into His Paradise)).

If the worshiper wanted something from his worship other than this, then the details of each situation needs to be looked into individually. This way we can see which of the following categories it falls into:

The First Category: That  one wants to gain a closeness to other than Allah by doing this worship and to gain the praise of the creation by doing so. Then this erases the reward of doing this worship and is said to be shirk. Imaam Muslim reported the hadeeth of  Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah said ‘I am not in need that partners should be associated with me. Who ever does an action that something else is associated as a partner with me in it, then I have left it and his association of something else with me'”.

The Second Category: That the individual desires to obtain something in this life like leadership, honor and money instead of trying to gain a closeness to Allah. This action is completely rejected, meaning it does not get this person closer to Allah at all. This is because of the statement of Allah {Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein.(15) They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire; and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.(16)} [11:15-16].

The difference between this category and the one that came before it is that the first one intended that the people praise him for being someone that worshiped Allah. Where as the second one was not intended that the people praise him for worshiping Allah, and it really doesn’t concern him that they praise him for that.

The Third Category: That one intends to gain a closeness to Allah and some benefit from this world. This happens for example when one makes the intention to purify themselves for the purpose of worshiping Allah, and as a side benefit becoming energized and clean. Another example is where a person decides to worship Allah by praying to Him, and as a side benefit the moving of their bodies and light exercise. When Someone fasts for Allah, and also to loose weight and unnecessary materials. When one decides to worship Allah by way of making hajj and to get to see the different sights, rituals and others making hajj. This type or category takes away from the reward of Iklaas. If the majority of the intention was for worship than they will not get the full reward, but they do not receive from it sin. This is because of the statement of Allah about those making hajj {There is no sin on you if you seek the Bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage by trading, etc.).} [2:198].

If the majority of the intention was for other  than worship, that there is no reward in the hereafter. Rather their reward happens in this life. It is feared that they incurr sin by this because he made worship, which is the most important and pricey thing, and made it as something that is used to gain something of this lowly world. So they are like the ones that Allah said about them {And of them are some who accuse you (O Muhammad SAW) in the matter of (the distribution of) the alms. If they are given part thereof, they are pleased, but if they are not given thereof, behold! They are enraged!} [9:58]. Also, in the Sunnan of Abi Dawood on the authority of Abu Hurairah that a man said: o Prophet of Allah a man wants to fight in the cause of Allah and also wants from that some benefit from this world. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is not reward for him”. So he repeated it three times and the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is not reward for him”. Also in the two Saheehs (al Bukhari and Muslim) on the authority of Umar bin al Khataab (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Who ever made hijrah for some worldly benefit or a woman so that he may marry her, than his hijrah is to that which he made hijrah to achieve.”

If the situation is equal, and intention outweighs the other, than this is a situation that needs to be looked into. The closest opinion is that there is no reward or them just like the one that did an action for Allah and for other than him.

The difference between this category and the one before it is that the thing that was not out of worship in the previous category happened out of necessity, or it followed along with the worship. Therefore it is like he wanted something that was only going to come along with the worship anyway.

So if it’s said, “What is the scale that is used in this situation about a person’s intention being more toward worship or other than it?”

We say: The scale is that he, if he didn’t look at anything other than worship, regardless of whether the other thing happened or didn’t happen, then this points to the fact that the majority of his intention was for worship, and the same is true for the opposite.

In any situation, The niyyah (intention), which is the statement of the heart, its situation is great. Its something that is very important. Its possible that it raises the worshiper to the level of being among the truthful. It an also lower him to being from the lowest of the low. Some of the Salaf said, “I have not fought myself in anything the way I have had to struggle with establishing Ikhlaas”. We ask Allah for us and for all of you al Ikhlaas in our intention and good actions.

[Taken from Fataawah Arkan ul Islam by Sheikh Uthaimeen]

[Translated by Abu Abdillah Abdul Lateef]

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