Sometimes we may doubt our own sincerity or the validity of our good deeds. This is often due to misunderstanding sincerity. In this blog post we will look at a few principles regarding this issue.
- Sincerity comes from the heart
No one can tell us that we are being sincere or insincere. Sincerity is a private action emanating from the heart. Only we can begin to gauge our own sincerity. For most ritual acts of worship, we do not have to utter our sincerity or verbalise it. It is sufficient to have sincerity in the heart. Whenever we intend to worship God, we must look into our hearts and ensure we are only doing the action to please God.
- We ask God for acceptance
Once we have performed the act of worship as sincerely as possible, we should not fret over it. Instead, we ask God for acceptance. God informs us in the Quran that when the Prophets Abraham and Ishmael were building the Kabah, they asked God to accept their efforts. Once we’ve done our best, our worship is out of our hands. We trust in God’s mercy and compassion. Even if there were unintentional deficiencies in our worship, God will overlook them.
- Sincerity does not mean perfection
Some people think that sincerity means they have to be perfect. For example, a person is making their ritual ablution, but they keep thinking that they did not do it properly or did not have the required sincerity, and therefore repeat it multiple times. We must avoid thinking like this. Islam commands us to have sincerity and carry out our worship to the best of our human ability.
- Ask for God’s help
We should supplicate to God for His assistance. We should ask Him to grant us sincerity and seek God’s protection from Satan and his devices. Sometimes Satan attempts to turn us away from worship by placing obstacles before us or giving us negative thoughts. We have to try our best to dismiss such thoughts and seek God’s help in doing so.
- Seek professional help
If you constantly racked with negative thoughts and require someone to speak to, do not be afraid to seek professional help or speak to a therapist. If you have access to an imam who has therapy training, they may also be able to help you. Therapists and imams who have expertise in this area may be able to provide you with certain techniques to help with these issues.