And I’m back.
I’ve run into a mental road block, and with life comes strife so I hadn’t been much of a writing mood lately. Over the last few months I have had ideas–the most recent being a humorous one inspired my James Westray–but I decided to go with a subject as rare as a three-legged man. Joke intentional.
Relationships fail when they lack sincerity. Endeavors fail when the one who strives lacks sincerity. Intentions may accomplish simple goals, but the best of intent fails when it lacks sincerity.
Let us define sincerity first.
Sincerity: Freedom of deceit, hypocrisy, or duplicity. Synonyms–truth, condor, frankness. See honor
Simple enough? I would like to take the definition a step further: “Having intent completely in line with a stated purpose.” (This one is mine)
I know some folks who are very good at appearances. They love to pray publicly, speak of religion constantly, question the faith and sincerity of others, quick to call others a hypocrit–but cannot be counted on to keep their word for anything. Sadly, everyone seems to know where they stand except those they manipulate and themselves. I would say that such people lack sincerity.
- Doing a good deed for praise
- Achieving excellence for admiration of others
- Pursuing a goal for any reason other than simply acheiving that goal
- Being selfish
Let me relay a story.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) walked in as his wife had washed some clothes, and was folding the clothes and applying perfume. As she packaged the clothes up to take from the house Prophet Muhammad asked her where she was going. His wife answered, to give these clothes to the homeless.
No one could see what she was doing in the house but her husband. She was giving her clothes to the poor, and treated those clothes as if she were giving them to a queen. No doubt, the blessings she would receive for the deed were increased because of the sincerity she must have had in doing so. I would like to suggest that we all have various reasons for the things we do. Sometimes we do those things for money. Sometimes we do things for love. Sometimes we do them for pride and ego. But the greatest reason for doing anything is for the pleasure of God–we do it because it’s the right thing to do, and because God would want us to.
I have seen God-fearing men open liquor stores and night clubs. Celebrities and organizations publish press releases when they hold benefits for the poor. Gifted athletes create million dollar organizations in order to give 50 kids a single summer of football camp. No person knows our intentions when we do a good deed, but God always knows. When our intention is pure, and contains no selfish motive–no deceit–the outcome is concentrated and pure. When it is laced with ego, greed, and hypocrisy–it becomes watered down and diluted.
Today I heard a beautiful sermon that confirms something I have been doing for years. The Imam spoke of men dropping on their knees to ask Allah to get them out of a financial bind. But when we get up, do we just wait for blessings to drop out of the sky? Or do we get to work and hope that our prayer had given our efforts a shot of energy from our Creator? One thing we can do is purify what little wealth God has given us regularly–whether we want something or not. We purify this wealth by sharing the little we have with someone who has less. It cures us of selfishness, and makes us grateful for what we do have. God says that He blesses us so that we can bless others. How arrogant are we to think that we deserve all that we have just because WE deserve it! He gives us an abundance for the benefit of others. And remember this: God tells us that when we give Sadaqa (charity) it reaches HIS hands before it reaches the poor. If you were giving expired food from your cupboard to the poor–and you think that is a “good deed”–would you give that same unhealthy food if the one who was to eat it was God Himself? Remember, all of our good efforts will be rewarded, but they are rewarded extra when they are sincere.
Another thing we can do is to be sincere in our work. If we work with the knowledge that God has our back, would we be pessimistic or optimistic? If you work while knowing that your effort is going to be successful, the outcome would certainly be different if you thought you were working alone. <—- This is some advice I could use right now.
So today’s post isn’t old know-it-all Mustafa Akamo lecturing you all on some shit I’m trying to teach. I’m just having some thoughts about what I need to remember, and I’m letting you in on the conversation.
The soapbox will be back tomorrow, and I’ll be back to my old cocky, smart assed self. Thanks for visiting my blog.