Sincerity 101 For Muslim Activists
1. Do you seek fame and reputation?
A sincere person abhors and fears fame and reputation, especially if he or she possesses different talents, and firmly believes that Allah [swt] will hold people to account according to their inner conscience and not the outer appearance, and that frame will be of no avail before Allah [swt] is man meets Him with a corrupted intention. However, we should bear in mind that, these instructions do not recommend isolation or loneliness. These instructions, of course are an alarm to the danger of the concealed desires, and a caution against the means by which Satan makes use of to creep into the heart of man. Undoubtedly, there is no wrong in fame itself, for the Prophet [pbuh] and the Imams [a] are the most famous men. Wrong is to make it one’s aim in life.
2. Do you perform the good deeds better in public?
Sincere individuals prefer the hidden action over the public one. They prefer to be like the root of the tree, which is not visible, yet it is the main cause of maintaining the tree with elements of life.
3. Does your motivation vary whether you are a leader or just another member of an Islamic organization or a committee working for an Islamic event?
Sincere individuals are not concerned about their status, whether they are a leader or a follower. Their only objective is to serve Allah [swt] and the cause. Therefore their hearts are not possessed with love for leadership. They prefer the position of a soldier to the position of leader in cases that they cannot fulfill the duties of leadership. They do not ask to be a leader, but when they are charged with it they ask Allah’s [swt] help to fulfill their duties and obligations.
4. Do you feel happy when people are pleased with you?
Sincere individuals do not pay even the slightest attention to the pleasure of people when it is in direct contradiction with the pleasure of Allah [swt]. People are different in inclinations, aims, and thoughts, and so one cannot please all of them. Thus, the devoted amongst the sincere individuals are not interested in seeking the pleasure of people.
5. Do you abandon working for Allah [swt] if you are hurt by the actions or words of others?
Sincere individuals’ love and hate, spending and saving, delight and wrath are all in sincerity for the sake of Allah [swt] and the religion of Islam. Unfortunately, some individuals leave the field of Da’wah if they are hurt by some of their brothers and sisters even with the bellow of one word. They abandon the stuggle due to trivial reasons. However, sincerity for the sake of Da’wah means to preserve whatever the obstacles that he may face, since his sacrifice is for the sake of Allah [swt] and not for himself or family. Da’wah for Allah’s [swt] sake is a common duty; it is not restricted to particular reasons. Therefore, no one is permitted to abandon it due to the conduct or behavior of some other individual’s mal thought and intentions.
6. Does the long road ahead or the obstacles along the way frustrate you?
Sincere individuals do not experience laziness or lassitude due to the great length of the journey and the obstacles they encounter in it. They do not aim at achieving victory or success only, but hope for the pleasure of Allah [swt] before anything else. In fact, Allah [swt] will not ask people on the Day of Judgement about the reason they did not achieve victory, instead He will ask them about their endeavors and actions His way.