How to Achieve Ikhlas


How is ikhlāṣ [purity] of intention in [one’s] deeds to be achieved, esteemed Shaikh?

Answer by Shaikh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ Al-ʿUthaimīn, may Allāh have mercy on him

[Having] ikhlāṣ of intention in [one’s] deeds is that a person disregards everything except Allāh; that nothing is driving him to do this act of worship other than [the desire] to follow the commands of Allāh, Almighty and Majestic, and the desire to [attain] His rewards and [see] His Face, Almighty and Majestic, [on the Day of Resurrection]; and that he disregards everything connected to this worldly life while [doing] this act of worship.

So he is not concerned about people, whether they saw him or didn’t see him, heard him or didn’t hear him. And he doesn’t give any thought to them, whether they’ve praised him or criticized him.

And likewise, from the means of [attaining] ikhlāṣ is that a person, upon undertaking an act of worship, also keep in mind the command of Allāh, Almighty and Majestic, regarding it; and keep in mind [that he] is following the Messenger ﷺ in [doing] that.

An example of that is a man who is set to perform ablution [wuḍū]. So here, we say: Keep in mind that you have only undertaken–yes, keep in mind that you are only [doing] wuḍū in order to carry out the commands of Allāh, Almighty and Majestic, as if you were right now reading the speech of Allāh the Most High:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ

O you who have believed, when you are about to pray [and are not already in a state of ritual purity], wash your faces and arms, up to and including the elbows; wipe over heads [including the ears]; and [wash] your feet up to and including the ankles. (Al-Māʾidah, 6)

And [also keep in mind] during your wuḍū that it’s as if you’re saying, “[I’m] hearing and obeying.” You’ll find, [by doing] this, sweetness, pleasure, and love for ritual purity because Allāh has commanded you to do it.

Then keep in mind that you are, by doing this act, following the Messenger ﷺ, as if the Messenger ﷺ were in front of you while you were following him in this [act] of wuḍū.

In this way, the reward and compensation for having ikhlāṣ and following [the Messenger ﷺ] will become a reality for you, and in that way, is the testimony [of faith] realized, that there is no true god deserving of worship other than Allāh and that Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allāh.

Source: Silsilah Fatāwá Nūr ʿalá Al-Darb, tape 279.

Translator: Mikail ibn Mahboob Ariff
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enclosure: 1663252 audio/mpeg
Date published: March 26th, 2024