Reminder – Intentions in writing
In the Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful
This is a reminder for myself first and foremost, and for those who strive for sincerity.
Alhamdulila, Allah has given some of us, the passion to write and has facilitated us through many means to expose our writings. We all desire that we share with the world our ideas, and express our views. The best motivation, and the enthusiasm which one can draw from in becoming successful in whatever he/she pursues, is from sincerity.
Yet, we are always under the watch of Shaytaan, ever ready to make us slip at any opportunity we may find in pleasing Allah. He is our open enemy, and I pray Allah protects our deeds, and grants us sincerity in all our actions. Ameen.
We hear of the following hadith, being repeated many times:
‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA), that he said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saying, ‘Actions are only by intentions, and every man has only that which he intended. Whoever’s emigration is for Allah and His Messenger then his emigration is for Allah and His Messenger. Whoever’s emigration is for some worldly gain which he can acquire or a woman he will marry then his emigration is for that for which he emigrated‘
This hadith can be heard, and we can be taught its commentaries, yet absorbing and memorising this as a piece of knowledge isn’t sufficient for us to be content within ourselves, believing that our actions are sincerely for Allah, as it can only be put into practise.
In this context of writing articles, it’s very easy to fall into losing our sincerity. We may begin with a good clear intention, yet as we may proceed in writing, shaytaan will try to deter that. When something is exposed and potentially subjected to praise, one can fall into the danger of losing their sincerity.
I’ll keep this reminder short, and inshAllah pray that Allah protects our sincerity!
1. Renew intentions. We can easily lose our intention whilst writing.
2. Question your motive. Our intention maybe sincere when we first write or begin to write, but sometimes it can waiver whilst writing, as shaytaan will whisper…
‘Dude write so and so, and people will think you’re pious’. How do you know when you’re sincere? You question you’re motives… because the success of the article will be dependent upon you’re sincerity. Is your motive that you write so people ‘wow’ you, or whilst you write, do you think about how Allah will be pleased?
We should be truthful to ourselves, and that’s the only way we achieve sincerity…
We should be wary that we don’t fall into a trade with our deeds…buying praise, with the currency of our lofty deeds!
Finally, when if we get good remarks or praise, it will attack your sincerity, but all in all, if our sincerity was there in first place, it shouldn’t affect us too much, yet if we wanted people to ‘wow’ us, realise how we get happy, and it increases us in motivation to do more…. only because the ‘wow’ that we sought was found. And it’s feeding the insincerity.
However, if you feel praise does attack your sincerity, know that you were sincere!
As Ibn Al Qayyim mentions in the characteristics of the seeker of happiness:
He should be bold in his aspiration, firm in his resolve, and not swayed from his goal by the blame of the blamers or the discouragement of the discouragers.
He should generally be tranquil, constantly in thought, and not be moved by the sweetness of a compliment or the pain of criticism. (Al Fawa’id. Page 265)
We should aim to keep the balance there, that when people do appreciate your writings, continue to write, and don’t let the fear get to you, of am I doing this because people like it. Yes we should because Allah has bestowed a blessing upon you, and 75% of the time, the sincerity, led to people benefiting…
As I end with…
‘All humans are dead, except those who have knowledge, all those who have knowledge asleep, except those who do good deeds, and those who do good deeds are deceived, except those who are sincere, those who are sincere are always in a state of worry’ Imam Sha’fi
Any good from this, is from Allah and His Taufiq, and any errors are from myself.
I pray Allah gives us the ability to act upon our knowledge, and be amongst the sincere. Ameen….