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Friday, April 14, 2006

The Principles Of Our Path, II

Prof. Dr. Mahmud Es'ad Cosan
(Taken from a lecture given on May 10, 1997 in Stockholm, Sweden)

2. Purity in Intentions

The second principle of our path is the ikhlas (purity) in intentions, for the acceptance of the deeds depends on the purity and sincerity of the intentions. When the deeds lack sincerity, they are not rewarded even if they are carried out perfectly in form and appearance. The lack of sincerity and purity of intentions leads to riyâ (doing deeds for show-off) and sum'a (doing deeds for fame). Almighty Allah does not accept the deeds that are carried out with riyâ and insincerity. That is why one of our principles is the sincerity. We ought to pay utmost attention to the sincerity and purity in our intentions.

We regard the intention in everything we do. First we consider our intention in what we do and then we state it with words. For instance, we say "My Lord, I intend to perform four units of the Sunnah prayer before the dhuhr (noon) prayer in accordance to the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet," and we begin the prayer. We say "My Lord, I intend to fast this day of Ramadhan," and we wash our mouth and start fasting.

This also indicates that we must pay attention to do everything with sincerity. That is our desire, our decision, and our principle. We must observe and verify our intention before doing anything. That is the second principle of our path.

We may have sincere intentions in doing something, but if it contradicts the Qur'an and Sunnah, it has no value. Imagine a woman who walks around the grave of Halwaji Baba nine times with tears in her eyes and a good intention in her heart. She is so sincere that her sincerity is manifested through her intense sobbering and tears, yet her deed is futile. How could it be? There is no deed in Islam as walking around Halwaji Baba's grave for nine times. The establishment of something that was never in Islam is a bid'ah (innovation), and Almighty Allah does not like bid'ah. That is why what she does has no value. In the hereafter, she will be questioned, "Why did you invent this walk around grave?"

If each person with a good intention puts out an innovation, this religion turns into the religions that preceded it. It becomes corrupt and gets out of the right track.

Did Jesus (pbuh) recommend people carry a cross and worship it and worship some icons? Did Jesus (pbuh) order worshipping the cross with a figure nailed on it? There was no such a thing during his time, nor did he order such a thing.

Was it Jesus who said, "Worship me, worship my mother; paint our pictures and stand in front of them"? Of course, not.

Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will be asked, "(A ante qulta lin-nâs ittakhizûnî wa ummiyya ilâhayni min dûnillâh) Did you say 'Take myself and my mother as deities instead of Allah'?"

No, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) never said anything like that. People who came later came up with these things. It is their invention and decision.

Hadrat Jesus prayed for the sick, and they got better. That is why they say, "He must be god." This is a wrong conclusion because awliyaullah, special servants of Allah, too, could pray to Allah, and with the grace of Allah, the sickness goes away. Having seen the miracles of Hadrat Jesus, some said he was Son of God. We seek forgiveness from Allah for saying this. Almighty Allah did not have a son. Having a son requires a wife, a marriage, the consummation of the marriage, and other human acts. Almighty Allah is above such things. That is a gross slander about Almighty Allah.

That is why following the Sunnah is an important principle. The purity in intentions, too, is an important principle. Would a person earn rewards if he does deeds in compliance with the Sunnah yet with ill intentions? For instance, keeping a beard is a Sunnah. A thief says, "I will work for a particular rich man, grow a beard, and keep a rosary to do dhikr. After convincing him that I am a pious Muslim, I can steal his money and get all of his jewelry."

Now, this person does all these good deeds in accordance to the Sunnah but with a bad intention. Would he earn any reward for his deeds? No, He would not. Good work with bad intentions has no value, nor does the good intentions with bad work have. Both are important.

I heard that one person went to Saudi Arabia and started working as a servant to a rich person. After getting to know the place and the town, he stole all the jewelry in the house and ran away. The jewelry of a prince or a princess is would worth significant amount of money. Now the whole Saudi Police Department is after him, yet he is gone. The value of the good deeds and the prayers that this person did while he was in Saudi Arabia depends on his intentions. If he did those with the intention of establishing a trust then stealing, they have no worth. Even if he performed the Pilgrimage and did all prayers, they will have no value due to his ill intentions.

The purity of the intentions is very important; the compliance with the Qur'an and Sunnah for every deed is very important, too. These are two important principles.

To Be Continued...


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