On Truthfulness

Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) expounds on some of the meanings of truthfulness. Extracts from his rawhah lesson in Dar al-Mustafa 30th Rabi` al-Thani 1434 / 12th March 2013.

Truthfulness (sidq) is a station beyond sincerity (ikhlas). Sincerity relates to your intention and your purpose. Truthfulness is comprehensive and incorporates every expression of your approach to Allah, your aims, your actions and your mastering and perfecting your actions. One way of differentiating between the two is that the truthful person has no pride in his actions (`ujb), whereas the sincere person shows no ostentation (riya).

One definition of truthfulness is for someone to focus all their inward and outward strength on attaining their goal. The truthful person combines perfection and mastery of the action, as well as sincerity and other qualities. May Allah bless us with truthfulness. The people of Allah would say in seeking to raise people’s ambitions and warn them against following the way of majority of people:

Truthfulness has gone, as have truthful people, my friend

So do not look for truthfulness among the people of this time

They were referring to the majority of people, who are heedless. However, there will always be truthful people on the earth. Allah says on the Day of Judgement:

This is the day on which the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness.1

He also says:

The one who brought the truth and he who believes in it – they are the people of taqwa. They shall have all that they wish with their Lord. This is the reward of the people of excellence.2

Do not act for the sake of people.. Rather, give and withhold for Allah’s sake, take and leave for Allah’s sake and act for Allah’s sake. The lowest degree of truthfulness is for your inward and outward state to be equal. This is the first stage. Then your inward state becomes better than your outward state.

O Allah, make our inward states better than our outwards states, and make our outward states upright!

1 Al-Ma’idah, 5:119

2 Al-Zumar, 39:33-34

On Serving Others While Studying

 

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).

 

How can a student of knowledge be involved in serving others while not being distracted from his studies?

You can give sincere advice (nasihah) and encouragement to your fellow students and you can serve them in things which do not take a lot of time and effort. You can use your knowledge to write articles on beneficial topics.

On Teaching Islam to Prisoners

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).

I work as an imam in a prison. What topics should I talk about when I teach the inmates?

This is an important job and allows you to benefit people by calling them to Allah. We are happy that you are doing it. Focus on things which strengthen their iman and trust in Allah. You should remind them of the importance of staying on the Straight Path, which saves them from the prison of this life and the greater prison in the next life. Remind them of the different states of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Remind them of the importance of having sabr (patience and fortitude) and remind them that they will be rewarded if they are patient and it will have a good impact on their time in prison.

Constantly remind them of Allah’s blessings upon them. Teach them the importance of showing mercy and goodness to mankind and the result of that in the next life. Remind them that as Muslims they should be examples and teachers in their communities and be people that benefit their fellow humans. Although they may have done wrong, perhaps there is a divine wisdom in their imprisonment – that they return to their communities having rectified themselves.

We need to bear in mind that the purpose of prison is to transform the prisoners. We need to strengthen the prisoners’ connection with Allah and give them greater hope in Allah. We need to teach them to improve their transaction with Him, to remind them that Allah loves those who turn and repent to Him and to teach them to be consistent in remembering Him. If someone is guilty of committing a crime, prison will be an expiation for the wrong they have done. If they are wrongly imprisoned it is a means for their station to be raised.