Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) expounds on some of the meanings of truthfulness.
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 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 the 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!
Extracts from his rawhah lesson in Dar al-Mustafa 30th Rabi’ al-Thani 1434 / 12th March 2013.
1 Al-Ma’idah, 5:119
2 Al-Zumar, 39:33-34