‘Religion is sincerity.’ We said: ‘To whom?’ The Prophet said: To Allah, his book, his messenger, the leaders of the Muslims and to their common people.’
This hadith embraces all aspects of faith and to act upon it sincerely is to fulfill all the obligations of Islam.
Sincerity to Allah means that man’s heart is cleansed from all impurities with regard to belief in Allah i.e., one should believe in Him as the Sole Creator and Master with all His attributes and with an earnest desire to worship Him and obey all commands given by Him. The affirmation of this truth covers all responsibilities, duties and obligations that fall upon the shoulders of a man after submitting his will to the will of Allah. The Quran says:
“Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, ?” (4: 125)
After acknowledging Allah as our Master and Sovereign, it is necessary to know His commands that are conveyed to us through His Book, the Holy Quran. Being sincere to Allah’s Book means that it should be sincerely believed as a revelation from Allah. Its knowledge should be acquired and spread. It should be read and understood and all its commands should be carried out faithfully.
Sincerity for the Messenger signifies that his Prophethood must be affirmed with perfect sincerity of heart. The Holy Prophet PBUH should be respected and loved. He should be obeyed and followed in all affairs of life with an Absolute reliance upon his truthfulness.
For leaders and rulers, it implies that they should be respected and obeyed and given full support and co-operation in all those affairs which they conduct according to the teachings of Islam. As the Holy Prophet PBUH said:
whose obeys my Commander, obey me and whose disobeys the Commander (Muslim). But when the rulers deviate from the path of righteousness, they should be advised and admonished and efforts made to bring them to the right path. Hazrat Abu Bakr, the successor to the Prophet PBUH in his first address to the people as Khalifa said:
“Help me if I am in the right, set me right if I am in the wrong.”
Sincerity towards fellow beings means to behave in an open and straightforward manner with them. Their life, honour and dignity should be protected, genuine interest should be taken in their welfare and every possible help and service should be extended to them.