Its meaning: The word “sincerity” in language demonstrates the strength in things, words or deeds; that is to refer to a “solid” thing by calling it “sincere”, as with a sincere shaft which infects its target with no error or mistake. Based on that, a sincere speech indicates its strength of right, as opposed to lying, which is false and has no power. It is, then, to tell the truth, talk sincerely, match talking to reality and report news about any event or thing as it happens; it is synonymous with right and opposite to lying.
Its definition: Sincerity is one of the best human values and moral virtues. Whenever the word “sincerity” is used, there is one of six meanings to be intended: sincerity in saying, will, determination, promise, work and achieving branches of religion. So whoever combines these six meanings is a truthful, sincere person. This is because sincerity and truthfulness lead to righteousness, and righteousness is the way to Paradise. Whoever gets to be sincere, keeps saying the truth and strives for truth, they are written before Allah a very truthful, sincere person. It is a character of prophets and faithful people.
Sincerity in Quran: The word “sincerity” is of the pivotal words in Quran. It is stated one hundred and fifty-three (153) times, thirty-one (31) times in form of verb and one hundred and twenty-two (122) times in form of name (most of which in the plural.) The word is mostly mentioned, in its different forms, either as a description of believers or an act of righteous people. Some other times, it refers to meaning of charity or gifts, which are dowries of women.
Its formats: The virtue of sincerity has several formats reflected in words, deeds, wills and intentions. Sincerity in words is to report news about anything exactly as it is, with no fraud or disguise. Sincerity in deeds means matching words to actions, like executing oath, fulfillment of covenant and keeping promises. Sincerity in will means determination to perform good deeds and to proceed them until their completion. Sincerity in intentions means to cleanse it of impurities of hypocrisy and to make it honest to Allah.
Its types: Islam obliges its followers to be sincere with Allah, people, themselves, in their talk and in their dealings. Each one of these types has its essence:
- Sincerity with Allah is achieved through purely performing whole deeds for His sake, so neither hypocrisy nor reputation is intended. Whoever performs an action in which his intention is not pure, Allah will not accept it. Muslims get to be sincere in all good deeds, through taking care of their rights and performing them in their due timing.
- Sincerity with people means that Muslims do not lie as talking with others, at all, for they know that lying is a ride to immorality and debauchery leads to the hell. They realize, as well, that lying, like breaking promises and dishonesty, are evidence of hypocrisy; and hypocrites are in the lowest depths of the Fire.
- Sincerity with oneself indicates that Muslims shall never cheat themselves, which is to see good as evil or evil as good. Rather, they ought to admit their flaws and mistakes, in order to correct them, to ask Allah forgiveness of them and to remove them with better ones. Sincerity with oneself is the road to achievement.
- Sincerity in talking refers that Muslims do not say but what they believe. They ought to establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah, even if it is against himself, one of his parents or his relatives. Not telling whatever a person hears is among sincerity in talking as well.
- Sincerity in dealings has many forms, including sincerity in buying, selling, taking one’s right, rejecting falsehood, matching words to deeds and in following Quran and Sunnah.
Its impact in life: In human life, sincerity has effects that insight does not miss. If members of any community are committed to sincerity in words and deeds, that decent manners will be a part of its public characteristics, become its title among communities and leave a deep impression over credibility of humanitarian ideas and output of that community. The impact of sincerity is highly seen in its requirements to rise above insults, innuendo, gossip, asking too many questions and other defects of the tongue. It is obvious in harmony, synergy, compassion and convergence of hearts that it produces, as well as in being far from rancor and distrust and all types of lying that are in their meaning.
A human value: Sincerity is of the ethics that all nations, throughout ages and times, everywhere and in all religions, unanimously agree to pay tribute to it and to consider it a virtue. When religion and morals were completed by Islam, it considered sincerity a great and senior ethics and made it a character of Islam itself. Allah described Muhammad, the concluding of messengers, as the one who brought the sincerity, and described his very first followers as being sincere and endorsers.
A feature of prophets: Sincerity is, also, a feature of attributes of prophets, messengers and all of Allah’s righteous slaves. Allah has described both Abraham and Idris as being a man of sincere and a prophet, made for Isaac and Jacob a reputation of high sincerity and qualified Ishmael with sincere to his promise. He said about the companions of Mohammed, the last of his messengers, that they are true to what they promised Allah. Thus, there should be no wonder if sincerity remains the proof of faith and its core and spirit, going around with it wherever it goes; and if lying remains the mail of unbelief and its seedling and spirit, going around with it wherever it goes.
Its bounty: It is an enough honor for sincerity that Allah made sincere people right after the prophets and before the martyrs in the list of highest companion, which is open for whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger. The Almighty has called the believers to be with sincere and truthful people, for many benefits and unique fruits, that are in exercising sincerity, help them in the afterlife and the first one.
Synonymous of honesty: Sincerity is the brother of honesty, and both of them are of great actions of the heart, which hearts are not correct without them. They are the difference between hypocrisy and faith, the boundary between winners and losers, the basis of the religion and the way to gain bless and reward of Allah. There are a glorious proportionality and wonderful concomitance between honesty and sincerity. They are inseparable brothers and good friends that take their friend out of delusion, misery and darkness into light, guidance and blessings; purify her/his sins; remove from her/him the evil; raise her/him over vileness of soul and put her/him in position of closed ones, so she/he is closed to and loved by Allah.
The reality of honesty is that the human neither associates anything with Allah nor does any deeds but for the sake of Allah. However, the reality of sincerity is that humans bring up their intention to perfect their deeds, in order be sincere in words and deeds. The health of honesty demands the presence of sincerity and sincerity requires honesty. Those who collect them both are truthful with Allah and His Messenger, thus they are among benefactors.