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Ethics

Being Sincere in Supplication

"Sincerity in prayer" means that a believer should ask God only for his needs and in carrying the prayer out a believer should not be in doubt, neither should he employ hypocrisy.

Regarding this, the Holy Qur’an says:

    وَادعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ

"…and call on Him, being sincere to Him in obedience".1

In this regard, Imam Rida (as) narrates from Imam ‘Ali (as), his saying:

    "طُوبَى لِمَن اَخلَصَ لله العِبَادَةَ وَالدُّعَاء وَلَم يَشْغَل قَلبَهُ بِمَا تَرى عَينَاهُ وَلَم يَنسَ ذِكرَ الله بِمَا تَسمَعُ اُذُنَاهُ وَلَم يَحزَن صَدرُهُ بِمَا اَعطَى غَيرَهُ".

"Blessed is he who is sincere to God in his worship and supplication, and does not occupy his heart with what his eyes see, nor forgets God’s remembrance through what his ears hear, and does not become sorrowful at what others have been given".2

Then Imam ‘Ali (as) shows the reasons of the philosophy of sincerity in the following manner: since bestowal and withholding is in the hands of God, it is absurd for man to ask or supplicate anybody else or to worship anybody else or assume any partner for God.3

Notes:

1. Qur’an 7:29.

2. Usul al-Kafi, vol.2, p.16.

3. Shirk, or associating partners with God, is of the following types: Shirk in the essence of God, shirk in attributes, shirk in actions, shirk in worship. A believer should avoid all of these and should not appoint any partner for God. He should obey only the Unique God and should ask Him for help.

Adapted from: "Imam 'Ali's First Treatise on The Islamic Ethics and Education" by: "Zainol Aabideen Qorbani Lahiji"