The most important sign of true belief and fear of Allah is one’s sincerity. A person earns the attributes of taqwa (fear of Allah) in relation with his sincere determination and effort in his faith in Allah, in his abidence to the Qur’an and his moral perfection. If one does not contaminate his conscience by evil thoughts, obeys every caution and recommendation of his conscience with no hesitation, resists the negative temptations of his lower-self because he fears Allah, then this person may experience sincerity in the finest form. However sometimes a person may consider his faith and morality at its peak and be pleased with them. In this case, he may not feel the need to make more effort. No doubt, in relation with his sincerity, every individual may hope to become a servant with whom Allah is pleased. But the path shown to believers by the morality of the Qur’an entails not putting any limits to any one of the details of moral perfection.
There may always be the better stages of good, beautiful and the perfect. Apart from being hopeful, out of fear of Allah, a believer must always be in awe of the possibility of not being able to attain Allah’s good pleasure and the Hereafter. Perhaps the sincerity that he experiences may be at the most acceptable level but it may also prove to be insufficient. Alternatively, at an even better level of sincerity, he may be able to earn Allah’s consent and pleasure exceedingly. By employing his wisdom, conscience and deep thinking, a person has the ability to achieve the better and more beautiful attitudes and thoughts than the ones he always displays and is used to.
Our All-Mighty Lord says in the Qur’an; “strive together (as in a race) Towards all that is good “. (Surat al-Baqara, 148) For this reason, a believer should always remain in the kind of morality that seeks the better and more beautiful. A Muslim should never say, “I am sincere anyhow” and consider his state to be sufficient. There is always more of this sincerity. A person only remains at a specific stage of sincerity. Indeed if one considers his past, he may see that he has attained the sincerity he currently experiences by going through these states. If he also considers the previous states of the people around him, he will see that each time, they always attain an even better state of sincerity. However when asked at those times, probably the person himself and those around him were simply saying that they were very sincere. However at a latter stage, when they attain a better state of sincerity, they clearly see that the sincerity of their previous state was insufficient. For this reason, a person must continously seek a more advanced state of sincerity. Being contended with one’s current state and considering it sufficient is, in one sense, putting a barrier before his advancement, growing deeper in thought and moral perfection.
The fact is however, when a person does not put such a limit to himself, he may, by Allah’s leave, attain a moral perfection he even can not imagine. A Muslim who aims to earn the most of Allah’s good pleasure should not hinder such an opportunity by his own hands. In this respect one needs to keep in mind that a Muslim’s unbounded sincerity to Allah is something satan never desires. All-Mighty Allah informs us in the Qur’an that satan will mislead all the servants of Allah, “except those among them who are sincere.” (Surat al-Hijr, 40). Our Lord is the One who loves His sincere servants. For this reason satan does not want an individual to be freed from insincerity. Consequently a person must also struggle against satan in this respect. Meanwhile a person needs to keep in mind that his lower-self will have the desire to resist against sincerity. Considering these issues, a Muslim should take measure and make an all-out effort to attain profoundity in sincerity.