A person who wants to display the most sincere attitude possible in every incident he encounters must be in a pursuit of earning the most of Allah’s good pleasure. This commandment of Allah is reminded to people by the verse, “So compete with each other in doing good. Every one of you will return to Allah...” (Surat al-Maida, 48). In another verse our Lord relates:
Then We made Our chosen servants inherit the Book. But some of them wrong themselves; some are ambivalent; and some outdo each other in good by Allah’s permission. That is the great favour. (Surah Fatir, 32)
As is also related in the verse there are some people who are ambivalent although they have faith in Allah as well as those who outdo each other in good. A person of sincere faith outdoes in good. At every moment of his life he makes serious effort to conduct himself in the way that most deserves Allah’s good pleasure. He does everything he can in order to be among those servants who are sincere.
The difference between those who are ambivalent in living by the morality of religion and those who outdo each other in doing good can be described thus; a person encounters many incidents throughout his life. He always faces many choices about how to direct the course of his life or what kind of an attitude and morality to assume in the face of incidents. One always makes these choices through his conscience. Among these choices there are always those alternatives that are not compatible with Allah’s good pleasure. The attention of a person of faith is very attentive to those options which are not compatible with Allah’s good pleasure. Therefore he unconditionally rejects those alternatives and selects the one which is compatible with Allah’s good pleasure. However the options do not end at this point. There are still some others—which are all compatible with the morality of the Qur’an—ahead of him. However this situation must not deceive a person. At this point a person should employ his conscience once again and be cautious to make another choice in pursuit of Allah’s good pleasure. If a person has his goal of being among those who outdo each other in good, then he readily knows the option that will please Allah most. Consequently among all those alternatives ahead of him, he selects the attitude with which he hopes he will earn the most of Allah’s approval, and thus receive the most rewards and cover the longest distance in drawing close to Allah. There is something peculiar to this option; the desires of one’s lower-self does not mess with this option and it is purely intended to earn Allah’s good pleasure. This meticulousness in employing one’s conscience earns one pure sincerity. In the Qur’an Allah mentions about those sincere servants who outdo in good as follows:
They are not all the same. There is a community among the People of the Book who are upright. They recite Allah’s Signs throughout the night, and they prostrate. They have iman in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the sincere. (Surah Al Imran, 113-114)