Sincerity vs insincerity is like a mountain vs dust

Sincerity vs insincerity is like a mountain vs dust

Whoever recites Surah Al-Kahf on Friday, a light will shine for him between the two Fridays. [Al-Hakim Al-Mustadrak]

It is to receive this divine light that we recite Surat al Kahf on Thursday evening or Friday morning.  Surat al Kahf is full of many lessons. One of these lessons is that Allah Almighty is warning us against a particular description of some people. He says:

قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُم بِالْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَالًا

Say, “Shall We inform you of the greatest losers in their deeds?” [18:103]

الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا

“Those whose efforts in this world has gone in vain, while they assume that they are doing well.” [18:104]

أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَلِقَائِهِ فَحَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فَلَا نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَزْنًا

It is they who rejected the signs of their Lord, and the encounter with Him. So their deeds are in vain. And on the Day of Resurrection, We will consider them of no weight. [18:105]

ذَٰلِكَ جَزَاؤُهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ بِمَا كَفَرُوا وَاتَّخَذُوا آيَاتِي وَرُسُلِي هُزُوًا

That is their requital—Hell—on account of their disbelief, and their taking My revelations and My messengers in mockery. [18:106]

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَانَتْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ نُزُلًا

As for those who believe and do righteous deeds, they will have the Gardens of Paradise for hospitality. [18:107]

خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا لَا يَبْغُونَ عَنْهَا حِوَلًا

Abiding therein forever, without desiring any change therefrom. [18:108]

In these verses Allah is warning us about amassing piles of worthless deeds by not doing them for His sake. In the hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) described those who arrive with piles of empty deeds.

عن أبي هريرة عن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أنه قال : إنه ليأتي الرجل العظيم السمين يوم القيامة لا يزن عند الله جناح بعوضة اقرءوا إن شئتم فلا نقيم لهم يوم القيامة وزنا . متفق عليه.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“On the Day of Resurrection, there will be brought forth a bulky person (person of noteworthy status) whose value to Allah will be less than that of the wing of a mosquito”. [Bukhari and Muslim]

This scene from the Day of Judgment and another narration the Prophet (peace be upon him) shows that though the deeds presented to Allah by some people will be as high as the mountains between Makkah and Yemen, the weight of their deeds will be equivalent to dust.

Thawban narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

عَنْ ثَوْبَانَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ أَنَّهُ قَالَ ‏:‏ ‏”‏ لأَعْلَمَنَّ أَقْوَامًا مِنْ أُمَّتِي يَأْتُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِحَسَنَاتٍ أَمْثَالِ جِبَالِ تِهَامَةَ بِيضًا، فَيَجْعَلُهَا اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ هَبَاءً مَنْثُورًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏

قَالَ ثَوْبَانُ ‏:‏ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صِفْهُمْ لَنَا، جَلِّهِمْ لَنَا أَنْ لاَ نَكُونَ مِنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لاَ نَعْلَمُ ‏.‏

قَالَ ‏:‏ ‏”‏ أَمَا إِنَّهُمْ إِخْوَانُكُمْ وَمِنْ جِلْدَتِكُمْ، وَيَأْخُذُونَ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ كَمَا تَأْخُذُونَ، وَلَكِنَّهُمْ أَقْوَامٌ إِذَا خَلَوْا بِمَحَارِمِ اللَّهِ انْتَهَكُوهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ أخرجه ابن ماجه في سننه.

“I certainly know people of my nation who will come on the Day of Resurrection with good deeds like the mountains of Tihamah, but Allah will make them like scattered dust.”

Thawban said: “O Messenger of Allah, describe them to us and tell us more, so that we will not become of them unknowingly.”

He said: “They are your brothers and from your race, worshipping at night as you do, but they will be people who, when they are alone, transgress the sacred limits of Allah.” [Ibn Majah]

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked who these people are, he responded that they were the disbelievers of Quraysh who were deluded and thought they were doing well but out of his mercy, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was showing them the reality of their situation. He showed the consequences of deeds done by those who do not care about Allah, His messengers and His signs. They are complacent and satisfied with themselves. However the revelation came to give them guidance.

As Allah Almighty says in Surat al Baqarah,

ذَٰلِكَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبُ لَا رَيۡبَۛ فِيهِۛ هُدٗى لِّلۡمُتَّقِينَ

This is the Scripture in which there is no doubt, containing guidance for those who are mindful of God [2:2]

It is a book of guidance, but it is a choice if one follows it or not. Prophets and messengers came to show us the consequences of each of our choices. If you take the right path you have entry to the Janaat (gardens) in the akhirah. As Allah Almighty said, ‘There is no coercion in religion.’ It is up to you if follow the path or not. The prophets and messengers came to show the consequences of each of our choices. If you want to reject Jannat gardens in the Hereafter it is your choice, but you should know that the alternative is Hell fire.

Every time I read this ayah, it scares me. Regardless of anyone’s power in the dunya, and their influence, followers, armies, at the end of the day, if the deeds lack sincerity, their deeds will weigh nothing on the Day of Judgement. Nothing. They may have millions of followers  right now and appear undefeatable now, but on the Day of Judgement, their deeds will weigh zero. They were the loudest in dunya, but on the Day of Judgement they will be hushed. Where is their power? All the voices will be silent and only whispers will be heard.

Declining Allah’s mercy

Allah in His mercy is saying it is still not too late to repent and fix it. Have they accepted the call from Allah? No. Abu Lahab, Abu Jahl and Firaun did not accept it. We have mini-Firauns today, in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Those who support and encourage evil people will find their deeds also weighing nothing. It is a reminder for us in order not to encourage or support these people and that for our deeds to be counted on the Day of Judgment, they have to be in line with the Shariah and carried out with sincerity for the sake of Allah. Not for likes on social media or for recognition.

If we combine sincerity and keeping within the Shariah we hope that our deeds will be accepted by Allah. Stay away from showing off, hypocrisy and arrogance.

Ask Allah for acceptance

Ibrahim (peace be upon him) taught us to show humility when he and his son, Ismail (peace be upon him) were building the Ka’bah and ask Allah for acceptance of our deeds no matter how big or small, when he made the dua: Rabbana taqabbal minna inaka Antas Samee’ul Aleem

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّآ ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْعَلِيمُ

Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing.

Therefore ask Allah for acceptance and sincerity. Then inshallah you will find your deeds weighing heavy in your account in the akhirah.

When you have ikhlas (sincerity) Allah will put barakah in your time and money and family and in your legacy.

We ask Allah Almighty to make us from the mukhliseen (those who have ikhlas). Ameen

During the month of Dhul Qadah remember to increase your good deeds – fasting, charity and reciting the Quran.


Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.