Moral Teachings of Islam 22 – Purity Of Intentions

Jamal Badawi

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In the Name of God, the beneficence, the Merciful, the creator and the Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever. I mean, I bear witness that there was no God worthy of worship except the one true God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger and servant of God, I greet you with our usual greeting, the universal greetings of peace. The greeting that has been used by all of the profits from Abraham through the prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all. Assalamu Aleikum, which means peace beyond to you? I'm your host Hamad Rashid. Today we have our 22nd program in our series on moral teachings of Islam. We'll

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be talking more specifically today about the class or the concept of purity in Islam. I have joining me as usual on the program, Dr. Jamal betta, we have St. Mary's University by the tamale Assalamu alaikum on AP cinema.

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Now, last week we did our program on taqwa, er, which is roughly translated, I guess, God consciousness.

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Today we're going to be talking about is Class A class. I wonder if perhaps you could just explain for the benefit of those people who may not be familiar with Arabic. I guess perhaps maybe the largest part of our viewing audience, what the term or what the meaning of the term glossiest

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when literally speaking, the Arabic term class means purity. It is used to refer to a number of things. For example, in the Quran, it describes good milk as a pure milk

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lab and that's the purity that is not next to something snatcher and pure wholesome.

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It is used also in the Quran to refer to purity of faith and belief. Indeed, there is one very small but very crucial chapter in the Quran, number 112, which is called suta, to the class or the chapter of purity, the name of the chapter is purity, which Western nations have lovely reads, say, he, Allah or God, capital G, is the one and only God. God is the eternal, the absolute, he gets not, nor was he forgotten, and there is nothing that's comparable unto him. Why it was called, The chapter of purity, because it refers to the purification, of beliefs, or belief in God, from any form of polytheism, or any form of confusion, confusion, whereas by worshiping some other deity in a state

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of God, besides God, or regard, other objects or persons created by God as intercessors, between men and God, so this is the kind of purification to keep monotheism in its pure form.

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But in addition to the use of the term

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loss or purity, in matters of faith,

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our focus actually today as part of the moral teaching of Islam, is the emphasis on purity of intentions in our deeds. So that's one aspect of of purity one application.

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But could you analyze for us the the nature of what Islam regards is sincere intention? Okay. Well, first of all, behind any action that we do, or any form of behavior that we show, there are certain motives. In brief, what Islam really regards as essential is that this motives behind what we say or do should always be directed towards God, that it should be for the purpose of pursuing the pleasures, approval, and satisfaction of that. Now,

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it is obvious that in our daily lives,

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in people we encountered we deal with on the individual and collective level, there's always notice there are always motives behind what people do.

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Now is this motivations or motives are very important because they determine the extent of enthusiasm that people show and the work they do.

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determines the quality and extent of effort they put in what they think.

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It determines even the degree of excellence and the degree of tolerance and perseverance that is shown whenever we are doing something this is all referred to as the personal motivation, the reasons behind what we're doing. Now, some of those motives may be easily inferred, when you observe some people's behavior, you may be able to tell,

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reasonably, for sure, what kind of motives they have.

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If for some people, their behavior may reflect selfishness, love or worship of money,

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the need for prominence and pride, sometimes this could be easily detected, but at other times, this motives are hidden, they are subtle, not that clearly discovered, even the individual himself may not be totally aware of some of the hidden inner motives, which motivates him to do certain things or to say certain things. Now, in the Islamic terminology, when you use the term lawsonia, or the purity of intention, you are referring exactly to this to this inner motive whether people can find about it or not. Whether people can discover it in our behavior or not, that we know that God sees us and notice what is in our hearts and that always we should try to have the proper intention for

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what whatever we say or do. Now.

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What about a situation where a person perhaps, does a good deed?

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Is there some possibility that they may not be rewarded if the intention behind that good deed is not proper? What? That's correct, because indeed, Islam does not look just at the superficial aspects of deeds, irrespective of the motives behind them. Indeed, the way that God Himself

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evaluates our deeds, is not because of what we do, but also the intention behind it. There's a very good example of this we find in the Quran, for example, in chapter 22, verse 37, with genes with the sacrifice of animals during the rites of pilgrimage, it says, Nana Maha Maha, Maha Bhagavata, conical, that is, when you started those animals, it is not the need or blood that will reach God. But what he what reaches him, indeed, is your piety, what we described last time, God consciousness, so it's the intention, the sincerity, rather than the superficial or formalistic aspect of, of our behavior.

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In the Quran also, we find a very clear reference to that.

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For example, in chapters 39, in verses two and three, translation reads, verily, it is we that's God, who have revealed the Book, that's the Quran to z or Mohammed, in truth. So serve God, offering him sincere devotion.

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And it goes on, is it not to God, that sincere devotion is due in Arabic Allah Allahu dinakaran? Is it not to God that sincere devotions do but those who take for protectors other than God say, we only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to God? Truly, God will judge between them in that word in they differ, but God guides not such as our false and ungrateful. So, from this, the same derivative from the very same term

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is used here to refer to the purity of the faith and intention, the same meaning has also been reiterated and emphasized by Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him just to give you a few of his sayings or Hadees.

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In one, he says that God does not look into your bodies or what you look like faces, or to your possessions or property, but he looks at your hearts and your deeds tying between intention and good deeds.

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That was narrated both in Bukhari and Muslim. In another Hadith in the same reference also, some references, he says, deeds will be judged in accordance with intentions and unto every person will be a reward consistent with what he intended initially. And then it goes on giving some application and description of that. In the collection of Hadith by Muslim.

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The Prophet peace be upon him was asked about people who even

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sacrifice their life or offer to sacrifice their life they in the fight for the defense of the faith or defensive of people. And he says, they asked him, How about the person who fights because he's courageous.

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Or the person who fights simply in order to

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boasts of his family or clan or nation, just narrow nationalism, and right or wrong? Or the person who fights for sure. Which of these can be regarded in the path of God? And his answer was, it's only those who fight and sacrifice in order that the word of God becomes Supreme, is regarded as fighting or struggled in this in the path of God. So it's not just the superficial act that we do, but also the intention that motivates this action.

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Now,

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when we speak of the good deeds,

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are you referring only to those deeds which relate to the pure acts of worship? But I'm glad first that your question you're using the term pure acts of worship, and this, I think, is quite relevant point. Right? Remember, in the previous program, we were discussing the the concept of worship, and Islam that God created entire mankind only to worship Him. And He indicated that of course, worshipping does not mean involving in prayers or rituals all the time, but worship in the broad sense of Islam means his entire life. But we say pure acts of worship, like he used the term to refer to acts like prayers, fasting, which are largely

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an act of personal purification between man and God.

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Much of this observation, the answer to your question is that not necessarily,

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indeed, the deeds

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which are customary, the thing that day to day activities that we do,

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with good intention can be transformed from just a customary act to an act of worship. As one scholar put it, it could change it from infill either Illa Shara for a better from just the customary action to the owner, of which provided that those extra course are correct in themselves, they are not

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forbidden or prohibited. For example,

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everybody eats a believer and unbeliever young old suffer, we have to eat to survive. However, if when we start eating, just have the intention and feeling of thank, first of all, to God for providing that for us. And having the intention of eating in order to strengthen our bodies and improving our health.

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For the purpose of being able to fulfill our mission on earth, and fulfill the will of God on earth, for which we have been created, that very customary act that everybody does become, becomes an act of worship. Many of us who are married or have children, we feel as a sense of responsibility, the obligation to feed our wives and our children. Right. Everybody think that most people, regardless of again, what face what kind of orientation or philosophy they hold, they have, generally speaking, this kind of feel, but this very same customary act, was described by Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as an act of worship, and an act of charity. In the collection of Hadees by Buhari, he says

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anything that you do the Prophet, that is for the pleasure of God, you would get the word for it, even the morsel of bread that you put in your wife's mouth. Yes, you are blind or blind, but with that good intention, the piece of bread or whatever food you put in your wife's mouth, you get reward for that, he should realize that even in a collection of hobbies by

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when he said that any act can be a charity, with that good intention. Whatever you feed yourself as a child, whatever you feed your children is a charity. Whatever you feed to your wife, whatever you feed your servant is an act of charity. This is the importance of what the why you are doing certain acts even even though it may be customary. There's something also quite beautiful about this. It doesn't only talk about this customary requirements, but in what has is even narrated in Muslim. He says that if a person builds or construct a building

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for the benefit of others,

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Others, or even plant some seeds, which could be anything flower tree, you name it.

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And if anybody benefits from that building, or this cultivations, the person we did that with good intention will get reward of anyone who benefit from this actions until the day of judgment. So if people keep using that building or using that tree or benefiting from it, a person will get additional rewards even after, after his death. Actually, in one of those sayings, he said, even a bird, if you plan something that's not unusual for humans, that even if a bird comes and eat from that plantation, you get also part of the reward for it. So in other words, the catcher really, the customer actions with good intention, according to Islam can be regarded as some form of worship.

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When a humble the opposite of a class or sincerity or purity. What is Islam a term for that the term used in Islam for the opposite of Islam, or purity is called an Arabic Riyadh

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roughly translated as a show off, to do something to please other people, or to gain their approval, or admiration instead of focusing on getting the approval and the satisfaction or pleasure of God.

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According to Islam, this attitude of react or shoff,

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mix even good deeds void, and now, that is, there would be no reward for them. In fact, it could even result in punishment, even in what you called before, pure acts of worship is the person have this attitude of show off, he may lose the benefit from it. For example, in the Quran, in chapter four, verse 142, it talks about even a highly spiritual act of prayers, salah and describes the unbelievers are not the hypocrites because pockets pretend to be believers sometimes. That's whenever they go for prayer Kanaka Salah euro una ness, they go for prayer, lazy and dragging their feet only, so that people can see them just to please people. So even an act of prayer, God knows

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why you're doing this prayer. And the Quran mentioned it also in chapter two, verse 264, in respect to charity, that people sometimes pay charity so that you know, they appear as generous and good and flash traffic and all that. This, the Quran likens in this verse to a stone,

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solid barren stone that has only little soil on it, and the rain comes and everything is washed out there is no plantation that can be planted. In other words, the reward for for charity, if the intention is not sincere to please God could just wash away the results as the rain washes away the the soil

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effect in one situation the Prophet peace be upon him was sitting with his companions. And he was describing to them some of the things that would happen before the day of judgment, one of which was the false messiah. And he was warning people against the deception of the false messiah. And then he said, there is something that I am really afraid of, or fear for you more than the false messiah. They said, What is that? He said?

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Sure, coffee, that is the hidden policy isn't the action that you do in such a way that you do it only for the purpose of shop. And he said this is a very dangerous thing, especially people for example, who lengthen their prayers. So that people say, Oh, yeah, how devoted they are. This is regarded as something that should be condemned.

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In one thing, he said that in the Day of Judgment, somebody would be calling. And he says that if at that time, anybody has done any good acts, for the purpose of pleasing God, then he will be rewarded, he will go to Paradise, those who are who have done good deeds only for a purpose of show off. Let them seek that award from other than God. And of course, as you know, in the Day of Judgment, nobody has any authority or power but God which means that there's no reward for them. This reminds me with a little story about it could be a symbolic story also, that somebody who entered the place of worship and he started praying, and he was so involved in his bed as you know,

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in prayer, he should not really speak or turn your face or something. He was so involved and so devoted his prayers to some people who are sitting by him and said, Mashallah, how good is it Look how devoted Look at his sincerity. Look how he prays with that peace of mind and heart.

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We heard that and he felt very happy about it unduly, you know, he became too proud of himself. So, in the midst of his career, he turned his face to them and said, and you know, I infesting to?

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This is the case. Do you think that's really so that people praise you or admire you? Or are you doing that? Really? for the, for the sake of God?

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No, would it be considered as being show off if you do a good deed with a good intention? But someone saw you, and you know, you felt happy about it? Would that be considered this real? Or?

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Okay? Well, if if you didn't do it originally, in order that people may admire you, and if it happens, by chance that somebody might have seen you like that, if you control your feelings, that you're gonna get over the crowd, you'll be thankful to God that you did the right thing.

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This may not necessarily be

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regarded as bad or show off, because you never intended that no, you take it, you took it too seriously, or became too proud, or have some vanity of what you're doing. In fact, there was a similar question raised by one of the close companions of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, Abu hurayrah. He said, O Messenger of Allah, what happened when I'm sitting in my own home, doing prayers, and devotion, and I was sitting, what I, whatever I was sitting to do my phrase, and somebody came, and he saw me and then I felt good about it. Is that really bad?

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So the Prophet peace be upon him, as narrated to me, he said, Latin America, La Jolla, about what I made, may God have mercy on you, as a writer, you have got to rewards the reward of doing the action in secret, and the word of doing the action in public. In other words, you intended to do your action secretly without showing off to people, you get that sword. And then you really, by chance, was seen by someone else. And you get also a word for that, so long as you don't have this feeling of pride, or vanity.

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Similarly, in the collection of Hadith by Muslim, the prophet peace be upon him also indicated, he said,

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or he was asking about a person who does good deeds. And people love him because of that, or admire him, is that bad? And he said, No, this is a gentle push rod moment. This is the kind of early glad tidings that's given to the believer, so long as again, he keeps his humbleness and keep praying to God that He may accept his good deeds. Now, what about the situation where you intend to do good, but for some unforeseen or some uncontrollable or unexpected circumstance? You couldn't actually carry it out?

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Did you get any reward for that? What if you, like you describe, you really had a sincere intention to do some good work. But it's not that you change your mind and say, No, I'm not going to pay charity that I could get in my pocket. But if something happened, that you could not really fulfill what you wanted something you could not control, then you're also rewarded for it. In fact, this is under authority of the Prophet peace be upon him as narrated in both Muslim and Bukhari. At one time, he was going for a campaign against the unbelievers. And some people came and they offered their services to defend them to participate.

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But he could not accommodate them, all of them. So they went back crying, and they were very, very sad. Actually, the Quran also alluded to that in chapter nine, verse 92.

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Then when the prophets went

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on,

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he mentioned, he said that there are some people in Medina, we left behind in Medina, who are with us, even though they are not physically with us. And wherever we go, whatever we doing, they are sharing with us also in the reward because they have been kept behind because of some legitimate excuse, or reason. So that's, I think, answers, yes, you could get an award if you really had this is your intention behind it. Now, how about the opposite case? If you you intend to do something that was wrong, but you actually didn't get around to committing the offense? Are you punished because of the wrong attention? Well, out of the generosity of God, it's not exactly the same

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situation. And the there's a beautiful thing of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him that shows this grace of God that we're not really achieving pleasure of God simply because of our efforts. Our effort is part of it. But when we put our efforts then we deserve the grace and generosity of the Divine reward as narrated

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in several books of collection of Hadith the Prophet peace be upon him said that whoever

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intended to do something good a good deed,

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but could not do it, it would be written in his record, as one good deed, even if you couldn't do it

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because of some unforeseeable circumstances, if the person had the intention of doing some good deeds, and was able to do it, he will get a reward at least 10 times, maybe 700 times or more, depending on the degree of sincerity.

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On the other hand, that your partner the question, if a person intended to do something evil,

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he has an intention, for example of robbing a bank or something and then you change your mind, he said, I'm not going to do it. Not only you are not punished for that change of mind, indeed, you are even rewarded. He says, If you intend to do something, even, but you don't do it, it would be written in your favor, positively as one reward.

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And if you have the intention of doing something wrong, and you actually do it, it would be written against you only one. So you see, again, in 30, the mathematics of generosity that is not exactly, you know, one for one, but there's also encouragement, to do good and encouragement to change minds or not to do even even if we have intention to do we also want to

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know, what you have, by way of practical suggestion to a person as to how one could improve on this quality of purity or class. When First of all, one has to make sure in any action, that this action is legitimate, it is not forbidden. For example, you could not say, Well, you know, I,

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I drank wine, but with good intention. There's no good intention, you know, in bad things, just like somebody saying, Well, you know, I'm going to rub somebody with good intention, you know,

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you know, if you have a noble objective, then, if you have a noble intention, you must have also noble objective, means, or ends do not justify, means, according to study, if you have an open mean, noble energy has to have also a noble means of achieving that. Secondly, one has to realize, and this is a person of training that everybody has to try on his own, to realize that God

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is present at all times this quality of taqwa or God consciousness.

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That whatever we are doing whatever in in our thoughts or motives, God is aware of them, like the Quran puts it in chapter three verse 29, called into for Matthew Satori, come out of doriana mala, say, if you hide what is in your inner hearts, or reveal it, God knows about it. This is a second recommendation. Thirdly, to develop the habit that whenever we are doing something, before we start doing something, actually, once you give some thought as to why he or she is doing this, the prophet peace be upon him, for example, indicated that if a person is seeking knowledge, to please God, or to really achieve his mission on Earth, then he gets the word for it, not the person who learn in

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order to show that he's learned or to just show off.

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Whenever we do something of a charity, we have always to remember that it is not people's approval or pleasures that we are seeking. But the pleasures of God the Quran makes reference to that. For example, in chapter 76, verse nine, it's a beautiful study there but we don't have time to explore it further.

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And more particularly for people who are engaged in religious education, they should remember the saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him that in the later days, there will be three types of people, people who try to be pious or appear to be pious for the sake of God. And people who appear to be pious or speak about piety only for the purpose of show up so often seem, and people who appears to be pious only to get money from other people to squeeze their donations and their offerings. He said, all of this would be in Hellfire except those who do it sincerely, and with good intention. Tomorrow, we exhaust our time for the day. We want to thank you for watching Islam and

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focus and actually come back and join us next week with our next program in this series. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace