Columns's Our Families

August 2001

Sincerity and Unconditional Love

by Siddiqua Haswarey

An ethnically mixed English family at home

Assalaamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuhu.

I'd like to begin with an interesting quote from the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey:

When we make deposits of unconditional love, when we live the primary laws of love, we encourage others to live the primary laws of life. In other words, when we truly love others without condition, without strings, we help them feel secure and safe and validated and affirmed in their essential worth, identity, and integrity. Their natural growth process is encouraged. We make it easier for them to live the laws of life-cooperation, contribution, self-discipline, and integrity - and to discover and live true to the highest and best within them. We give them the freedom to act on their own inner imperatives rather than react to our conditions and limitations. This does not mean we become permissive or soft. That itself is a massive withdrawal. We counsel, we plead; we set limits, and consequences. But we love, regardless.

When we violate the primary laws of love - when we attach strings and conditions to that gift - we actually encourage others to violate the primary laws of life. We put them in a reactive, defensive position where they feel they have to prove "I matter as a person, independent of you."

In reality, they aren't independent. They are counter-dependent, which is another form of dependency…. They become reactive, almost enemy-centered, more concerned about defending their "rights" and producing evidence of their individuality than they are about proactively listening to and honoring their own inner imperatives.

Rebellion is a knot of the heart, not of the mind. The key is to make deposits-constant deposits of unconditional love.

It is vital to understand the importance of sincerity in our lives, in our dealings, whether it is in marriage or a business transaction, in family interactions or upbringing of children. If we have an ulterior motive, it will show up in time. It always does, because that is the law of nature. That is as Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) wills.

This talk of sincerity seem a departure from the original topic of unconditional love, but they are quite connected. Everything in Islam and therefore in life comes down to sincerity of intention for the sake of Allah (Tabaarak wa Ta'ala) or the sincerity of purpose for Allah's sake. This is one of the most basic principles of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah). I strongly believe that if you do anything and everything for the sake of Allah alone, then you do it in complete sincerity and with utter purity, because you make the most effort possible to make sure that in the end it is only Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) that you will please.

Allah chose an example for all of humankind in Rasullallah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) whom He (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) not only sent to convey His words to us but also for us to emulate in word and deed. One example of the Prophet's (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) love was the kind of love he had for his uncle. It was unconditional. Even though his uncle was not Muslim, he loved him regardless, not only for being his uncle, but essentially in true obedience to Allah (Tabaarak wa Ta'ala), seeking His and only His eternal pleasure. This is just a very small example that I chose to present.

It was narrated by Umar bin Al Khattab (Radhi Allahu Anhu): I heard Allah's Apostle (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for." (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith).

When we begin to put conditions for love in our relationships, it is nothing but perfect evidence of insincerity in our intentions. Everyone begins to see through our secrets. No matter how hard we try to hide them, or how pretentiously good we try to show we are. Like the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Good brings forth nothing but good." (Sahih Bukhari). Allah knows what is in the depths of the hearts, for He Knows and He brings it forth, and if it is evil, He exposes it to the humiliation it deserves to endure.

"There are three things that whoever attains them will find the sweetness of faith: if Allah, the Almighty, and His Messenger are dearer to him than anyone or anything else; if he loves a person solely for the sake of Allah, the Almighty; and if he would hate to return to Kufr (Disbelief in Allah, His Oneness, disbelief in the basic tenets of Islam) after Allah, the Almighty has rescued him from it, as much as he would hate to be thrown into the Fire." (Bukhari and Muslim)

I end here with the following Hadith, for you to ponder over….

"It is sufficient honor for those who love one another for the sake of Allah, the Almighty, men and women alike, to know that their Almighty Lord will take care of them on the Day of Judgment and will say: "Where are those who loved one another for My glory? Today I will shade them in My shade on the Day when there is no shade but Mine." (Hadith Qudsi)

O Allah! Make all of our deeds righteous and make them purely for Your Sake, and do not let there be any share for anyone or anything else in them. Aameen. Allahumma Aameen.

Subhanaka `Allahumma wa bihamdika, wa `ash-hadu `an laa `Illaaha `illaa `anta, `astaghfiruka wa `atoobu `ilayka. (Glorified are You O' Allah and I am in Your praise, I testify that there is no deity except You, I ask Your forgiveness and repent unto You).

Siddiqua Hassan Haswarey

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