Confusing sincerity with speech
A lot has changed in the last decade or two, and there is so much positivity in this new phase, especially with regards to knowledge and education, that it is sometimes hard to notice the infestation of gorgonizing rituals that border on the abominable.
In commemorating the death anniversary of the Holy 4th Imam Ali ibn Husain (AS), the personality who gifted us with a monumental cache of supplications and invocations, let us take a peek at the concept of sincerity of intention.
The contemporary world teaches us to be sharp-tongued, to declare everything we intend and all that we mean. Sometimes for good measure of ensuring there is no ambiguity in translation, this action is also extended to how we end up looking at things we say and those we do. People tied in connubial relationships, for instance, find it incumbent to greet each other in the social media space as though they did not exist under the same roof and if indeed they were so tied up as to speak to each other face to face. The intention here is to advertise one’s undying love for their spouse, and not to actually express to each other. A classic example of how intentions in relationships are now exhibitionist.
Similarly, those who cluster as large families (read clans), proudly announcing of how their lineage is strong and united, are seldom at each other’s behest when it comes to the hour of need. On the contrary, there is more than enough infighting about which unit is better than the other, or how some keep showing to the others of their wealth and success, while sympathising with the plight of those less prosperous, all the while remaining apprehensive about extending a helping hand. These people are also then seen in public helping others for a cause, where the candle at home was not cared for in the first instance.
In performance of religious obligations, we have seen how infectious public good actions are, how many do them for His pleasure and how many for their own, is but a matter for the Supreme Lord, the Knower of the Unseen, to measure and reward.
Imam Sajjad (AS) prays thus: “O Lord, Grant me the endowment of obedience…and the sincerity of intentions” – this is for all of us to pay momentous homage to this great personality by applying this in our subconscious minds and resort to sincerity over publicity, Ameen.