How can we go about perfecting the beginnings + developing sincerity? One of the seven people whom Allah ﷻ will protect with his shade on the day there is no shade, except His ﷻ, is the youth (up to forty years) who grew up with the worship of Allah ﷻ. This young person took steps to Allah to perfect the beginning of his life, therefore Allah granted him success in the end.
What is Real Success?
The human standard of success and failure is often based on financial gains or achievements. However, in the sight of Allah ﷻ, these do not mean anything.
If you are running a business and you make a loss, but you set it up starting by sincerely asking for Allah ﷻ’s help, and making the right intentions, you have still gained. It’s possible that Allah ﷻ made you lose so that you reconsider your company, people, life plans etc. Maybe you gained a close friend who helped you during this time? The real success may have been you making a profit from another deal, reconsidering your plans, or winning a good quality friend.
“An action without sincerity is like a body without a soul: a dead body”
What truly matters is His ﷻ pleasure in this life and the afterlife. So turn your daily habits and chores into acts of worship and devote your life to Him ﷻ alone. Sincerity is a secret between you and Allah ﷻ, such that not even the recording angels know about our intentions.
When you transform your daily habits into acts of worship, i.e. working not only to earn a livelihood, but also to give to charity, and perform hajj and support our families, and so on, we make our journey to Allah ﷻ much faster and easier!
So if we refer to Allah ﷻ in the beginning, and make good sincere intentions, the end will shine and God will be pleased regardless of our perceived gains or losses.
And one of the easiest ways of perfecting our beginnings is to simply say the Basmala (بِسْمِ ٱللّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ — ‘Bismillahi Al-Rahman, Al-Raheem’) and make multiple sincere intentions for our actions!
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Article inspired by Shaykh Zaqir’s classes