On Sincerity or Purity of Intention


The Twenty-first Gleam [from The Gleams]


This Gleam should be read at least once a fortnight.


In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.

Stand in the presence of God in utmost devotion and obedience (2: 238). Do not dispute with one another, or else you may lose heart and your power and energy desert you (8: 46). He is indeed prosperous who has grown it in purity. And he is indeed lost who has corrupted it (91: 9–10). Do not sell My Revelations for a trifling price (2: 41).


O my brothers and sisters of the Hereafter, and companions in the service of the Qur’an! You should know—indeed you know—that in this world, and particularly in the services done for the afterlife, a most important foundation, and a greatest power, and a most acceptable intercessor, and a firmest point of reliance, and a shortest way to the truth, and a most answerable prayer, and a most blessed and marvelous means of achieving one’s goal, and a most sublime virtue, and a purest form of worship is sincerity, or doing something good or any religious deed purely for God’s sake. Since sincerity has many varieties of power and light, such as those mentioned, and since at this terrible time, in the face of dreadful hostilities, under severe pressure, and amidst the forceful heretical innovations in the Religion and many forms of misguidance, an extremely heavy, important, comprehensive, and sacred duty of serving belief and the Qur’an has been placed on our shoulders by the Divine Grace despite our powerlessness, deprivations, and being few in number; we are certainly compelled more than everyone else to gain sincerity with all our strength and are in dire need of inculcating it in ourselves. Otherwise, our attainments in our sacred service will in part be lost and we will no longer be able to continue it; we will be held responsible. Furthermore, we will be a target of the severe threat contained in the Divine prohibition, Do not sell My Revelations for a trifling price (2: 41), and by damaging sincerity to the detriment of eternal happiness and for the sake of some harmful, depressing, egotistic, repulsive, hypocritical base feelings or insignificant benefits, we will violate the rights of our brothers and sisters in this service and transgress against the duty of serving the Qur’an, desecrating the truths of belief.

O my brothers and sisters! Numerous harmful obstacles appear before works of great good. Satans strive very much against those who try to do these works. We should rely on the strength of sincerity against these obstacles and satans. We must avoid things that harm sincerity to the same degree that we avoid snakes and scorpions. As declared by the Prophet Joseph, upon him be peace, “Yet I do not claim myself free of error, for assuredly the human carnal soul always commands evil, except that my Lord has mercy,” (12: 53) the carnal, evil-commanding soul should not be trusted. Do not let egotism or the evil-commanding soul deceive you! In order to remove the obstacles before sincerity so that we gain and preserve sincerity, let the following principles be a guide for you:

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi