Ikhlas: Purifying Ourselves of Modern -Isms

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَآ إِلَيْكَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ بِٱلْحَقِّ فَٱعْبُدِ ٱللَّهَ مُخْلِصًا لَّهُ ٱلدِّينَ.

“Indeed, We have sent down to you the Book, [O Muḥammad], in truth. So worship Allah [alone], [being] sincere to Him in religion.” (Surat Az-Zumar, 2)

The -isms of this modern world are their own religions, complete with their own prophets (founders/ forebearers), their own books, their own vision for the world, and their arrangement of society and everyone in it:

Liberalism

Feminism

Atheism

Scientism

Materialism

Allah commands us explicitly in the Quran to turn away from all other religions and belief systems, and to turn fully to His religion. With ikhlas, إخلاص.

The word مُخْلِص (mukhlis) in this ayah is significant and deserves pondering.

It is translated as “sincere,” which is not incorrect, but doesn’t convey the full meaning. The beauty of the Arabic language is that words often have many deep, interconnected meanings because of the way words are built from the original root letters.

The three root letters in the word مُخْلِص are خ ل ص.

Some beautiful meanings that are related and deepen the definition:

1. To purify, filter out:

( خلص الشيء : صار خالصا صافيا، خلَص الماءُ من العُكارة)

To purify, to completely rid a thing of all other contaminants and make sure it isn’t mixed with any other elements so that it is pure, 100% that thing. Example given: “The water was purified of all dirt/contamination.”

2. To reach safety:

(خَلَص الشيء،بالفتح، يَخْلُص خُلُوصاً وخَلاصاً إِذا كان قد نَشِبَ ثم نَجا وسَلِم. نجا من الهلاك )

To break free, to escape to safety, to be saved and secure. To achieve salvation. Example: “He was saved from destruction.”

3. To separate oneself:

(خلَص الرَّجلُ من القوم: فارقهم واعتزلهم، انفصل عنهم وانفرد)

To take oneself out of a group, to stand away from them, to stand apart. Example given: “The man khalasa from his people, meaning he separated from them and left them, he divorced himself from them and stood apart.”

4. To especially select:

(وأَخْلَصَ الشيءَ: اختاره، والمُخْلَص: الذي أَخْلَصه اللّهُ جعله مُختاراً خالصاً من الدنس)

To deliberately choose something, to pick something out of a selection. Example given: “The mukhlas is the person whom Allah has purified and selected.”

There are many other shades of meaning and delicate nuances built into the word from its three root letters.

In the context of these modern -isms, our mission as Muslims is to purify our deen completely from all contaminants, ensure that it is 100% pure Islam and not mixed with even 1% feminism or scientism or liberalism. We have to deliberately select Islam as our deen, forsaking all other options and standing apart from them and being unique and distinct from them. We have to break free of the shackles and escape from the delusions of the various -isms into the safe haven of Islam. It is our refuge, our safety, our peace. Our salvation from utter destruction.

It is not possible to be fully sincere in our deen without fulfilling these other, deeper meanings.

May Allah grant us إخلاص, sincerity with all its shades of meaning.

RELATED: Reviewing Yaqeen Institute: A Source of Certainty or Doubt?

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Ibrahim Ihsan

Jazakallah! If there is anything in life one has to complain about, Allah will make it easy for him. No need for participating in movements started by kuffar.