I have not been posting as regularly as I would have liked, but I have been working (slowly) on the commentary of the ‘Aqidah al-Awam’ and other projects some of which Insha-Allah I will post on here (may Allah the Exalted give us tawfiq to complete them).
I recently purchased two additional commentaries of the ‘Aqidah al-Awam’, one by the author himself, and the other by the great Malay scholar Allamah Muhammad Nawawi al-Jawi, both of which contain points of benefit that I hope to append to Sayyid Maliki’s commentary. One passage which caught my attention from Allamah Nawawi al-Jawi’s commentary (Nur ul-Zallam p.275-276) was the following:
Know that sincerity has three levels
The First: To worship Allah, or to do a thing not desiring reward, nor fleeing from punishment, but because He is your Lord and you are His slave, and this is the highest of them
The Second: To worship Him or perform an act of obedience seeking reward and fearing punishment, or desiring paradise or fearing the hellfire. And this is the middle.
The Third: To worship Him in order to be ennobled by worshipping Him, and to be associated with Him (Most High) so that it is said: This is a worshipper and righteous person. Or to to a thing to attain the dunya such as if you read Surah al-Waqiah for wealth and its like. And this is the lowest of them. For if you did it to show off or for fame this is unlawful for you due to the absence of sincerity (ikhlas).
Fudayl bin Iyad said: Leaving an action due to people is showing off (riya), and action due to people is polytheism (shirk), and sincerity is that Allah (Most High) protects/saves you from them both.