26. It is reported from Sahl bin Abdullaah (rh) that he said: There is nothing which is tougher upon the soul than (achieving) Ikhlaas. How many times have I tried to remove riyaa' from my heart except that it sprouted in a different colour (i.e. in a different form).
27. It is reported from Ibn Mas'ood (ra) that he said: Do not learn knowledge for three (things): To amaze and confound the foolish, to argue with the learned and to make peoples faces turn towards you. (But) seek what is with Allaah with your hearts and actions, since only that will remain and whatever is besides it will go.
28. It is reported from Abu Sulaimaan ad-Daarinee (rh) that he said: Toobaa (the tree in Paradise) for the one who took a single step desiring nothing but the face of Allaah by it.
29. Some of the salaf said: Whoever had a single instance in his lifetime which was purely and sincerely for the sake of Allaah the Exalted will be saved, and this is due to the greatness of Ikhlaas.
30. It is reported from Abu Sulaimaan ad-Daarinee (rh) that he said: When the servant is sincere, riyaa' and the many whisperings (of the shayaateen) are cut off from him.
31. It has also been said: Ikhlaas is that the servants inward and outward actions are equal. Riyaa' is when the outward appearance is better than the inner self and truthfulness in one's sincerity is when the inner self is better cultivated and more flourishing than the outward appearance.
32. Some of the salaf have said: Ikhlaas is that you do not seek a witness over your action besides Allaah and nor one who gives reward besides Him.
33. It is reported from Makhool (rh) that he said: Never does a servant maintain sincerity for forty days in succession except that the streams of wisdom from his heart appear on his tongue.
33. It is reported from Adiyy ibn Haatim that he said: The people destined for the Fire will be ordered (to come) towards Paradise until they come close to it and smell its fragrance, see its palaces and what Allaah has prepared in it for its people. Then an announcement will be made (to the angels) that they be turned away from it. There will be no portion for them in it. They will return in loss and ruin just like the ones before them (who were also commanded likewise). Then they will say: O our Lord. If you had entered us into the Fire before You showed us what You have shown us from Your reward and what You have prepared for you friends and allies it would have been easier upon us. Then the Exalted will say: This is what I intended with you. When you used to be alone you would combat me (or show boldness to Me) with grave sins and when you used to meet people you would meet them with humility. You would show to the people other than that which you used to give Me from your hearts. You feared people but you did not fear Me. You honoured the people but you did not honour Me, you abandoned (actions) for the people but you did not abandon for Me. This day (therefore), will I make you taste a tormenting punishment along with your prevention from receiving that reward.
34. It has been said: The damage (caused) to every servant lies in his being pleased with himself. Whoever looks at his soul and sees something in it which he deems to be good has caused its destruction. And whoever does not suspect his soul at every single moment is one who is deceived.
35. Ibn al-Qayyim (rh) said: Ikhlaas is the Tawheed of one's wish/intent.
1 The sayings have been taken from Ihyaa Uloom id-Deen of al-Ghazaalee, Mukhtasir Minhaaj il-Qaasideen of Ibn Qudaamah and Kitaab uz-Zuhd of Ibn al-Mubaarak. [TN] The author said, "I have quoted these statements without knowing their authenticity and it is allowable for a Muslim to take from what has been narrated from the Salaf without verification if the particular statement is in agreement with the Book and the Sunnah.
2 i.e. he disliked to be known out of humility and that people should mention him for fear of fame and repute.