Question: These days, I live, not knowing what to do in order to be sincere to Allaah; as achieving sincerity to Allaah is not an easy matter. It is one of the obligatory acts; one of the Companions used to say, “How rare sincerity is!” What should one do to be sincere to Allaah so that gaining knowledge and attaining the highest degrees and ranks will be solely for the sake of Allaah? What should one doing order to offer Salaah (Prayer) while feeling the greatness of Allaah (Praised and Exalted be He). After I perform Salaah, I do not feel that I have been standing before the Compeller of the heavens and the earth. I am afraid that I get angry when seeing evil out of zeal and not for the sake of Allaah. This does not mean that I do good deeds to show off or to gain a good reputation. I would like Your Excellency to clarify this matter to me. I have discussed it with one of my fellow Muslim brothers. He told me that actions may not involve showing off and the intention to acquire reputation, yet still they lack sincerity. They may be done just because the person wants to do them. Sawm or Qiyaam-ul-Layl (optional Prayer at night), for example, may not be regarded for the sake of Allaah, if the doer does not bring to his mind this objective while doing them.
Answer: You need to put much effort in order to attain the degree of full submission to Allaah, by your heart and soul. Always make Allaah’s Pleasure and His reward the main objective behind your actions… read more here.