Reflections Spiritual Purification

The Pain of Insincerity

Photo: Egizia

You invest all of your hope and love in another person. You surrender yourself to them and allow them to witness your vulnerabilities, your weaknesses. You are certain that this person is the one. The one you can confide in. The one to whom you can expose your deepest, darkest secrets. The one you can fully and wholeheartedly trust.

And then, one day, the world you have created around them comes crashing down. Something happens that shatters your perfect conception of this person. As you struggle to grasp the pain that has seeped into your heart, you realize that although this person may have been your “everything”, in reality they are nothing. Nothing more than a source of insincerity in your life.

The pain of realizing that someone has been insincere with you is like no other. No one likes to be lied to. To be manipulated and made a fool of. But this is what happens when the reality of a person—or object, fantasy, ideology, etc.—that you’ve put on an undeserved pedestal comes to light. You become the victim.

Now, imagine yourself as the perpetrator—the one guilty of being insincere. We tell ourselves that we could never be such a backstabbing, conniving, dishonest human being; yet, if we look closely enough, we might find ourselves guilty of this very insincerity. And we express this insincerity to the One most deserving of every ounce of sincerity our hearts can muster: Allah, The Most Glorious, The Most High.

We lazily make our way through salah (ritual prayer). We cheat, lie, steal, and backbite. We engage in haram (forbidden) actions with our tongues, eyes, ears, and limbs. We immerse ourselves in this world of fitnah (tribulation), all the while proclaiming our love and devotion to Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala – exalted is He). And yes, although this love and devotion may be real to a certain extent, sometimes our actions indicate otherwise. As a result, we may experience an internal disconnect: deep down, we feel hypocritical. Many of us are constantly shifting between the two modes of repentance and returning to sin: some of us make our way back onto the path of sincerity towards Allah (swt), while some of us fall deeper and deeper into sin.

But you know what I find to be the most painful aspect of being insincere to Allah (swt)? The fact that because Allah (swt) is Al-Ghani, the One who is completely free of any need, He is not in need of our sincerity; rather, we are in need of Him. Therefore, by being insincere to Him, we only end up hurting ourselves. We end up pushing ourselves over the edge, bringing about depression, agony, self-loathing, guilt, and so on and so forth. Indeed, we become the perpetrator that I spoke of earlier – this time towards ourselves.

Lately, I have found myself questioning my sincerity again and again. I found my religiosity reduced to sharing a quote, ayah (verse), or hadith (tradition attributed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, peace be upon him) as opposed to actually extrapolating lessons and depth from it. As carelessly as one might post a silly video of a cat, I found myself regurgitating heavy information (such as verses of the Qur’an, ahadith, etc.) with the simple and thoughtless click of a button. At first, I had deluded myself into thinking it was truly beneficial (and to some extent, I cannot deny that it was), but after a while, I became aware of my own superficiality. My own insincerity. And you know what? I do not want to be that type of Muslim. I would rather be the type who, although from the outside may look like a regular muslimah, is a spiritually strong and sound person on the inside.

Sisters and brothers, do you feel the same pain when you are insincere to Allah (swt)? Do you feel this unsettling, anxiety-inducing, ball of discomfort when you know you’ve transgressed against The Most Merciful, The Most High? I’m sure you all realize what I am talking about. And if you do, here’s some food for thought: maybe our realization of our insincerity to Allah (swt) is a blessing in disguise. Maybe He wants us to realize our faults and turn back to Him with a new, pure, untarnished sincerity. I mean, imagine if we did not feel strange after disobeying Allah (swt). How frightening is it to think that Allah (swt) could have allowed us to be spiritually numb, as countless others who walk the Earth?

So as painful as the act of our insincerity may be towards Him, our repentance and turning back to Him—how ever many times that may be—may be a means of salvation for us. So do not despair at the mercy of Allah (swt) after you have sinned, nor use your insincere actions as an excuse to continue on your spiritually destructive path. Instead, grow from the pains of your insincerity towards Him while never giving up in turning back to Him, so that bi’ithnillah (with the permission of Allah) He may heal and rectify you of all your pains.

And Allah (swt) knows best.

About the author


Ubah was born and raised in Western Canada. She received her BSc in Psychology and is currently training as a psychotherapist through a Masters program focused on spiritually-integrated psychotherapy. In her spare time, she engages with her community through running an all-girl’s program focussed on Muslim Canadian identity and broader community involvement. She is passionate about seeking the links between human behavior, psyche, spirituality and Islamic traditions, and the quest for self-actualization and truth. A comprehensive body of her written articles, poetry, and essays can be found on her website,


  • JazakAllah khayr.
    May Allah bless you and your family for the good reminder.
    Sincerity is the key to excellence, success and happy life.
    Insincerity leads to weakness, humiliation and sad life.
    In sha Allah I will work on improving my ikhlas.
    And please remember me in your dua for me that Allah that Allah make me a sincere Muslim like Ubay ibn Ka’ab (ra).

  • Masha’Allah what a beautiful article. It made me reflect on my actions and way of being. This article hold indisputable truth that is both frightening and enlightening. May Allah flood our hearts with sincerity so that we may be saved from our own shortcomings and negligence. Ameen.

  • Ma shaa Allah sister what a blessing toe read, I do feel the same sometimes, it’s very hard knowing your own heart isn’t always as true as you wish it to be. But alhamdullillah when i notice this, I immideately feel blessed for Allah made me realise I was on the wrong path. Jazak Allah Khair for sharing, may Allah increase our steadfastness and sincerity. I will make a Dua for you sister.

  • Beautiful article with a perfect timing.
    I have been going through a tough phase in life, every door I open closes on me. People places everything has put me down.
    I feel like a total failure as i have achieved nothing in this Duniya, due to my so many sins.
    I keep repenting but keep slipping again.
    All i have right now is my connection with Allah SWT, and this article made me realize that it is enough.
    I have not been sincere with Him and now is the time to sincerely go to Him and seek His help for all matters in this Duniya and Akhirah, and be certain that He knows whats best.
    Ofcourse His promise is true, He will help us, even though at times I feel im not deserving of His great mercy.
    We should spend more time just being grateful to Him for the infinite blessings He has showered upon us which we take for granted.
    The most important thing in life is our relationship with Allah, if we can truly be sincere to Him, we truly will find contentment and Jannah in sha Allah.
    I pray we all reach the level of sincerity to Allah through which we can be granted His mercy and love.

  • You are a brilliant writer. You have a gift maa shaa Allah. Please continue on this path, you are sure to touch the lives of many one day.

  • Jazaky Allah khair! Beautifully written. This article really struck a cord with me. You’ve managed to summarize some deep issues that I have felt very strongly. May Allah swt guide us to His straight path, Ameen!

  • mashallah beutifull article which is on point to waht i’m going through

    i have realized that allah swt is my only salavation but my insicerety makes me want to question myself as i’m surely being a hypocrtit

    i feel the unsettling feeling is a blessing . now i can either be spiritully numb or i can do something about my own shortcomings

  • Jazakallah for the article. I think you touched upon something really important here, especially when you mentioned regurgitation of information without understanding them or thinking about them.

    Abu Sulayman ad-Darani said “I certainly recite a verse [of the Qur’an] and then remain with it thinking for four or five nights. Unless I cut off my thinking on it I do not pass on to another verse.”

    And sA, many of us myself included barely manage 4 or 5 minutes on a single verse! Just wanted to share that as this highlights the importance of actually pondering over something like an ayah or Hadith in order to be able to extract all its sweetness and reap full benefits iA. Like you said, we are cheating no one but ourselves. And if we do not take all the benefits from the gifts Allah (swt) has bestowed upon us, such as His divine speech, and integrating them into our actions, then we become the perpetrator towards ourselves.

    May Allah (swt) grant us the ability to reflect on His signs, fill our hearts with Him and return to Him with sincerity.

  • Yes been feeling similarly to a degree these last few months. Jazak’Allahu Khairan for the reminder. Insha’Allah all of us feeling this way can get back to what we know we are capable of in regards to our Imaan.

  • great article..!!!
    kinda self reflection to check our heart
    whether it’s sincere or not

  • JazakAllah Khair.1
    I feel exactly the same now.
    I feel sad about the facth that I was here 2 or so months ago feeling the same way. And then I made a “commitment” to change and “performed tawba” but I really did not change at all.
    I simply pretended to try be a good Muslim while making insincere and fake dua and like you said, it kills me on the inside.
    It is not Allah that I despair in, it is myself that I despair in, that I will ever change or ever even make an honest effort to change.
    I really do not think I can ever get out of this cycle of depression (now), “tawbah”, then trying to be good Muslim and then goong back to stage 1 (now).
    Until death overtakes me and I will just regret and bite my arms off for not changing.

    Your article is really beautiful and may Allah reward you infinitely for it.

    Me, I just dont think that I can ever actually do what you said.

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