Sincerity stands for purifying one's deeds from blemishes of showiness in order to make them purely intended to Allah s.w.t. A sincere person strives to purify his soul from vices and exerts himself to perform (good) deeds and maintain sincerity of intention so that Allah will accept his deeds.
The word ikhlas roots from an arabic word of kholasa (finish). one sister once told me, that is why when a person is doing something sincerely (ikhlas), he will not expecting any reward from it. the deeds will end there, not hoping for anything else. kholas. finish.
a struggle to learn the subject of ikhlas (sincerity)
we are not born with sincerity. it is something that we have to strive to achieve it. these past few weeks were really challenging. i was struggling with the tough subject that i took in this short semester. presentations that took days of preparation. effortless person to deal with (hehe.this one was the hardest). etc. so i ended up babbling and begging to myself: "please, ikhlas. please, ikhlas". hoping that all my deeds and efforts are truly intended to get the blessings from Allah s.w.t.
back then, when i was in kisas, the word 'istikhlas' was very popular and widely used (though not sure whether it really exist!). we usually said, if you are not ikhlas in doing something, at least you must try to be one (according to kisasians' dictionary; istikhlas = the effort to achieve ikhlas). when we were being forced to do something good that we didn't really akin to, we would be saying to ourselves: istikhlas, istikhlas. (wah, rindu zaman sekolah!)
i am so grateful that at least throughout this short semester Allah has taught me on how to be sincere. Alhamdulillah. the most important thing is to forgive others and that is where you can find the inner peace.
"anything is possible when you have inner peace", shifu in Kungfu Panda 2.
i really hope that with this inner peace i can face my examination next week serenely. May Allah place this light of ikhlas in our hearts and may He guide and keep us on the straight path. May He forgive our shortcomings and envelope us with His barakah and mercy. ameen.