Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

One of the most important qualities that exalts a human personality is sincerity. The virtue of a person lies in the presence of sincerity in his personality. The defining role of this quality is that it converts a mistake into a ‘mistake plus’. When a sincere person commits a mistake, he becomes intensely aware about it and regrets it deeply. He acknowledges it openly. A new thinking emerges in him about his mistake.

Thinking afresh about his actions, he introspects and re-aligns his priorities. This process leads to an increase in creativity. A person who commits a mistake and goes through this process sincerely, becomes a creative person after the mistake.

The important point to understand here, is not whether a person commits a mistake or not, but whether he is sincere or not. If he is lacking in sincerity then he will suffer the consequences of his errors throughout his life. Every time he commits a mistake, he will pay a heavy price for it.

This aspect of human life is a very serious and tragic one. The only solution is that man must strive to be sincere to the utmost extent. The positive side of this quality is that in the presence of such sincerity, this mistake will be converted into a mistake plus.

The virtue of a person lies in the presence of sincerity in his personality.

From the Quran, we learn that God created Adam and settled him in Paradise in complete freedom. There was only one tree that was forbidden to him. However, in spite of being warned, Adam committed the mistake of eating from the forbidden tree. But, Adam converted this mistake into a ‘mistake plus’. Whilst Adam committed the mistake he also had sincerity within him. So, as soon as he erred, he was immediately aware of the mistake, acknowledged it and repented— seeking forgiveness from God.

After this Adam was expelled from Paradise to earth. Through him and his progeny, generations of mankind have spread far and wide. An entire civilization has come about. Man has developed intellectually; a scientific revolution has brought about modern society and advanced human knowledge. All this was possible only because of the fact that Adam's mistake did not remain just a mistake; it was converted to a ‘mistake plus’ which opened the doors of creativity and re-thinking for mankind.

Satan, on the other hand also committed a mistake. But, being insincere he could not convert it into a ‘mistake plus’. This mistake of Satan and his renunciation of the error made Satan even more rebellious deserving of eternal condemnation from God.

Through this incident in the beginning of creation, God established an example for mankind. Future generations of mankind had a precedent of the behaviour of both, Adam and Satan. In the example of Adam was the lesson that if man was truly sincere, he could convert his mistake into a ‘mistake plus’. On the other hand, if man showed insincerity regarding his mistake, he would continue in error. Committing mistake after mistake, he would find one excuse or another to justify them until he joined the ranks of Satan and his followers, unable to return and reform from their sins.

A new identity of Muslims as a peace-loving and intellectual people would emerge in the world.

The violence and terrorism perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Jihad throughout the world is one such mistake. Their actions in the world today have shown that they are continuing with these mistakes and heading towards dissent and perdition.

If Muslims are truly sincere about the religion of God, they should openly acknowledge the violence and terrorism as their mistake and repent seeking forgiveness immediately. Then this mistake of theirs would become a ‘mistake plus’ after which a new thinking would develop in their minds. This new thinking would become an incentive for further development in knowledge and research. A new identity of Muslims as a peace-loving and intellectual people would emerge in the world.

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