The most basic characteristic of the unbelievers is their insincerity. They are insincere to Allah, to other people and even to themselves. Although when they behave warmly to people in the face for the sake of their interests, they can easily feel at the same time hatred or jealousy for them. As a matter of fact, their insincerity is also to their own selves. Although they clearly witness the wrongness and evil of their deeds, they push this reality back into their subconscious and act as if they were entirely perfect and right.
At the basis of this insincerity there lies the assumption that nobody will know about the secret thoughts they have in their hearts. So, the quilty may act as if they were not so, despite their sins or wrong doings. Actually, in an ignorant society, people really do not know what the actual thoughts of others are, and they never consider that Allah knows all thethoughts and secrets of all hearts. The subconscious mind is also included in this knowledge, even if the individuals do not themselves know what lies there. Allah states this fact in the following verses:
“He knows what is in the heavens and on earth; and He knows what you conceal and what you reveal: and Allah knows well the secrets of all hearts.” (Surat at-Taghabun, 64:4)
“Whether you hide your word or publish it. He certainly has full knowledge of the secrets of all hearts. He is the One that understands the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted with them.” (Surat al-Mulk, 67:13-14)
Nobody, therefore, can speak outside the knowledge of Allah, for He is the One Who has full knowledge of the secrets of all hearts. In the Qur’an this fact is revealed as:
“Do you not see that Allah knows all that is in the heavens and on earth? There is not a secret consultation between three, but He makes the fourth among them, – nor between five but He makes the sixth- nor between fewer nor more, but He is in their midst, whersoever they be. In the end will He tell them the truth of their conduct, on the Day of Judgment. For Allah has full knowledge of all things.” (Surat al-Mujadila, 58:7)
This being so, it is not possible to hide anything from Allah. Allah knows not only all the deeds but also all the thoughts of all people, including those of their subconscious, which they are largely unaware of. This is emphasized in the following verse:
“It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.” (Surah Qaf, 50:16)
In these circumstances, the eventual behavior of the believers should be complete sincerity and modesty before Allah. Since Allah has created and alreadyknows all beings, it is insensible to act in an artificial manner before Allah. One should sincerely uncover all one’s weaknesses, faults, wrongdoing and defects in one’s faith to Allah, and ask for His help and mercy.
The prophets are the best examples for their sincerity to Allah. The Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) prays to Allah and says “Show me, Lord, how You will raise the dead.” And when Allah replies: “Have you no faith?” he says ”Yes, but just to reassure my heart.”(Surat al-Baqara, 2:269)
This is how the believers confess their weaknesses to Allah and ask for forgiveness only from Him. Similarly, when Allah commands the Prophet Musa (Moses): “Go to Pharaoh!” he says, “O my Lord! I have slain a man among them,and I fear lest they slay me,” (Surat al-Qasas,28:33) and asks for help and strength from Allah. This honesty of the Prophets to Allah show how the believers should behave.
Before one comprehends that one is weak and dependent upon Allah, one cannot attain characteristics like strength, modesty, faith and courage by only pretending to possess them, because “…man was created weak” (Surat An-Nisa, 4:28) in order to understand his weaknesses before Allah. Therefore, one should be very truthful and devoted to Allah and expose all one’s faults and sins to Him before asking for forgiveness.