The most basic characteristic of the unbelievers is their insincerity. They are insincere to Almighty Allah, to other people and even to themselves. Even though they behave warmly to people for the sake of their interests, they can, at the same time, easily feel hatred or jealousy for them. They are also insincere to their own selves. Despite the fact that 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 blameless and right.
The basis of this insincerity is the assumption that nobody will know their secret thoughts. Therefore, guilty people may act as if they were innocent, despite their sins or wrong doings.
In an ignorant society, people do not really know the thoughts of others, and they never consider that Almighty Allah knows all the thoughts and secrets of all the hearts. The subconscious mind is also included in this knowledge, even if an individual does not know what lies there. Almighty 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] (At-Taghabun 64:4)
[Whether you hide your word or publish it. He certainly has full knowledge of the secrets of all hearts. Should He not know,- He that created? and He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them)]( Al-Mulk 67:13-14)
Therefore, nobody can speak beyond the knowledge of Almighty 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, wheresoever 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] (Al-Mujadilah 58:7)
This being so, it is not possible to hide anything from Almighty Allah. Not only does Almighty Allah know all the deeds but He also knows all the thoughts of all people, even those of their deepest subconscious, of which they are largely unaware. This is emphasized in the following verse:
[We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein]. (Qaf 50:16)
In these circumstances, the ultimate behaviour of the believers should be complete sincerity and modesty before Almighty Allah. Since Almighty Allah has created and already knows all beings, it is insensible to act in a false and insincere manner before Him. One should sincerely uncover all one’s weaknesses, faults, wrongdoings and defects in one’s faith to Almighty Allah, and ask for His help and mercy.
The prophets are the best examples of their sincerity to Almighty Allah. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) prayed to Almighty Allah and said: [Show me, Lord, how You will raise the dead].
And when Almighty Allah replies: [Have you no faith? he says yes, but just to reassure my heart]. (Al-Baqarah 2:260)
This is how the believers should acknowledge their weaknesses to Almighty Allah and ask for forgiveness from Him alone. Similarly, when Almighty Allah commands Prophet Musa (Moses) to go to Pharaoh, he replied: [O my Lord! I have slain a man among them, and I fear lest they slay me], (Al-Qasas 28:33) He asked for help and strength from Almighty Allah. The honesty of the prophets to Almighty Allah shows the believers how they should behave.
We must understand that a person is weak and dependent upon Almighty Allah, and we cannot attain characteristics like strength, modesty, faith and courage by only pretending to possess them, because […man was created weak] (An-Nisaa’ 4:28). Therefore, we should be very truthful and devoted to Almighty Allah and expose all our faults and sins to Him before asking for forgiveness.