Virtues of Having Intention (Part 1) – 25th Sept. 2011
Our Noble Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“ The reward of every deed depends on intention.” Bukhari
Scholars said this hadeeth is considered half of the religion others said it is considered one-fourth of the religion.
Allah (Azza-wa Jal) only wants the intention/sincerity of the deed because if the intention is good accordingly deed will be good and accepted by Allah otherwise it will be rejected.
Yahya ibn Katheer (Rahimahullaah) used to say learn the intention before learning about the deed.
Ikhlas (sincerity) should be purified by turning away from show off, seeking people’s praise. It should be done only for Allah’s sake. Purifying the intention is difficult but easy for him whom Allah wills.
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) saw the Sahabaah learning about the anti Christ (Ad-Dajjal) then he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“I fear the hidden shirk (i.e. showoff) more than I fear ad-Dajjal.”
[Related by Ibn Majah (2604) from the hadith of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu). The hadith is hasan]
He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) explained: A person stands to pray and he sees someone and he beautifies his Salaat. – this is Ri’ya.
Riya (Showoff) means to do something so as to be seen (Ru’ya).
Riya is hidden and could be hardly detected. It has different forms. Therefore, our heart should not turn to anybody except Allah.
Shaytaan may whisper to oneself ‘What about my previous deeds?’
Here the person can do two things:
- Ask Allah with His Name Al-Ghafoor (the Oft-Forgiving) and Ash-Shakoor (the All-Appreciative)
- Let this fear make you beware of your intention.
Shaytaan may stop you from doing good deeds or he may make you perform good deeds without intentions.
Intention means performing the good deed for Allah’s sake only because Allah commanded you to do so, it also includes doing it according to Sunnah and hoping the reward from Allah alone.
Intention (Niyyah) is the Head, pillar and foundation of every good deed.
The scholars when they use the word Niyya, they use it for two things:
- To distinguish between acts of worship (i.e. obligatory Salaat from voluntary Salaat, obligatory fast from voluntary fast etc.)
- For whose sake you are doing this good deed (i.e. Ikhlas)
Deeds depend on intention and the intention affects the reward.
If your intention is good, Allah will reward you abundantly even if it was good deed which was little or minor.
Where can we find the word intention in the Qur’an?
The word intention comes in the Qur’an in two forms: (Yureedo) يُريدُ and (Yabtaghi) يبتغي
يُريدُ (Yureedo) can be seen in Surat Aal-Imran (chap 3:52)
مِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ الدُّنْيَا وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ الآخِرَةَ
“..Among you are some who desire this world, and among you are some who desire the Hereafter…”
Allah uses the word يُريدُ ‘yureedo’ to indicate the intention.
The word يبتغي ‘Yabtaghi’ can be seen in Surat al-Layl (chap 92: 20)
إِلَّا ابْتِغَاء وَجهِ رَبِّهِ الْأَعلَى
“But only seeking the countenance of his Lord, Most High.”