Hadith 1. Intentions Part B

On the authority of Ameer ul-Mu’mineen (the Commander of the Faithful), Abu Hafs `Umar ibn al-Khattab radiAllahu anhu, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam say:

“Actions are but by intentions and every man shall have only that which he intended. Thus he whose migration (Hijrah to Madeenah from Makkah) was for Allah and His Messenger, his migration was for Allah and His Messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated.

Reported in Bukhari and Muslim

Brief commentary: 

  • The main theme of this hadith is about sincerity and purifying our intentions
  • We need the three I’s for our deeds to be accepted:
    • Iman (Being a Muslim)
    • Ikhlas (sincerity)
    • Ittibaa’ ( following the way of the prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam))
  • Without any of the three above, our deeds will not be accepted, hence it is vital that we be sincere with Allah in our acts of worship
  • Some definitions of sincerity:
    • You do the action solely for the sake of Allah
    • You do not want a witness for your action other than Allah, and you do not seek reward for it from other than Allah
    • Purifying the action from any defects
    • When your inner is the same as your outer
  • Some of the salaf have said that if you see sincerity in your sincerity, then your sincerity requires more sincerity, for the level of deficiency you see in your sincerity is in fact the level of sincerity you have!
  • Ibn Al-Qayyim said about the pious intention: “Forgetting to look at others, by constantly looking at Allah” i.e. not caring what others think by always worrying what Allah sees
  • We need to have a sincere intention for everything we do so that we may be rewarded for it e.g. intend to go to sleep to be able to be stronger to worship Allah, intend to eat to be able to be stronger to worship Allah, etc
  • The scholars have said “ The worship of the heedless is a habit, and the habits of the righteous are worship” i.e. the heedless ones are not concentrating in their worship as it is just a habit, but the righteous turn even their habits into worship e.g. eating, sleeping etc
  • The intention is the driving force in your heart that pushes you to do this action. It is not something that you merely say with your tongue so for you to have a sincere pious intention, you must have this intention (e.g. playing football to be healthy or to meet with brothers and increase in brotherhood) before carrying out the action, and it must be the reason that pushes you towards this action, so if it is not there, you would not do the action

Benefits and Action points:

  • Being Sincere in your worship of Allah brings many benefits. These include:
    • It is a reason to be saved on the day of judgement
    • It is a great source of good deeds
    • It can magnify the reward of a small action
    • It can change your habits into acts of worship
    • It is a reason for your sins to be forgiven
    • It is a reason for calamities to be removed
    • It is a reason to be raised in rank
    • It saves a person from trials and tribulations
  • In order to achieve sincerity, we need to :
    • See the good actions we do as a blessing from Allah over us for giving us the ability to do them
    • Not ask for any rewards for it as we know we are slaves of Allah and slaves do not ask for rewards for what they do
    • Not be pleased with what we do and look for its defects and try to improve next time (while never feeling that we have reached perfection in what we do)
    • Know what Allah deserves and that we will never be able to worship Him as He deserves
    • Try our utmost to perfect the action, but be shy from Allah as it is not perfect
    • Try out utmost to not let anyone see or know about the action
    • Understand that we only did this action because Allah has written for us to do it so all the credit goes to Him

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