Actions are Dependent upon their Intentions
عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ، – رضى الله عنه – قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّةِ وَإِنَّمَا لاِمْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَإِلَى رَسُولِهِ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَإِلَى رَسُولِهِ وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى دُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوِ امْرَأَةٍ يَنْكِحُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ “ .
Hazrat Umar ibnul-Khattab Radiyallahu Anhu narrated: I heard Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam say : “Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His Messenger, then his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to marry some woman, then his migration was for the purpose that he migrated.” ~ Bukhari and Muslim
Imam Bukhari Rahmatullah Alayhi selected the first Hadith, ‘Innamal a’amaalu binniyaat’ of Sahih Bukhari Shareef, as an introduction to the whole collection, emphasising the importance of sincerity of one’s intention, and that good and noble deeds will only bear fruit if there is sincerity attached to one’s intentions. The beginning of all actions is Sincerity (Ikhlaas).
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم :
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى صُوَرِكُمْ وَأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَلَكِنْ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى قُلُوبِكُمْ وَأَعْمَالِكُمْ
Hazrat Abu Hurairah Radiyallahu Anhu reported Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam as saying : Verily Allah does not look at your faces (outward appearances) and your wealth, but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.~ Sahih Muslim
Sincerity is a vitally important aspect that one should inculcate and build within oneself. The reward of deeds depend upon one’s intentions. When Allah judges a person, it is the person’s intention and his actions that Allah looks at. Allah Ta’ala does not look at a persons outward appearance (one’s beauty/features), nor does He look to a persons wealth.
Allah is well aware of what is in our hearts. There must not be a speck of insincerity in our heart. The nature of our intentions should be purely and solely for the pleasure of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.
Ikhlaas means ‘to free something’ ~ Free your heart and free your intention from everybody else besides Allah. Any action that we do, must be pleasing to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala and Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam ie. in conformity with the Shariah. The two important ingredients of any action performed are, adhering to the Sunnah and implementing Sincerity.
Doing Actions Solely for the Pleasure of Allah
عَنْ عَبْدِ الْوَهَّابِ بْنِ الْوَرْدِ، عَنْ رَجُلٍ، مِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ قَالَ كَتَبَ مُعَاوِيَةُ إِلَى عَائِشَةَ أُمِّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ رضى الله عنها أَنِ اكْتُبِي إِلَىَّ كِتَابًا تُوصِينِي فِيهِ وَلاَ تُكْثِرِي عَلَىَّ . فَكَتَبَتْ عَائِشَةُ رضى الله عنها إِلَى مُعَاوِيَةَ سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكَ أَمَّا بَعْدُ فَإِنِّي سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ “ مَنِ الْتَمَسَ رِضَاءَ اللَّهِ بِسَخَطِ النَّاسِ كَفَاهُ اللَّهُ مُؤْنَةَ النَّاسِ وَمَنِ الْتَمَسَ رِضَاءَ النَّاسِ بِسَخَطِ اللَّهِ وَكَلَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَى النَّاسِ ” . وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكَ .
‘Abdul-Wahhab bin Al-Ward narrated from a man among the inhabitants of Madinah, that Hazrat Mu’awiyah Radiyallahu Anhu wrote a letter to Hazrat A’ishah Radiyallahu Anha asking her: Write me an advise, but do not make it lengthy. So, Hazrat A’ishah Radiyallahu ‘anha wrote to Hazrat Mu’awiyah Radiyallahu ‘anhu. After writing Salam she wrote: I have indeed heard Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam saying: He who seeks Allah’s pleasure at the cost of people’s anger, Allah will suffice him against the trouble caused by people and he who seeks the pleasure of men at the cost of Allah’s anger, Allah will leave him to the (mercy) of people … Wassalamu- ‘Alaik (May Allah’s peace be upon you ). ~ Tirmidhi
We have been exhorted to do actions solely for the pleasure of Allah. The greatest honour man can attain is Allah’s pleasure. Our actions should be free from ostentation.
A Hadith mentions :
Hazrat Abu Umamah Al-Bahili Radiyallahu Anhu narrates that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam said: Verily, Allah does not accept any deed, except that which is done sincerely for Him and to obtain His pleasure. ~ Nasai
Our intention should not be to please people. When we intend doing some good deed then we should not be concerned as to what people may say. Some times a person wishes to implement a certain Sunnah in his life, but he is concerned of what his family and friends will say, so he refrains from performing the particular Sunnah act. Do not worry what people will say… Please only Allah.
Check your intention before doing any action. Ask yourself … For who am i doing it? … Am i doing it solely for the pleasure of Allah or is it for show and ostentation?