Hadith No. 1 – Sahih al-Bukhari
Did you know, Imaam Bukhari did not include a foreword in his book Sahih al-Bukhari. Why? He did not give preference to his own words over the sayings of the Prophet (SAW). He only starts with Bismillah. :)
Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:
I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”
The Prophet (SAW) said this on the occasion of someone’s emigration from Makkah to Madinah not for the sake of the Islamic Cause but to marry a woman who had stipulated that he should emigrate if he wanted to marry her. Anyhow, this Hadith implies a general principle, i.e., one is rewarded for his deeds according to his real intentions and not according to his actual deeds which might be good in themselves but were motivated by an ill intention.
(Deeds: all kinds of worship + habits)
Simply put, INTENTIONS MATTER!
Let’s say I’m offering my Salah (namaz) in front of people. If I prolong it and offer it very slowly and calmly so that the people get impressed, I won’t be rewarded by Allah for that Salah. He might say to me: ‘Why don’t you go and claim your reward from the people whom you prayed for?’ But if I offer my Salah only for Allah’s sake, then He’ll reward me.
Now, to put this Hadith into practice, I make my intention for this very project.
By Allah, I only want Allah’s pleasure through this. I hope for salvation in the Hereafter. I need real success: entering Jannah (Paradise) directly, not via Jahannam (Hell). I wish to be among those who get the company of prophets, the truthful, martyrs and the righteous. I pray for the good of this world and the Hereafter.
It’s a very negligible effort, but Allah doesn’t measure quantity. Quality matters, right? My intentions..
This is my message for you: always check your intentions. Whatever you’re doing, whenever you’re doing it. Like Native Deen put it:
Waking up in the morning, gotta make my prayer
Am I really gonna’ make it, when there is no one there?
Taking trips to the masjid (mosque), even when it’s tough
Am I going for the sake of Allah? Am I showing off?
Gonna’ get me the knowledge, gonna study Islam
Am I going just to build my ego? so they call me “the Man”?
Does it matter if the people respect me, when it’s not for Allah?
When I know anytime He can take me, without one real du’a (prayer)
Does it matter if they say I’m a big shot?
when I get no reward for my deeds
And I’m dragged on the Day of Resurrection
Cause of the folks that I wanted to please
Plus I know that Allah has the power
To raise me up in their eyes if it need be
I should always make my intentions, for my Lord, Allah completely
Are my Intentions alright?
Am I doing for Allah?
When I’m looking deep, deep down inside
Do I have the right niyyah?