The glorious Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad صلّى الله عليه وسلّم said:
“Deeds are judged only by intentions. And everyone will only have the reward what he intended for.”
The merit of all our actions in this world, therefore, is squarely based on purity of motive.
Whatever we do, must be to please Allah and none else!
Intention (niyyah) refers to the motivation behind the act: to draw closer to Him and attain His good pleasure and reward.
Therefore, two components must exist together:
- An intention for the act itself and 2. An intention for the One for Whom the act is done.
This Venn diagram succinctly summaries the concept and relationship of actions-intention:
* ‘Sadaqah Jaariyah’ means the charity the rewards of which can be reaped even after one’s death!
Ponder over the following saying of Abdullah ibn Mubaarak, a great Muslim scholar:
Once you set your intentions right, then you need to take effort i.e. do hard work to achieve your goal.
وَأَن لَّيْسَ لِلْإِنسَانِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَىٰ
“And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives” Surah An-Najm 53: 39
You need to have reliance on Allah.
As Allah says in the Qur’an:
فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
“And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]” Surah Aal Imran 3:159
Along side sincere intention and effort, you also need to seek the help of Allah through Du’aa.
And this attitude must continue with consistency, InshaaAllah.
As there is no short cut to success, there is only one formula for success:
Success = Right Intention + Effort + Du’aa + Help from Allah
May Allah make our intentions pure and sincere. May He guide us and keep us on the Right Path.
The above saying of Al Fudail bin Iyaad is a point to think upon.
He says, “If a deed is sincere but not right, then it wouldn’t be accepted. And if a deed is right but not sincere, it wouldn’t be accepted until it becomes both sincere and right. Sincere means that ‘a deed is done for Allah alone’ and Right means ‘it is done in the light of the Sunnah’.