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عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ، قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ يَقُوْلُ : إنّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بالنِّيّاتِ، وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امرِئٍ مَا نَوٰى، فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهٗ إلَى الله وَرَسُوْلِهٖ، فَهِجْرَتُهٗ إلَى اللهِ وَرَسُوْلِهٖ، وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ لِدُنْيَا يُصِيْبُهَا أَوْ اِمْرَأَةٍ يَنْكَحُهَا، فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلٰى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْه

Hazrat Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon Him) said, “The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention. So whoever emigrates for Allah and His Messenger (Almighty He is and peace be upon Him), his emigration will be for Allah and His Messenger (Almighty He is and peace be upon Him); and whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman whom he wants to marry, his emigration would be for what he emigrated for.”

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The Commantary:

As You Intend/Sow So Shall You Reap

Dear Muslim brothers! This message of the Prophet (peace be upon Him) contains the lesson that the reward of deeds depends on the intention; whoso does something for Allah’s pleasure will succeed in the world and in the hereafter and whoso does something for worldly sake will gain no reward, but it will rather become a hazard of his life in certain circumstances, as it’s in the Sharah of Muslim:

“Whoso emigrates for Allah’s pleasure his reward is on Allah’s mercy and whoso emigrates for seeking the world or a woman, that will be his share and he will gain no reward in the hereafter.” (Sharah Muslim 7/45) Whoso performs Salah for show and does not intend to seek Allah’s pleasure will become a sinner; in short, “as you intend so shall you reap”.

One-Third of Islam

Hazrat Imam Shafe’i and other respected Imams (may Allah have mercy on them) state that this Hadeeth is one-third of Islam (i.e. one-third portion of Islam). (Ibid. 7/53)

‘Allamah Badr Al-Deen ‘Aini (may Allah have mercy on him) has stated:

“Since, this Hadeeth speaks of intention, and the essentials of Islam are fulfilled in three ways:

1. By speech

2. By action

3. By intention

Therefore the intention is one-third of Islam.” (‘Umdat Al-Qaari 1/49) Sometimes, the intention itself is an entire worship while the other actions are dependent on it, it is thus stated:

نِیَّۃُ الْمُؤْمِنِ خَیْرٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِہٖ

The intention of a believer is better than his action.

(Mu’jam Kabeer 6/158)

Four Hadeeths On The Fulfilment Of One’s Religion:

Hazrat Imam Abu Dawood states:

“These four Hadeeths are sufficient for the religious affairs of a man:

1. اَلْاَعْمَالُ بِالنِّیَّاتِ (The actions are considered by the intentions.)

2. اَلْحَلَالُ بَیِّنٌ وَالْحَرَامُ بَیِّنٌ (The lawful is clear and the unlawful is clear.)

3. مِنْ حُسْنِ اِسْلَامِ الْمَرْءِ تَرْکُہٗ مَالَا یَعْنِیْہِ (It is from the beauty of a person’s Islam to abandon what does not concern him.)

4. لَا یَکُوْنُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مُؤْمِنًا حَتّٰی یَرْضٰی لِاَخِیْہِ مَا یَرْضَاہٗ لِنَفْسِہٖ (A believer cannot become the perfect believer until he likes for his fellow brother what he likes for himself.)”

)Tareekh Baghdaad 9/58)

70 Chapters of Islamic Jurisprudence

Hazrat Imam Shafe’i states:

“This Hadeeth contains 70 Chapters of Islamic Jurisprudence.”

(Sharah Muslim 7/53)

Definition of intention

“Strong desire of the heart is called intention whether it’s for a particular thing; and in Islamic Jurisprudence, the desire of worship is called intention.”

(Nuzhat Al-Qaari 1/224)

Only The Sincere Action Is Worthy Of Acceptance

The King of Madinah Munawwarah, The Emperor of Makkah Mukarramah (peace be upon Him) has stated:

“When some sealed documents will be presented in Allah’s court on the Day of Judgment, He will command the angels, ‘Leave this and accept this.’ The angels will ask, ‘O Lord! By your dignity! We see nothing but good in it.’ Then Allah Almighty, who knows best, will say, ‘These deeds were done for someone else than me and today, I will accept only the ones that were done for My pleasure.’”

(Daar Qutni 1/73)

One With Excess Deeds Had Lost It And The One With Less Succeeded

Hazrat Ibn Mubarak reported:

“When the angels will be carrying one of Allah’s servants towards paradise, impressed by excessive estimation of his deeds, till they reach wherever Allah will allow them to go in His kingdom, then Allah Almighty will send them a revelation, ‘You are appointed to write the deeds of my servant and I am aware of his heart. This servant of mine was not sincere to me in actions, therefore register him from amongst the Sijjeen (It’s the name of a place beneath the seventh earth which is the abode of satan and his army).’ Similarly, when the angels will be carrying one of Allah’s servants towards hell, underestimating the reasonableness of his deeds, till they reach wherever Allah will allow them to go in His kingdom, then Allah Almighty will send them a revelation, ‘You are appointed to write the deeds of my servant and I am aware of his heart. This servant of mine is sincere to me in actions, therefore register him from amongst the ‘Illiyyeen (It’s the name of a place on the seventh heaven below the ‘Arsh).’”

(Al-Zuhd 153)

میرا ہر عمل بس تیرے واسطے ہو کر اخلاص ایسا عطا یا الٰہی

May every action of mine be for Your sake Grant me such sincerity O my Lord!

Send Benediction upon the beloved! The benedictions of Allah Almighty be upon Muhammad

Reward And Punishment Without An Action

One receives the reward on accord of a good intention without having to perform a task and he gains the very reward which he would have gained upon the fulfilment of the task, and correspondingly, one becomes a sinner upon having a strong intention of committing a sin although he did not commit the sin. Hence, Huzur Sadrush Shariah Allamah Amjad Ali Azmi, the author of Bahare Shariat, states:

“If one were to have a strong intention of committing a sin which is called ‘Azm, it’s also a sin although one did not commit the sin one intended to do.”

(Bahare Shariat 3/615)

There are three narrations in this regard as follows:

1. Four Types Of People

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon Him) has stated:

“The people of this nation are of four types:

1. Whom Allah Almighty has given knowledge and wealth, and he spends his wealth in its perspective.

2. Whom Allah Almighty has given the knowledge but not wealth, and he says, ‘Had I this much wealth, I would also do such things.’ Both of them are equal in reward.

3. Whom Allah Almighty has given wealth but not the knowledge, and he goes about spending his wealth in unworthy things due to ignorance.

4. Whom neither has Allah Almighty given wealth nor knowledge, and he says, ‘Had I this much wealth, I would also spend it like that.’ Both of them are equal in sin.”

(Ibn Majah 4/481)

2. Full reward only on intention

The Beloved of Allah, the bearer of the knowledge of unseen (peace be upon Him) has stated:

“Whoso intends to do a good deed but fails to fulfil it, Allah Almighty writes the reward of a perfect good deed in his account.”

(Muslim 80)

3. Heaven and Hell an Accord of Intention

Hazrat Hasan Basri states that the residents of heaven and the residents of hell will reside forever on accord of their intentions.

(Ihya Uloom Al-Deen 5/89)

Hazrat Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Al-Husaini Al-Zubaidi writes when explaining the citation of Hazrat Hasan Basri in his famous book “Ittihaaf Al-Saadatil Muttaqeen Sharh Ihya Uloom Al-Deen” as follows:

“For Allah Almighty will not keep a servant in paradise forever because of his deeds. If he were to enter the paradise on accord of his deeds, then he would get to stay there in accordance with his deeds or double that duration, but Allah Almighty will reward him in accordance of his intention, for he had intended to obey Allah Almighty for his entire lifetime, and when the death had discontinued his deeds he was being rewarded according to his intention. Same is the case of an infidel, that if an infidel were to stay in hell on accord of his deeds, then he would not reside there forever, but as far as his deeds continued. Since, he made the intention to always remain firm on infidelity; therefore he was punished according to his intention.


Do Not Let Go of the Blessed Opportunity of Doing Good

How Merciful our Lord is, that if He rewards His servant just upon making a good intention though he may not be able to fulfil it. We should not let go of an opportunity and make good intentions to the best of our capability, for our Merciful and Affectionate Lord shall grant us abundant reward on good intentions as well.

The Reward of the Merciful Lord on a Good Intention

It has been narrated that when a man from Bani Israeel passed by a knoll of sand at the time of drought and said in his heart:

“‘Had these sands been the grains I would give it to people in charity.’ Allah Almighty sent him a revelation that, ‘Tell him, Allah Almighty has accepted your charity and due to having good intention He has given you the reward as much as you would have gained if you were to receive if these sands were grains and you would have given them in charity.’”

(Qoot Al-Quloob 2/271)

All the Worldly Love Leads To Poverty

Whoso intends to make his hereafter better is granted the goodness of the world and the hereafter and the world comes at his feet automatically, and the one who runs after the world having abandoned the awareness about the hereafter, the more he follows it the more it runs away from him. He gets what was destined for him. None can get even an atom more than his fate, for the Prophet (peace be upon Him) has stated:

“Allah enriches the heart of the one who seeks the hereafter and gathers for him all his scattered affairs and the world seems very cheap and disgusting to him. And whoso seeks the world, Allah Almighty brings forward his poverty before his eyes and scatters his organised affairs, and he gets the worldly things just as much as it was in his destiny.”

(Tirmidhi 4/211)

The Best Deeds

The Leader of the believers Hazrat Sayyiduna Umar Farooq (may Allah be pleased with him) states:

“The best of deeds are to fulfil the duties towards Allah, abstinence from forbidden things and for the intention to be truly for Allah.”

(Qoot Al-Quloob 2/267)

The Intensity of Allah’s Help through Intense Sincerity

One receives Allah’s assistance in accordance with sincerity; the more sincerity one has in his actions the more he receives Allah’s help. It is because of one’s intention that the deeds differ in goodness or evil and inferior or greater in their status, and sometimes it happens that one at last gets the chance of fulfilling a virtuous deed on accord of having a good intention.

There are five narrations recorded below pertaining to this fact:

1. A Small Sincere Action in Quantity Is Great In Quality

Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) states that the following statement of Allah Almighty is written in Torah:

“A small action that was to seek my pleasure is great to Me and a great action that was intended for anyone else besides Me is inferior though it was bulky.”

(Ihya Uloom Al-Deen 5/89)

2. As You Intend So Shall You Be Assisted

Hazrat Saalim Ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote a letter to Hazrat Sayyiduna Umar Ibn ‘Abdul Azeez (may Allah be pleased with him):

“Know, that a servant gains Allah’s help according his intention; whose intention is perfect he also receives Allah’s help in a perfect form and whose intention is imperfect he receives less of Allah’s help.”

(Ihya Uloom Al-Deen 5/89)

3. The Superiority and Inferiority of an Action

It has been narrated from the pious ancestors of the religion:

“An insignificant attempt often becomes great because of the intention and many a superior actions turn to be puny because of the intention.”

(Qoot Al-Quloob 2/268)

4. The Actions Are In Need Of Intentions

Hazrat Imam Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ghazaali (may Allah shower His ultimate mercy upon him) states:

“The intentions are pillars for the actions. The actions are in need of intentions, for they become good only on accord of intentions; as a good intention is virtuous by itself, though one fails to fulfil it due to an obstacle.”

(Ihya Uloom Al-deen 5/89)

5. A Good Intention Leads To a Good Action

Hazrat Sayyiduna Dawood Al-Taa’i (may Allah reveal His mercy upon him) states that a pious servant who yearns for Allah’s fear (taqwa), although all his body-parts get engaged in worldly activities, even then his good intention will one day lead him towards a good deed while the state of an ignorant person is different.

(Ihya Uloom Al-deen 5/89)

Learn the Intention before Practicing

One must have good intentions prior to exercising a good action. Our ancestors used to learn a lot of good intentions before they started a practice. Hazrat Sufyaan Thauri (may Allah reveal His mercy upon him) states:

“The people of past used to learn the intentions just as they used to learn the actions.”

Some Scholars have stated:

“Learn the intention before exercising a practice and you will remain on goodness as far as you remain firm on the intention.”

(Qoot Al-Quloob 2/268)

No Moment Must Be Free From (good) Intention

A student sought a request to the respected Scholars (may Allah have mercy upon them):

“‘Inform me of an action by help of which I get myself engaged into fulfilling deeds towards Allah at all times, because I do not like any moment to elapse and I would not have done anything for Allah Almighty therein. The Scholars told him, ‘You have reached your goal. Fulfil as much deeds as you can, and when you feel exhausted or leave out some actions then make intention of fulfilling them in future, for the one who has good intentions continues to fulfil the deeds just as a practitioner does.’”

(Qoot Al-Quloob 2/268)

Forgiveness By Means Of a Good Intention

Someone asked Hazrat Khalifah Haroon Rasheed’s wife (may Allah have mercy on both) in dream:

“‘How did Allah Almighty treat you?’ She replied, ‘Allah Almighty has forgiven me.’ When asked whether the reason for forgiveness was the road she constructed towards Makkah Mukarramah by spending excessive wealth. She replied, ‘No, the workers received the reward of construction. Allah Almighty has forgiven me because of my good intentions.’”

(Al-Risaalah Al-Qushairiyah 422)