Download PDF: [S] Your Intention Counts
It is mentioned that there was once two brothers. One was considered to be an Abid and the other a sinner. The Abid or worshipper always had the intention to be able to meet Satan near the Mehrab of the Masjid.
One day, Satan appeared to him in the guise of a human and said to him, “It is a great pity you have wasted forty years of your life in controlling your Nafs and placing your body in undue problems and stress through Ibadah. The same amount of time is waiting for you. I suggest you try and satisfy your Nafs and after that, you may make Taubah and again start your Ibadah. There is no doubt that Allah Almighty is All Forgiving.”
When the Abid heard this, he said to himself that he will go downstairs to his brother’s house and for the next twenty years, he will busy himself with satisfying his Nafs. He said that after that he will make Taubah and spent the next twenty years in Ibadah.
As he began to go downstairs, his sinful brother was about to come upstairs to meet him. The sinful brother had already made the intention to change. He said to himself, “You have indeed wasted your entire life by only committing sin and transgression. Because of this, you will enter the Fire of Hell while your pious brother will enter Jannah.” He also made the firm intention that he will go to his brother and make sincere Taubah and spend the rest of his life in Ibadah. He was hopeful that Allah Almighty will pardon his years of sinful living.
He started to walk upstairs with the intention of making Taubah, while his elder brother started to walk downstairs with the intention of satisfying his Nafs in a life of sin. However, as he was walking down the stairs, his feet slipped and he fell on his brother that was coming up the stairs. The crush was so serious that both of them died on the spot. When they died, each was given what he had made the intention for.
This incident is indeed a very great lesson to the Muslims. How many were close to the Divine Court and then thrown away and how many were far from the Divine Court and brought nearer. This is the reason that we should always be careful and not take the Divine Grace of Allah Almighty for granted. We should also make sure that we are always fearful of the Secret Divine Decree of Allah Almighty. (Ar Roaud Al Faa’iq)
This is also how the Satan deceives people and makes them think that what they are doing is correct and a good deed. He makes people live in false hope and creates evil wishes in them. One of his greatest plots is that he makes people believe that they will live forever or for a long time, hence there is nothing for them to worry about at this moment. There will be plenty of time to make Taubah. Bear in mind that Taubah is not something that should be treated lightly.
At the same time, we also understand the benefit and importance of having a noble and good intention. When a person comes to your front door to ask for something, you may have a single coin to give him, however, as your intention changes, so does your reward. If you have the intent that you are helping a poor Muslim that is one reward. If you have the intention that maybe this man has children and your charity will help his children, which is another reward. If you have the intention that perhaps you are saving his life, which is another reward. As your intention increases, in like manner, your reward will increase, but the one coin still remains one coin. This is one of the reasons that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that the foundation of your action is based upon the intention.