Make your Actions Sincerely for Allah, Purify the Intentions and Attain the Highest of Rewards

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Bestower of Mercy.

It is obligatory upon each of us that we make the whole of our lives, and the actions that we perform sincerely for Allah’s sake, for His Face only (the Most High) and actualise the words of Allah:

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ ١٦٢
لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُۥ ۖ وَبِذَٰلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا۠ أَوَّلُ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ ١٦٣

“Say indeed my Prayer, my sacrifice, my life, and my death are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partners—with this have I been commanded, and I am the first of those who submit as a Muslim.” (Al-Anʿām 162-163)

My brothers and sisters, let us live our lives with our hearts, and our souls upon sincerity so perhaps our Lord will raise us in the company of sincere and truthful believers on the Day of Resurrection.

The Blessing of Ikhlās

We should never forget that Allah does not accept any deed unless it is done sincerely for Allah, just as the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “Verily, Allah does not accept any deed except that which is done sincerely, and seeking by it the Face of Allah.” (Saheeh: An-Nasā’ī, no. 3140)

So, whenever you pray, fast or perform any act of obedience and you do not seek by that the pleasure of Allah—instead, you seek the praise of the people, and you want to show off to them—Allah will not accept such a deed.

For this reason, it is a must that we are continuously mindful of maintaining good intentions before we do any deed—that we are doing it for the pleasure of Allah, His reward, and for His Face, and not to impress the people or seek their praise.

The relationship between a sincere intention and a righteous action is like the relationship between the soul and body. So, speech and action do not benefit a person nor are they rewardable unless accompanied by a sincere intention—and speech, action and intention do not benefit unless they are in accordance with the Sunnah of Abul-Qāsim Muhammad Ibn ʿAbdillāh (salallāhulʿalaihi wasallam).

A Person Can Attain A Great Reward By Having Sincere Intention Even If He Is Not Able To Act 

It is possible for a believer to attain an immense reward and success just by maintaining a pure and sincere intention, even if he does not perform the action that he loves and desires to perform. Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) stated: “Verily the world is only for four people: [1] A person who Allah has given wealth and knowledge—so he fears His Lord and is dutiful to Him regarding that, so with it, he maintains the ties of kinship, and gives to Allah what is due from it. And this person is the most excellent of levels. [2] A person to whom Allah has granted knowledge and not granted wealth—but he has a truthful and sincere intention, and he says: ‘If I had wealth, I would surely do what so-and-so does,’ so he has this intention—so the reward of both is the same…” (Saheeh: Tirmidhī no. 2325, Ibn Mājah no. 4228, Ahmad no. 17570).

And to highlight this affair, we have the incident of those Sahābah who stayed behind in Madinah when the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) and the rest of the Companions went out to the battle of Tabook—they had to stay behind because they had no provisions for the campaign nor riding beasts—so they stayed behind due this—and some of them wept with the weeping of men due to their desire to join the campaign along with Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam), and Allah knew their intentions. So, they shared in the reward from Allah of that battle along with those who were present. Allah (the Most High) said:

وَلَا عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا مَآ أَتَوْكَ لِتَحْمِلَهُمْ قُلْتَ لَآ أَجِدُ مَآ أَحْمِلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ تَوَلَّوا وَّأَعْيُنُهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ ٱلدَّمْعِ حَزَنًا أَلَّا يَجِدُوا مَا يُنفِقُونَ ٩٢

“Nor is there blame on those who came to you O Prophet to be provided with mounts, when you said: ‘I can find no mounts for you,’ they turned back, while their eyes were overflowing with tears of grief that they could not find anything to spend for Allāh’s cause.” (At-Tawbah: 92)

Anas Ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) said that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) was on his way to Tabook and he said: “Verily in Madinah we have left a people such that you do not walk on a path nor do you cross a valley except that they are with you.”

And in the narration of Al-Ismāʿīlī as cited by Al-Hāfidh in Fat.hul-Bārī (6/47), the Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “…except that they are with you in these [paths and valleys] with their intention.”

And in the narration of Jābir reported by Muslim (no. 1911), he said: “…except that they share the reward along with you.” So, they said: “O Messenger of Allah, while they are in Madinah?” He replied: “Yes, they are Madinah—they had an excuse that held them back.” (Bukhārī no. 4423)

Indeed, a man can reach the level of a shaheed (martyr) if he asks Allah for that with truth and sincerity—and Allah will grant that to him, even if he dies in his bed. Sahal Ibn Haneef (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever asks Allah truthfully for martyrdom, Allah will convey him to the level of the martyrs even if he was to die in his bed.” (Muslim no. 1909)

And Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, said: ‘When my servant intends to do a good deed, I will write for him one reward even if he does not do it—and when he does it, I will write for him ten times its reward. And when he intends to do an evil deed, I will forgive him so long as he does not do it—and when he does it, I will write for him the sin of that one deed.’” The Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wassalam) continued: “The Angels asked Allāh: ‘That servant of yours wanted to do a wicked act—and Allah is more aware of it than them.’ So He (the Most High) responded: ‘Watch him, if he does the wicked act, write it down against him as one sin. And if he refrains from it, write it for him as a reward because he left it for My sake.’”

Then the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever among you makes good his Islam, then every act of righteousness he does will be written as 10 up to 700 times its reward—and for every wicked act, it is written as one sin—and it will be like this until he meets Allah.” (Saheeh: Muslim, no. 129)

And, if in this world, the heart is the place of the intention, then in the Hereafter it will be the place of accounting and reckoning—what is in the hearts will come out on that Day.

For this reason, each person will be raised according to his intentions that led to the performance of his deeds. Jābir (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “Each person will be resurrected according to what he died upon.” (Saheeh: Muslim, no. 1434)

Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu ʿanhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “The people will be raised based upon their intentions.” (Saheeh: Ahmad in his Musnad no. 8846)

And Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) said: “The first of the people who will be judged on the Day of Judgement is a man who was martyred. He will be brought forward, his blessing recounted, and he will affirm them. Allah will ask him: ‘What did you do with these blessings?’ He will reply: ‘I fought for your sake until I was martyred.’ Allah will say: ‘You have lied—rather you fought so that it would be said that you were brave—and so it was said.’ Then it will be commanded that he be dragged on his face and thrown into the Fire.

Then a man who sought knowledge and taught it to the people and he recited the Qur’ān will be brought forward, his blessing recounted—and he will affirm them. Allah will ask him: ‘What did you do with these blessings?’ He will reply: ‘I sought knowledge and I taught it to the people, and I recited the Qur’ān for your sake.’ Allah will say: ‘You have lied—rather you sought knowledge so that it would be said about you are a learned man (a scholar), and you recited the Qur’ān so that it would be said you that you are a qārī—and so it was said.’ Then it will be commanded that he be dragged on his face and thrown into the Fire.

Then a man who was given plentifully by Allah—He gave him every type of wealth and possessions. He will be brought forward, his blessing recounted, and he will affirm them. Allah will ask him: ‘What did you do with these blessings?’ He will reply: ‘There was not a cause that is loved for wealth to be spent in it except that I gave for that cause for your sake.’ Allah will say: ‘You have lied—rather, you spent so that it would be said that are generous—and so it was said.’ Then it will be commanded that he be dragged on his face and thrown into the Fire.” (Muslim, no. 1905)

The eternity in Paradise and Hellfire is due to one’s intentions which are the basis of his actions, whether in obedience or disobedience. Al-Hasan said: “Indeed eternity of the people of Paradise in Paradise, and the people of the Fire in the Fire is based upon their intentions.”

A person may bring a doubt and say: ‘Why would Allah punish an unbeliever with the Hellfire forever without end while justice would necessitate that he should be punished for the time he was a Kāfir? And why would Allah place a believer in Paradise forever when he only believed and showed obedience for a fixed period of time—indeed it is possible that he become a Muslim just before his soul was taken such that he did not even make one sajdah to Allah?’

So, the reason for this is that the believer who died intended to worship Allah and obey Him forever, so his reward is forever, based upon his intention. The unbeliever, on the other hand, was adamant and intent on kufr forever, so he is given his eternal recompense based on his intention. (See al-Ashbāh wan-Nadhā’ir of As-Suyootī p. 11, and Tahdheeb al-Lughah of al-Azharī 1/556)

Allah (the Most High) stated:

وَلَوْ رُدُّوا لَعَادُوا لِمَا نُهُوا عَنْهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَـٰذِبُونَ

“But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden—and indeed they are liars.” (Al-Anʿām: 28)

Returning to the Story of the Four People:

The Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) was sitting one day, and he narrated the affair of the four types of people of the world—and he stated that each of us falls into one of these four types.

So, the first of them is a scholar, or a learned man, he knows the halāl from the harām, and he knows right from wrong. So, he traverses the path of seeking knowledge until he becomes a noble scholar. Allah did not only bestow upon immense knowledge, but He also blessed him with abundant wealth. He did not use this wealth in sin and disobedience to Allah—rather he used the wealth in every manner that would bring him closer to Allah (the Mighty and Majestic), and he would pay the Zakāh that was due on his wealth, and he would be good to his relatives and maintain the ties of kinship—he would fear Allah regarding this wealth. So, for this reason, the Prophet stated that he had the most excellent station with Allah.

Then he spoke about the second man—and he too was a righteous and virtuous man, a noble scholar who trod the path of knowledge and became very proficient. He wished that he could give in charity and do other good deeds. However, he was poor without any wealth or possessions—but his intention was sincere for Allah (the Mighty and Majestic), that if Allah bestowed upon him abundant wealth, he would do the same as the first man had done. Based upon this, the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalahi wasallam) informed us that they both receive the same reward—the first man due to his truthful actions, and the second due to his truthful intentions.

Then he spoke about the third man who does not possess knowledge, nor piety in his religion, nor any good manners but he has large amounts of wealth. He is not deterred or dissuaded by his religion from committing sins and acts of disobedience to Allah—so he uses his wealth to commit wicked and evil deeds, and he is miserly concerning his family and relatives. So, the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) informed us that he is foulest and most wicked of people in rank.

As for the fourth man, the Prophet informed us that he has neither knowledge nor manners, and alongside that, he is poor without even a Dīnār or Dirham to his name. Even though that is his state, he has the desire and intent that if Allah granted him an abundance of wealth, he would do just as the third man has done of wicked deeds and acts of disobedience. So, the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) informed us these both of them in the burden of sin are the same—the third man due to his wicked actions, and the fourth due to his wicked intentions.

So, it is upon every Muslim, person of Sunnah and believer from this moment to recognise the reality of these four types of people, and strive with a sincere mujāhadah (striving) to be from the first and second types of people.

We have the example of Zaynal-ʿĀbideen ʿAli Ibn Husayn (rahimahullāh), the grandson of ʿAli Ibn Abi Tālib (radiyallāhu ʿanhu)—so, Abu Hamzah Ath-Thamālī said: “ʿAli Ibn Husyan would carry sacks of bread on his back during the night giving them out in charity to the poor. And he said: ‘Charity in secret extinguishes the anger of the Lord, the Mighty and Majestic.’”

ʿAmr Ibn Thābit said: “When ʿAli Ibn Husayn died, they washed him—and they noticed that he had dark scars on his back. Someone said: ‘What are these marks?’ It was said: ‘He would carry sacks of wheat on his back at night giving them away to the needy people of Madinah.’”


Discover more from Abu Khadeejah : أبو خديجة

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.