The Power of Intentions

Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:

I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) 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.” (Bukhari)

My thoughts:

Imam Bukhari’s selection of this hadith to start his book is purposeful, marvelous, and shows his deep understanding of the religion. This hadith is a warning, an invitation, and a promise of reward all rolled up in one. It is a warning for those who might misuse the deen (or any worldly affair for that matter), it is an invitation for all to check their hearts, and it is a promise of reward for all those who seek the pleasure of Allah in following his Prophet (peace be upon him) and being honest to self and others.

For any action to be acceptable in the sight of Allah, it has to fulfill two requirements; intention and sunnah. The intention needs to be purely for the sake of pleasing Allah and the action needs to be  performed exactly as mentioned in the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). You can say that Imam Bukhari chose to start his book with one of the golden rules of Islam.

Many a times i have opened bukhari with the intention of reading a few ahadith but whenever i read this hadith, i feel the immense weight of its meaning and i decide to close Bukhari for a while so i may ponder over these words and how i can extract and apply the wisdom from its words to my life.

It is also the right time to remember another hadith which mentions the reward of intentions.

Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, related from his Lord the Blessed and Exalted, “Verily, Allah has recorded good and bad deeds and He made them clear. Whoever intends to perform a good deed but does not do it, then Allah will record it as a complete good deed. If he intends to do it and does so, then Allah the Exalted will record it as ten good deeds up to seven hundred times as much or even more. If he intends to do a bad deed and does not do it, then Allah will record for him one complete good deed. If he does it then Allah will record for him a single bad deed.” Source: Sahih Bukhari 6126, Sahih Muslim 131

Also realize that there is difference between intention and desire but many people are confused in the matter. Intention necessitates actions whereas desire may or may not result in action. For example, i desire to be a fit and handsome hunk with a six pack abs and what not, yet i sit all day and munch away on snacks without remorse. Clearly i desire being fit but if i truly intended to be fit then i would do something to achieve what i intended. In other words, i think that desires, when they become strong enough, lead to intention and intention leads to action.

Another touchy subject when it comes to intention is whether or not we should say it aloud. From the authentic sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) we do not find any examples of him verbally stating the intentions out loud before performing any religious or worldly act, except at the time of hajj or ummrah. Hajj and ummrah was the only time when the Prophet (peace be upon him) publicly declared his intention to perform the rites. Other than this, he did not verbally state his intentions before praying for before entering into fast or breaking his fast or before doing any other deed. Hence, we realize that intention is an act of the heart alone and declaring it with tongue is not from sunnah except at hajj or ummrah.

Intentions are paramount in religion and consequently in daily life. My father always says, ‘You will never fail if your intentions are clear (towards all whom you deal with) Inshallah.’

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Quran Flashcard Style App

I recently launched an app on android and ios that allows you to memorize the meanings of the unique words in the quran. More information and download link of the app can be found on its website http://quranappproject.wordpress.com

do let me have your feedback and also spread the word!

 

Jazakallahu Khair

The best of women

A Bedouin was asked about women, and being a man who was experienced with them, he said: ‘The best woman is the tallest when she stands, the most prominent when she sits, and the most truthful when she speaks. She is the one whose anger subsides quickly, and whose laugh is a beautiful smile. When she does something, she does it well. She obeys her husband and adheres to her home. She is honored among her people, yet insignificant in her own mind – affectionate and fertile, and everything about her is good.’

Source: Gems & Jewels (pg 174). Published by Darrusalam

The black art of backbiting

Shaikhul-Islam, Ibn Taimiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions some of the ways through which people back bite. In all reality, these tactics are designed to deceive Allah (the Exalted) and please His creation. However, the many that follow these methods are only deceiving their own selves.

  1. Under the pretense of being informative.
  2. By saying that, so and so is to be pitied, thereby showing superiority over one who is to be rejected.
  3. By mentioning the good quality of a person but tainting it by mentioning his evil qualities.
  4.  By saying that we should forget so and so and that we should pray for his forgiveness as well as ours, intending only to belittle the one that was mentioned.
  5. Upon hearing someone’s error, they (back biter) employ words like ‘had I prayed for so and so last night in my prayer, the news of their sin would not have reached my ears’, In order to superiority to the person.
  6. By belittling or being critical to the one who is praised in the company of others.
  7. Through humor, playfulness, and lightheartedness.
  8. In a manner of story, so that his story telling abilities might be appreciated.
  9. By showing amazement or surprise at other’s actions.
  10. With the pretense of sympathy for their actions and misfortunes.

 

Smaller signs of the day of judgement (part 1 of 3)

Signs that have already come to pass

  1. The coming of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Sahl bin sa’d (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that he witnessed the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) point to his index and middle finger and say: ‘I and the hour have been been sent like this” (i-e, just as index and middle fingers are right next to each other so is the coming of the prophet and the last day) (Sahih Muslim 726)
  2. The splitting of the moon. “The hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder.” (Quran 54:1)
  3. The death of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Auf reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said “Enumerate six (occurrences) that will occur just before the hour: 1) my death, 2) the conquering of Jerusalem, 3) Death that spreads among you like Qu’as al-ghanam (a disease that afflicts beasts), 4) the flowing of wealth to the degree that a man will be given 100 dinars (in charity) yet he will remain dissatisfied, 5) a fitnah that will enter into every single arab home, and 6) a true that will be put into effect between you and the banu al-asfar (descendants of the Romans), who will then act treacherously and come to you under 80 banners and under each banner there will be 12,000 soldiers.” (Bukhari 6/277)
  4. The emerging of a fire from the land of Hijaz. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The hour will not be established until a fire comes out in the land of Al-Hijaz, a fire that will illuminate the necks of camels in Basrah.” (Bukhari 13/78)
  5. Embargoes against Iraq, Ash-Sham & Egypt. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Iraq will be denied its dirham and Qafiz. Ash-Sham (Syria and surrounding regions) will be denied its Mudd and Dinar. And Egypt will be denied its Irdab and Dinar. You will return to where you began. You will return to where you began.” (Muslim 7137) (Only the first part of this sign has occurred until now)