Showing posts with label Action. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Action. Show all posts

Saturday 5 November 2022

(The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it (Hadith Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

Today in our series of posts of Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, we share today one of the most popular Hadiths which is memorised by most of the Muslim around the world. Its substance and theme revolve around one's actions and intentions behind. No matter how a noble act is being performed by a man, but unless it is backed by clean and good intentions, the reward will not be as expected or intended.

This Hadith has been mentioned in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī  (Book 33 on Government كتاب الإمارة / Chapter 45: The words of the Prophet's saws: "Deeds are but with intentions" which includes fighting and other deeds باب قَوْلِهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّةِ.‏"‏ وَأَنَّهُ يَدْخُلُ فِيهِ الْغَزْوُ وَغَيْرُهُ مِنَ الأَعْمَالِ) as Hadith 1907 a:

It has been narrated on the authority of Umar b. al-Khattab that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ بْنِ قَعْنَبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ، بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ بْنِ وَقَّاصٍ، عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّةِ وَإِنَّمَا لاِمْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ لِدُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوِ امْرَأَةٍ يَتَزَوَّجُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ ‏"‏ ‏.

(The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it. A man will be rewarded only for what he intended. The emigration of one who emigrates for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) is for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ); and the emigration of one who emigrates for gaining a worldly advantage or for marrying a woman is for what he has emigrated.
Many scholars have commented that this hadith comprises one-third of knowledge because the actions of man involve his heart, his tongue and his limbs, and hence the intention in the heart is one-third of action. It is also deemed to be one-third of knowledge due to scholars commenting that this hadith along with two others comprises the religion of Islam. The other two hadith being “The Halal is clear and the Haram is clear and between them are doubtful matters” (1), and “Whoever innovates in this religion that which is not from it will have all his actions rejected (by Allah).” [1]
The background of this Hadith is mentioned on the basis of an actual incident which happened on the migration of Muslims from Makkah to Medinah. While all Muslims migrated from Makkah with the true intentions of being part of an Islam state which was being formed at Madinah, there was one individual who migrated mainly because the woman he was in love with was migrating. Thus, his intention was to be with the women he loved rather than in the name of Islam or in the way of Allah. When Prophet Muhammad ﷺ came to know of this, he responded:  إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّةِ.

This simple Hadith leaves a big message for us. We must keep our intentions clear, clean and for the sake of pleasing Allah when realizing these intentions.  If we are giving away to charity, let it not be a show off to tell others of our generosity but rather it should be a quieter action if we really want to please Allah. Though sometimes it is essential to give charity in a show off to encourage others to give charity too. But then one's intention should also be very clear and there shouldn't be an iota of pride in doing so.
The believers should be visionaries because they should always be checking their intentions and understanding the purpose of their actions. They should be persistently asking themselves about their intentions for their short term and their long goals. Overall, the believer should constantly ask himself; “Why am I doing what I am doing?” Using the words “shall have" in this hadith means that the person will be rewarded for only that which he intended. So, as mentioned in the hadith, if a person performed the Hijrah, but did it with a different intention then he would not be rewarded for that action of Hijrah. [1]
You may like to watch the following video on explanation of the aforementioned Hadith in which Dr. Imad Bayoun asserts that this hadith is central to Islamic thought, culture, and understanding and shows the balance between the internal and external states of oneself:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door.  
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible to make you accept it forcibly, And if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, You will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Please refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.
Photo | References: | 1

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