Three Ahadith with Commentary on Sincerity and Significance of Intentions

Praise be to Allah,

1.Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him), reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,

“The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger (PBUH), his emigration will be for Allah and His Messenger; and whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration would be for what he emigrated for”.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


According to some Ahadith, the reason for this Hadith is that a person sent a proposal of marriage to a woman named Umm Qais, which she turned down saying that he should have to emigrate to Al-Madinah for it. Accordingly, he did it for this specific purpose, and the two were married there. On account of this event, the man came to be known among the Companions as Muhajir Umm Qais. On the basis of this Hadith, ‘Ulama’ are of the unanimous opinion that the real basis of one’s actions is Niyyah (intention) and everyone will be requited according to his Niyyah. It is true that Niyyah is founded in one’s heart, that is to say, one has first to make up one’s mind for what he intends to do and he should not express it verbally. In fact, the latter is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion) because no proof of it is found in Shariah. The point which becomes evident from this Hadith is that Ikhlas (sincerity) is a must for every action. In other words, in every righteous deed, one should seek only the Pleasure of Allah; otherwise, it will not be accepted by Allah.


2. Narrated ‘A`ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,

“An army will raid the Ka`bah and when it reaches a desert land, all of them will be swallowed up by the earth.” She asked; “O Messenger of Allah! Why all of them?” He answered, “All of them will be swallowed by the earth but they will be raised for Judgement according to their intentions.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


Everyone will be rewarded or punished according to his aim and intention. This Hadith also proves that the company of depraved persons is extremely dangerous. Whose army would it be, which has been referred to in the Hadith, and when will it invade Ka`bah, is a matter known to Allah Alone. Such prophecies are a part of the Unseen world. Since they come in the category of the miracles of the Prophet (PBUH), it is necessary to believe in their veracity and occurrence. Believing in such prophesies is also essential because they were revealed by Allah).

3. Jabir bin Abdullah Al-Ansari (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: We accompanied the Prophet (PBUH) in an expedition when he said,

“There are some men in Al-Madinah who are with you wherever you march and whichever valley you cross. They have not joined you in person because of their illness.” In another version, he said: “They share the reward with you.”[Muslim].


What we learn from this Hadith is that if the intention and spirit of are present in the heart of a Muslim but physically he is unable to take part in it for valid reasons, he will get the reward of without even his actual participation in it.



RYADUSSALIHEEN, Compiled by Imam Abu Zakaruya Yahya Bin Sharaf An-Nawawi with commentary on Ahadith Sheikh Safiur Rahman Mubarpuri. Chapter 1,  Sincerity and Significance of Intentions and all Actions, Apparent and Hidden


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