Sincerity and having an intention for all actions, words and states, outward and inward

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

1. Chapter on Sincerity and having an intention for all actions, words and states, outward and inward

Allah Almighty says, "They were only ordered to worship Allah, making their deen sincerely His as people of pure natural belief, and to establish the prayer and pay zakat ­ that is the correct deen," (98:5) and the Almighty says, "Their flesh and blood does not reach Allah but your fear of Him does reach Him." (W22:35; H322:37) and the Almighty says, "Say, 'Whether you conceal what is in your breasts or make it known, Allah knows it.'" (3:29)

 

1. The Amir al-Mu'minin, Abu Hafs 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Actions only go by intentions. Everyone gets what they intend. Anyone, therefore, who emigrates to Allah and His Messenger, his emigration is indeed to Allah and His Messenger. But anyone who emigrates to gain something of this world or to marry a woman, his emigration is to that to which he emigrated.'" [Agreed to be sound]

2. 'A'isha, Umm al-Mu'minin, Umm 'Abdullah said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'An army will invade the Ka'ba. When they are at Bayda', the earth will swallow them up from the first to the last of them.'" She said, "I said, 'Messenger of Allah, how will it swallow them up from the first to the last of them when their traders are among them as well as others who are not really part of them?' He said, 'It will swallow them up from the first to the last of them and then they will resurrected according to their intentions.'" [Agreed upon. This is the version in al-Bukhari.]

3. 'A'isha, may Allah be pleased with her said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'There is no more hijra after the Conquest [of Makka], but there is jihad and intention. When you are called to it then go." [Agreed upon]

4. Abu 'Abdullah Jabir ibn 'Abdullah al-Ansari said, "Once we were with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on an expedition and he said, 'There are certain men still in Madina who have accompanied you on every stretch you have travelled and every valley you have crossed. It was only illness that prevented them from coming.'"

One variant has, "from their sharing the reward with us." [Muslim]

Al-Bukhari related it from Anas who said, "We returned from the expedition to Tabuk with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, 'Some people have stayed behind in Madina and we did not travel through a ravine or a valley without their accompanying us. A valid excuse prevented them from coming.'"

5. Abu Yazid Ma'n ibn Yazid ibn al-Akhnas ­ and he, his father and grandfather were Companions ­ said, "My father, Yazid, had put aside some dinars to give as sadaqa and placed them in the care of a man in the mosque and then I came and took them and brought them to him. He said, 'By Allah, I did not mean you!' I took the case to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, 'Yazid, for you what you intended, and for you, Ma'n, what you took.'" [al-Bukhari]

6. Abu Ishaq Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas Malik ibn Uhayb ibn 'Abdu Manaf ibn Zuhra ibn Kilab ibn Murra ibn Ka'b ibn Lu'ayy al-Qurashi az-Zuhri, one of the ten testified who would have the Garden, may Allah be pleased with them, said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, visited me in the year of the Hajj of Farewell on account of a serious illness I had. I said, 'Messenger of Allah, this illness has affected me as you see and I have property but no heirs other than my daughter. Shall I give two-thirds of my property away as sadaqa?' He replied, 'No.' I asked, 'A half?' He replied, 'No.' He said, 'A third, and a third is great (or a lot). It is better to leave rich heirs than to leave them poor, begging from other people. There is nothing you spend, desiring by it the face of Allah, but that you will be rewarded, even for a morsel you put in your wife's mouth.' I said, 'Messenger of Allah, will I be left behind [in Makka] after my companions leave?' He said, 'You will not be left behind, for any virtuous actions you do will raise you in degree and elevation. And then perhaps you might be left behind so that some people will benefit from you and others be harmed by you. O Allah, let My Companions complete their emigration and do not let them turn back on their heels,' but poor Sa'd ibn Khawla had the Messenger of Allah grieve over his death in Makka." [Agreed upon] [Muslim]

7. Abu Hurayra 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Sakhr said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah does not look at your bodies nor your forms but He looks at your hearts and your actions."

8. Abu Musa 'Abdullah ibn Qays al-Ash'ari said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked about the man who fights in anger, a man who fights to defend himself and a man who fights to show off, and whether any of these were fighting in the way of Allah The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'The one fights so that the word of Allah will be uppermost is in the way of Allah.'" [Agreed upon]

9. Abu Bakra Nufay' ibn al-Harith ath-Thaqafi said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'When two Muslims clash with their swords, then both the killer and killed are in the Fire.' I asked, "Messenger of Allah, I can understand this with regard to the killer, but what about the murdered man?' He replied, 'He also was eager to kill his companion.'" [Agreed upon]

10. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The group prayer of a man is some twenty degrees higher than his prayer in his business or his house. That is because when one of you does wudu' thoroughly and then goes to the mosque with no other object than that of doing the prayer, without being impelled by anything other than the prayer, Allah will raise him up a degree with every step he takes, and a wrong action will also fall away from him, until he enters the mosque. When he enters the mosque, he is in prayer the whole time he is waiting for it and the angels pray for him all the time he is sitting there, saying, 'O Allah! Show mercy to him! O Allah! Forgive him! O Allah! Turn towards him!' as long as he has not caused anyone injury and has not broken wudu'." [Agreed upon. This is the version in Muslim]

11. Abu'l-'Abbas 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas ibn 'Abdu'l-Muttalib said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said in what he reported from his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, "Allah wrote good actions and bad actions and then made that clear. Whoever intends to do a good action and then does not do it, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, will write a full good action for him. If he intends to do it and then does it, Allah will write ten to seven hundred good actions multiplied many times over. If he intends an evil action and then does not do it, Allah will write a full good action for him. If he intends it and then does it, Allah will write one bad action for him." [Agreed upon]

12. Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "Three men of the past were travelling and took refuge for the night in a cave. They entered it and a rock fell down the mountain and blocked the entrance. They said, 'The only thing that will rescue us from this rock is to call on Allah invoking good actions we have done!' One of them said, "O Allah, my parents are both old and it is my habit never to give milk in the evening either to my family or friends before giving it to them first. One day I went a long way in search of something and did not reach them until they had already gone to bed. I milked their evening drink but found them asleep. I did not want to wake them nor to give my family or friends their evening drink before they had had theirs, so I remained with the cup in my hand waiting for them to wake up until dawn came. The children were at my feet, crying because of hunger. Then they woke up and drank their drink. O Allah, if I did that out of the desire for Your Face, then rescue us from the situation we are in regarding this rock." It opened up a little but they still could not get out. The second said, "O Allah! A cousin of mine was the person I loved more than any other. (Another variant has, "I used to love one of my uncle's daughters with the most intense love it is possible for a man to have for a woman.") I tried to seduce her and she refused me until, one year when she was in dire need, she came to me and I gave her a hundred and twenty dinars provided that she would let me do what I wanted with her. She did that but when I was about to have my way with her, (One variant has, "when I was between her legs.") she said, 'Fear Allah and do not break the seal without having the right to do so.' Then I left her alone in spite of the fact that she was, of all people, the one I loved the most and also left her with the gold I had given her. O Allah, if I did that out of the desire for Your Face, then rescue us from our situation!" The rock moved a little further but they still could not get out. The third said, "O Allah, I employed some workers and gave all of them their wages except for one man who went off without taking what he was owed. I invested his wage until it multiplied in value. After a time he came to me and said, ''Abdullah, pay me my wage!' I said, 'All the camels, cattle, sheep and slaves that you see here have come from your wage.' He said, ''Abdullah, do not make fun of me?' I said, 'I am not making fun of you.' He took them all and drove them off, not leaving anything. O Allah, if I did that out of the desire for Your Face, then rescue us from the situation we are in!" The rock moved away and they walked out.'" [Agreed upon]