Verily every person will get rewarded only for what they intended

Good and Bad Intentions Hadeeth

قَالَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

إِنَّمَا الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى دُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوْ إِلَى امْرَأَةٍ يَنْكِحُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ

 [صحيح البخاري]

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, deeds are only with intentions. Verily, every person will get rewarded only for what they intended. Therefore, whoever emigrated for worldly reasons or for a woman, then his emigration is for that to which he has emigrated.” (Saheeh Bukhari)


In order to get the full reward for an action, it is imperative that our intentions are correct and that we do the actions solely for the pleasure of Allah.


Regarding the above hadeeth it comes in certain narrations that the reason why the prophet mentioned the importance of correcting intentions is because there was a man who asked a lady by the name of Umm Qais for her hand in marriage. Umm Qais put a condition that in order to get married to me you will have to leave your city and migrate to Madeenah. The man fulfilled the condition and migrated and they got married. The man that migrated became known to the people as Muhaajir e Umm Qais.


Migration in those days had a great reward, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to emphasise that whatever action we do the intention needs to be solely for Allah’s sake.


Imaam Shafiee says that the above narrated Hadeeth is one third of knowledge. Ibn Daqeeq ul Eid mentions that some Ulama have said that this Hadeeth is one third of Islaam. Imaam Abu Dawood has given this Hadeeth the title of half of jurisprudence (Fiqh). Imaam Abdul Rahmaan ibn Mahdee states that whoever wishes to write a book then he should start his book by narrating this Hadeeth. Many books of Ahaadeeth have begun by Narrating this Hadeeth so that the reader can read the book with the correct intention.


Three types of Intention

  • To differentiate an act of worship from a habit. For example a person is standing in prayer (Salaah), before he started his Salaah if he didn’t make the intention of Salaah then it won’t be considered as if he is in prayer.
  • To differentiate one act of worship from another act of worship. For example by making an intention we differentiate one prayer from another.
  • To differentiate for who or what the action is done. For example is it for Allah only or for other than Allah.

Ibn Abi Ad-Dunyaa states in his book ‘The Sincerity and the Intention’ that Zayd Ash-Shaami (Allah have mercy on him) said: “Verily I like to make an intention for everything I do even if it is eating and drinking.”


Sufyaan Thawri (Allah have mercy on him) said: “I have not treated anything more difficult than my intention, because it keeps changing.”


Ibn Al-Mubaarak (Allah have mercy on him) said: “Maybe a small action is made great by its intention, and maybe a great action is made small by its intention.”


Great importance has been placed on making the correct intention. A small deed goes a long way if the correct intention was made, but if a person does a great deed with the wrong intention then he will get little or no reward.


We should make it a habit of ours that before we do any action we should always check our intentions.


By Guest Author.


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Tayyib HMC FInder

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