at-Tazkirah: التذكرة

“And keep reminding, because reminding benefits the believers.” (51:55)

Excellence of Intention


A translated Wa’az by Hadhrat Maulana Idrees Kandhalvi (Rahimullah Ta’ala)

In some of the pious people’s writings it is observed that two things are very strange and unique. One is Tauba (repentance) and the other is Niyyet (Intention). These two are strange and unique because the intention brings into being some thing that was non- existent. For example we did not do any anion but the intention brought that thing into being. The other thing is Tauba that makes a present thing into non-existent. Because a man may have been committing sins for a long time, suppose, for seventy years and may he he has been an atheist and infidel, when ha prostrated once in the court of Allah and sought forgiveness, forthwith all the misdeeds are obliterated. A sincere Tauba made a huge dump of sins into nothing. These two boons are the rapt of Allah Jalla Shanuhu for the Muslims. What a strange boon! Praise of Allah. Praise in multitudes for this Blessing.

The Hadith that I have recited in the beginning, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihe wasallam) said all actions depend on the intention. It means the actions are just like a body and the intention is like the soul. What grade the intention will posses the same grade will occupy the action. If the intention is good the action will also be good and if the intention is depraved the action will also be depraved. From this also it is clear that the intention of a Mu`min is better than his action. When the intention IS tantamount to soot and the action like body. 1t is obvious that the grade of soul is higher than the body.

The philosophers of the day and the materialists are in the fancy that all these talks are the mere delusions of Maulvies and arc no more than idle tack. For this they do not have any rational argument, because the intellectuals does not accept that the action depends on the intention. The thinking of the intellectuals is wrong because there is a reason for that.

See, being a father you slap your child, by this action the love in your child’s heart does not make any effect on the child. Now if you slap a child of other person, the child will also feel it offensive and his father and his guardian also feel it improper. If we think about it why this difference’? The difference is only of the intention. While you heat your own child you beat him for the sake. of reformation and by beating the child of others you do not have any intention of the child’s welfare. In the same way somebody harmed some one inadvertently. There was no intention or will for doing so. The other person who has been harmed unknowingly and without any intention goes to the court for compensation. It is proved before the court that this action has been done unknowingly and without intention, the court will not give him any punishment, and if it did, it will not be like when the action would have been done on purpose. Now, where in the world the rules become changed due to the consideration of intention, likewise in case of Akhirat (hereafter) where the Nabi Alaihis Salat Wassalam gives the information, why there should be a doubt’?

The Hadis, the intention is better than action, ‘Ulama have given the reason that Niyyat is such a thing that there is no pretense in it. Thus it is better than action because in action there is a possibility of pretence of piety. Another reason that Imam Ghazali has written is that the action reflects the function of apparent physical organs and the intention concerns with the inner mind of a person. The example of this is tike medicine of the doctor. Some of them are for the external application of the body and some medicines are for internal use. It is obvious that the medicine for internal use will be more effective than the externally applied medicine. The same is the position of the Niyyat and Amal. Now we should descry what is the meaning of Niyyat’? So the meaning of the Niyyat in dictionary is to intend. But the reality of it is other than a mere intention and will. It can be understood in this way that Niyyat is a cordial quality and attribute which is in the middle of Ilm and Amal. You may understand this phenomenon from an example. First a person knows in a certain action there is profit or loss. For example a man knows if he engages himself in trade he will get profit or if he engages in agriculture he will get crops. This is first stagy of knowledge. Tile second stage is he starts doing something. For example he purchases some articles fur trading and sets them in a shop and if he chooses tillage and starts ploughing, this is the stage of action. In between there is the stage of Niyyet. That between the knowledge and operation is insentient. After knowing something when a person decides to do some thing, the intention becomes involved.

Imam Ghazali has described this in a few words. For doing any thing if your heart is firm and you are prepared for it, you find the thing in your favor, whether tile matter is a beneficial or it is the removal of any obstruction, whether it is monetary matter or it is a matter of r eturn or gain. Thus it is said that the actions depend on your resolve (Niyyat). If your Niyyat was for the sake of Allah the order will be the same. If your Niyyat is for mundane benefit the order will be the same. In short the actions depend on intentions. If the intention is good the actions are also acceptable otherwise the actions are rejected in the court of Allah.

It should be remembered that there are three kinds of actions. The first are those actions that ore called good deeds such as Salat, Fasting, Zakat etc, The second are the actions that are called Mubah (permissible). In doing such deeds there is no Thawab or in not doing these, there is no Gunah (sin). Such as eating and wearing prescribed apparels and use perfumes etc. These also can be converted in to good deeds by the use of intention. For example what ever you are eating if only you intend that 1 am eating the food just because preserving my energy so that it could be used in the way of Allah. ‘then the eating itself will also become an Ibadat. The third are the sins, for which Shari’ah has forbidden to commit them. Now in afore mentioned Hadis the actions meant are the good deeds and permissible ones. The sins are not meant by this hadis. In the good and permissible deeds if the intention is good the excellence of the deeds will be raised. If some body commits sins with good intentions it will. be of no use. The sin will remain sin. If some one robs money and his intention is that he will distribute it among the poor, sin shall remain on its place. The good intention does not convert sinful acts into good deeds simply because of good intention. The intention must be purely for Allah in good deeds only and there is no restriction in it.

In one action whatever number of intentions you may do, the thawab of it will he multiplied. For example, some body enters the mosque for prayer, this entering the mosque in itself is Ibadat. If the person also intends drat he is entering the mosque by the order of Allah and he is obeying His order, the thwab will become twofold.

If the same person intends that the mosque is the abode of Allah, he is entering in it and whoever goes any body’s house, he goes to see the owner of tire house therefore he is going to the mosque for visiting Allah’s house. Then one more thawab will be added to his credit. And the same person intended that if any one goes to any body’s house he becomes the guest of the house holder and he is going to the mosque just to become the guest of Allah.

And is this way he will enjoy the hospitality of Allah then one more reward will be added to his credit. If the same person again intends that in the mosque there are often present pious people and angels and he will get the blessing of both, thus in this way one more Ajar (reward) will be added to his credit. And the same person intends that he is a sinner and disgraced person and there will be Allah’s chosen arid exalted people in the mosque and by the grace of those people his sins and disgrace will be washed away. Then the thawab of his intention will be further raised. And if he ads this intention that while he is sitting in the mosque he will be refraining from the sins one more Ajar will be added. In the same way if he intends that he is sitting facing the Qibla an looking intently to obtain the blessing from Ka aba one more Ajar wilt be added to the list. Also the Fuqaha have written that Nafil Itekaf can lie done for few hours and even for few minutes. If the person while sitting in the mosque intends that lie is doing Itekaf while he is sitting in mosque, the thawab of Itekaf also will be written in his scroll of Aamal. In short what ever you eau conceive of the good intentions you tray add these to your intentions and Allah is the bestower of its Thawab. There is no shortage of thawab in Allah’s treasury. Allah is lavishly bestowing the treasures of Thawab. He only seeks the pretext to grant these treasures. Is there any body to receive these treasures merely by intentions?

In the trade of Aakhirat this chance should be availed enormously. The treasure of Allah is open. Here you should not use single intention but in’ one action many intentions can be done simultaneously. For example to give charity and alms is an act of thawab. Fuqaha have written that the most deserving of the charity are the near relatives. And some body is distributing alms, he gives it to his near relatives and intends that these are my relatives, they deserve the alms and 1 give them to fulfil their needs. The thawab will be doubled. It must be remembered that while giving the alms to the relatives there should be no aspiration that they will thank you.

Hazrat “Omar in distributing the charity had adopted a principle. The relatives, often some of them are not happy with you and only some of them are pleased with you. So “Omar razialluhu “anhu used to give the charity to those who were not pleased with him. In Quran it is said abut the sincere people that, “We give charity but we do not ask from you any thanks and compensation in lieu of.” So if you anticipate some thanks from the relatives in lieu of charity, it is as if you are seeking some return. So Hazrat “Oman told that he gave charity to those relatives who had with him some or the other difference. Thus his charity became without any expectations (because the relatives who are not pleased are seldom liable to offer thanks) and the act conformed to the order of Quran.

In the same way to open a shop and to build a house are the Mubah actions. If any one who opens a shop and his intention is that by means of this he would earn some money and will help the poor and needy. He will provide the necessities of Muslims so that they will be saved from fulfilling their needs from non-Muslims. And also lie will spend the money in way of Jihad etc, then this shop now becomes the place of worship instead of a mere trading place. Thus by the blessing of Niyyet the trading became lbadat and the time which is being consumed in trading is converted in to lbadat. There is one, more thing when any body finds turn in a better condition he must be thankful to Allah for this and pray that Allah last this condition for a long time.

Hazrat Hasan Basari say that after the day of resurrection the dwellers of Jannat and Jahannam will stay in it for ever and there is no limit for it. Whereas the actions of them would have been limited in the world, then why these people get an eternal punishment or reward in the hereafter. Hasan Basari has solved this difficulty. lie says because the intention of the doer of a good deed was that lie will do it perpetually and the kafir’s intention was that if he would live for billion years he will pursue his kufr. The intentions for good or bad are eternal therefore the Thawab or Azab is eternal.

Now the people are afraid of Deen and Aural. They say that how they can be sincere in their intentions so this is not the thing to be afraid of. They should correct once their intention in the beginning of their action and go on ahead. There is no need to repeat their intention again and again. Hazrat Sheikhul Hind rahimathumullah say that a man should correct his intention in the beginning of doing some action and if there is a suspicion about the purity of intention during the action, he should not care but pursue whatever he is doing. There is Shaitan who puts evil suspicion so it should be neglected.

There was a buzurg (pious man) who complained to his Sheikh (spiritual guide) that he intends to pray Nafil prayers but when he stands to perform Nafil prayers he feels that there is dissimulation in his prayer so what he should do about it. If he does not pray he is deprived of the prayers and its Thawab. The Sheikh advised him to carry on the prayers with dissimulation and if the suspicion persists then ask Allah ‘ha ala for His Forgiveness. Tauba and Istaghfar convert the Saiiat (evil deeds) into Hasanat (good deeds).

A strange superiority of Niyyat has acme to the comprehension that when the Shaitan was condemned and driven away from the heaven, The Shaitan took the oath of the Honor of Allah Ta ala that he will stray the progeny of Adam save the ones who are sincere to Allah.

From this we came to know that the way of preservation from Shaitan is only Excellence of Niyyat. And there is no difficulty in it. Whenever you do a good deed you should purity your intention beforehand. Even after that if there remains any doubt it should be understood that this doubt is from Shaitan and in this way he is obstructing from doing good deed. In such a case you should address Shaitan that however lie may try to obstruct, 1 will complete the good deed. Also ask for the help of Allah because lie is the only saver from all evil forces.

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Filed under: 3. Ibaadah, Good Qualities

4 Responses

  1. Irving says:

    An excellent article :) Here is an old post on the Darvish blog on Intention from my personal perspective of everyday life:

    http://darvish.wordpress.com/2007/02/01/a-walk-with-god/

    Ya Haqq!

  2. BuzzVines says:

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  3. khaled says:

    Mashallah.
    Is He related to mawlana Sheikh alhadith Muhaddith Yusif Kndahlawi?

    Great blog keep it up.

    khaled

  4. […] Sauwm, Hajj and Zakat the exactly same way they would show perfection in Sidq [truthfulness], Ikhlas [sincerity], Tauheed [oneness of Allah], Tawwadhu [humility], Sabr [patience], Shukr […]

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