40 Hadith: Lesson 3

Sunday 7th Oct

Lesson 3 (Hadith 1): Indeed Actions are by Intentions (Parts 3-6)

  • Brief recap of previous lesson (See lesson 2)
    • Shaykh AbdelMuhsin Al-Abbād divided the explanation of this first Hadith into 9 parts
    • Part 1: Its chain of narration and authenticity
    • Part 2: Its significance

Part 3: Imam Ahmad’s Statement

  • Imam Ahmed said that Islam revolves around three Ahaadeeth:
    • The Hadith of Umar (the first hadith, Actions are by intentions)
    • The Hadith of Aisha (Whoever introduces an Innovation into the religion)
    • The Hadith of Nu’man Ibn Bashir (The Sixth Hadith, The Halal and Haraam is clear)
  • Who is Imam Ahmad?
  • Ibn Rajab elaborates on this statement of Imam Ahmed and said that Islam in its entirety consists of:
    • fulfilling the commands of Allah,
    • keeping away from the prohibited actions
    • and being cautious of matters which are doubtful and all of these are present in the hadith of Nu’man Ibn Bashir, however none of this can be done except by two things.
    • 1. That you ensure that your actions are in accordance with the Sunnah (which can be found in the hadith of A’isha may Allah be pleased with her)
    • 2. That you ensure that your actions are sincerely done for the sake of Allah (found in the hadith of Umar may Allah be pleased with him)
  • Therefore we can see that these three ahaadeeth the foundations of Islam return to

Part 4: The words of the Prophet (ﷺ) “Indeed Actions are by intentions”

  • The Prophet (ﷺ) used comprehensive statements which were few in words but complex in meaning
  • At the start of the hadith the Prophet (ﷺ) used the word “innamaa” (Only, Indeed), it is a particle of restriction grammatically. What is the significance of this?
  • What does this mean? What is the restriction? That actions are only valid before Allah based on the intention
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) used the word “niyyaat” (intentions) What is the role of intention?
    • Intentions differentiate between acts of worship and ordinary acts, e.g. Ghusl.
    • Likewise intentions distinguishes acts of worship one from the other, e.g.
  • NOTE: You can transform your ordinary tasks into acts of worship, e.g. convert your time of sleep into an act of worship and gain reward, how? By intending your sleep so that you will have energy to wake up for and perform the night prayer or Fajr (Hadith of Ibn Mas’ud may Allah be pleased with him)
  • NOTE: Importance of utilising your time to make remembrance of Allah.
    • `Abdullah bin Busr (ra) narrated that: “A man said: “O Messenger of Allah (saws), indeed, the legislated acts of Islam have become too much for me, so inform me of a thing that I should stick to.” He (saws) said: “Let not your tongue cease to be moist with the remembrance of Allah.” [At-Tirmidhi]
    • The habit of Shaykh Ibn Baz

Part 5: The Statement of the Prophet (ﷺ) “And indeed every man will have what he intended”

  • Is this just emphasis? What is the meaning behind it?
  • Ibn Rajab says that this is not the case. There are two sentences, one comes after the other, yet they have similar meanings. The default rule is that if there are two statements, one coming after the other and they have similar meanings, then the principle is that they both have independent meanings and the second is not to be taken automatically as an emphasis of the first.
    • The first statement was concerning the action itself, whether it was good, evil, whether it is accepted or rejected
    • However the second statement (“And indeed every man will have what he intended”) is concerning reward and recompense

Part 6: The Statement of the Prophet (ﷺ) “He whose migration is for Allah and his messenger, then his migration is for Allah and his Messenger, and he whose migration is for Worldly gains or to marry a Woman, then his migration is for whatever he migrated for”

  • Shaykh AbdelMushin Al-Abbād states that Hijrah (Emigration) is to leave one land and go to another and one makes this journey to escape a land of Disbelief or due to lack of safety
  • Ibn Rajab mentions four points:
    • 1. Prophet (ﷺ) “He whose Emigration is for Allah and his messenger, then his Emigration is for Allah and his Messenger”, is this mere repetition? No. Ibn Rajab says that the implied meaning is that he whose Hijrah is for Allah and his Messenger in terms of his Intention (the first part), then indeed his Hijrah was for Allah and his Messenger as far as his reward is concerned  (i.e. he will get his reward for this, the second part)
    • 2. It is possible to apply this to other actions. E.g. he who performed the prayer for the sake of Allah (intention), then indeed he will have his reward for performing the prayer for the sake of Allah (reward)
    • 3. When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said the above haditth, then it can be understood that the one who had performed his Hijrah for the sake of Allah and his Messenger, then this is enough for him as far as the reward, honour and recompense is concerned, and so therefore he left it at that and did not say anything further about the reward.
    • 4. When the Prophet (ﷺ) said the latter “and he whose Hijrah is for Worldly gains or to marry a Woman, then his Hijrah is for whatever he made his Hijrah for” then here he is belittling this outcome by saying “then his migration is for whatever he migrated for” as such a person could have earned the pleasure of Allah but instead he sought worldly gains
  • NOTE: making Hijrah “to” the Prophet (ﷺ) when he was alive meant to physically go to him, and after his death it means to defend and stick to his Sunnah
  • NOTE: Migration to Allah and his Messenger is one and singular (i.e. it is done to earn the pleasure of Allah) whereas seeking worldly benefits are various and different types, hence the Prophet (ﷺ) addressed migration for Allah and his Messenger as one act, but he described seeking after the world as disparate things


  • Do you get rewarded for your intention itself?
  • What if you intend a matter for the sake of Allah but end up getting a worldly benefit, does your reward get reduced?
  • What if you intended a matter but did not achieve your goal? do you get rewarded still?


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