“Actions are according to intentions, and every one will get what they intended. So whoever migrates for the sake of Allah and His messenger, the migration will be counted truly for Allah and His messenger. And whoever migrates for the sake of worldly increase or to marry someone, then the migration will count for whatever it was for.” (Al-Bukhari)
Intentions are just as important as the deed itself, if not more so. Our eyes can tell us the form of an action, but only the intention determines its weight. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) urges us to make sure that our intentions are for the sake of Allah so that we do not ﬁll our lives with hollow motions.
In this hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) uses migration to highlight the importance of intentions. When you consider the sacriﬁces and risks an individual undertakes in migration—leaving behind property, wealth, family, and a home, it is easy to see why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used this example. The early Muslims traveled on foot with nothing but the clothes on their back to a new city where there were no assurances of a comfortable future. However, as signiﬁcant as migration is, the scale of that action matters less than its intention. It is possible for someone to undergo the tremendous effort, exhaustion, and upheaval of migration only to receive zero return on their investment compared to what could have been.
|Intentions are a transformative agent in our lives.|
Intentions are a transformative agent in our lives. The practice of constantly double-checking your intentions should become a habit. When you renew your intentions, your actions become ﬁlled with purpose. Also, there are other effects of constantly renewing intentions: you gain control over your thoughts and impulses, you develop the ability to be steadfast, you gain people’s trust due to your sincerity and lack of hidden motives, and you rest assured that even when you make mistakes or things do not turn out as expected, the reward is secured due to purity of intention.
|Pure intentions bring about internal and external peace.|
Pure intentions bring about internal and external peace: peace from doubting, suspicion, and anxiety; peace in our relationship with Allah; and peace from being devastated by unexpected results. Working towards Allah-focused intentions is the ﬁrst step to creating peace in our relationships and community. Most importantly, pure intentions lead to a sense of peace with Allah. Intention helps us stay connected at all times with our life’s purpose. If our intentions were good from the start, we can trust in Allah that he will count our efforts and accept our best attempt. Every day, we can gain ground in our race to Allah simply by checking in on our hearts.
ReferencesRepublished, with kind permission, from the authors' Seeking Peace.
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