Praise be to Allah and may the peace of Allah and His blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family members and lovers.
Thereafter, in this episode we begin the explanation of methodological rules for calling to Allah Almighty.
The First Rule: Purposes and Intentions
Introduction: The goodness of any work depends upon the goodness of heart and the goodness of heart depends upon the goodness of intention. So examine the intention before beginning the work.
A work that is not accompanied by sincerity is a lifeless image or a body without the soul, while Allah (Glory be to Him) wants from among the actions only their realities not their outward appearances or external forms. In this regard, there is an authentic Hadith that the Prophet (may the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Verily, Allah does not look at your appearances and your wealth, rather He looks at your hearts and your deeds.” (1)
It is noteworthy that Islam’s strict attitude about the sincerity and its emphasis on purifying the intention for Allah Almighty Alone is not a form of harshness or useless command. In fact, human life itself could not become stable and able to achieve prosperity but through the sincere and honest individuals. Nearly all destructive calamities and disasters that strike the nations and communities are only because of those people who do not believe in Allah the Almighty and do not trust in the Hereafter.
Islam does not accept for a Muslim to live with two faces: one for Allah and another for people, as well as Islam does not accept for a Muslim to divide his life into two parts: half for Allah and half for the people. So Islam rejects all kinds of abhorrent bilateral and obnoxious dualism that we see in the lives of people today, you will find a person, for example, pious and religious in the mosque or in the month of Ramadan while you find him totally different in his social life or in his societal dealings or in other positions.
The value of sincerity is the factor that brings integrity in the life of a Muslim and makes his whole life for Allah Almighty. A Muslim’s prayer, his devotion, his life and his death should be only for Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
As far as sincerity represents all this profound truth and success of a person in life depends upon it, including his missionary endeavors and his life of the Hereafter, we would like to explain this point with some detail in the following words:
Definition of the Purposes and Intentions:
There are many definitions for intention given by Muslim scholars, but the most comprehensive and the most lucid is the definition of Al Baydawy a well-known Muslim scholar, who says: “‘Intention’ denotes tendency of the heart to do what it sees achieving the goal, whether brings benefit, or wards off harm, sooner or later. However, in Islamic terminology, ‘Intention’ is used for the particular inclination to do something seeking the pleasure of Allah, surrendering to the commandment of Allah Almighty. (2)
There is no doubt that the intention which was mentioned in the authentic Prophetic Hadith – as we will explain- denotes merely the strong, definitive and conclusive spirit to do anything, good or bad, obligatory or un-obligatory, desirable or undesirable, permissible or prohibited. Eventually, sometimes intention might be good and pure, and sometimes bad and evil, according to the intended act and motivating cause: Is it the worldly desire or the Hereafter? Is it the pleasure of Allah or anything else?
Nevertheless, intention is not just a momentary thought or a transitory idea that occurs to the heart for a moment then ends immediately and can not continue. The Prophet of Allah (may the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him) says: “Verily, Allah has forgiven for my people what occurs in their hearts, if not acted upon or spoke of.” (3) This Hadith supports what was said by some scholars that intention is not just an inclination, but it is a serious tendency. (4)
Moreover, we will mention in the following episode, by the will of Allah the importance of intention in achieving sincerity.
May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family members and his all companions.
(1) Reported by Muslim: (4/1986 Hadith No. 6543), Book of Good Manners and Joining of the Ties of Relationship, Chapter on (The prohibition of injustice with a Muslim or disappointing him or humiliating him).
(2) Fathul Bari: (19:1).
(3) Reported by Al Bukhari: (1/71 Hadith No. 2528), Book of Freeing Slaves, Chapter on (Mistake and Forgetfulness in Freeing a slave or Divorce) and by Muslim: (1/116, Hadith No. 331), Book of Faith, Chapter on (Allah Almighty has forgiven the premonitions of the Heart).