Niyyah is the pillar of worship and the essence and foundation of action

The most sacred acts are spoiled because of the mixed intentions behind them. while the simplest acts gain in value on account of the purely good intentions behind them. Anyone who strives in the way of God or towards His path.

“As for those who strive in Us, We shall surely guide them in Our ways.”1

Niyyah is the indispensable prerequisite for the acceptance of a deed. Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) quotes a statement of God.

“I do not accept anyone except the one who is sincere to Me.”

Umar ibn al-Khattab relates that he heard the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh), say:

Verily actions are by intentions, and for every person is what he intended. So the one whose hijrah was to Allah and His Messenger, then his hijrah was to Allah and His Messenger. And the one whose hijrah was for the world to gain from it. or a woman to marry her, then his hijrah was to what he made hijrah for.” [Agreed upon]

Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that Umar Said: I heard from Prophet(PBUH) as

“Verily, the reward of deeds depends upon the Niyyah (intentions) and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.”

Implications of Niyyah:

There are two implications for the word Niyyah  according to the scholars. One of them pertains to distinguishing acts of worship from acts of habit. For instance, there is a difference between taking a bath to remove impurity (to be able to pray and engage in other acts of worship), and taking a bath to cool off. Also, there is a different Niyyah for Zhur prayer than Asr prayer and fasting during Ramadan in contrast to fasting in other months.

The second meaning for Niyyah pertains to distinguishing between the intention behind the act. if it is directed to Allah Alone or to Allah and others. This meaning carries with it happiness or misery and reward or punishment. For example, two different persons might perform the same act, paying equal effort to it but one of them earns a reward while the other earns no reward, or even punishment. because the intentions are different in each case.

To conclude, let’s ensure that we strive to clean our hearts, intentions, and acts from all types of Riya (showing off). and instead should direct our good acts for Allah alone. The real rewards and payback is only with Allah and that’s all that we should strive for.

Allah says:

Say (O Muhammad (S): “I am only a man like you. It has been  revealed to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God – i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord. let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (Surah Al-Kahf:110).

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