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Traditions [Ahadith] on Intention [Niyyah]

Traditions [Ahadith] on Intention [Niyyah]

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Published by: Saleem Andrew McGroarty on Mar 12, 2010
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05/20/2010

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Hadiths on Intention
The Prophet (S) said, “O people, actions are according to intentions, and every personwill have what he intended. So, whoever's migration was to Allah and His Messengerthen his migration is to Allah and His Messenger, and whoever's migration was to theworld to gain from it, or to a woman to marry her, then their migration will be towhatever they migrated”The Prophet (S) said, when he sent Ali on a military expedition with a brigade, and aman said to his brother, 'Lets go on the military expedition with the brigade of 'Ali,we might get a slave or an animal or something of value’, “Actions are according' tointentions, and every person has what they intend. So whoever goes on a conquest insearch of what is with Allah then their reward will be from Allah, and whoever goeson a conquest in search of worldly affairs or intends restraints will not get other thanwhat he intended”Imam Ali said, “Intention is the basis of action.”Imam Zayn al-Abidin said, “There is no action without intention.”Imam Jafar as-Sadiq said, “A body will not become weak where the intention isstrong.”
The Role of Intention in the Hereafter
Imam Jafar as-Sadiq said: “The people of Hell will dwell eternally in Hell becausetheir intentions in the world were such that if they were to remain there forever theywould disobey Allah forever, and the people of Heaven will dwell eternally in Heavenbecause their intentions in the world were such that if they were to remain thereforever, they would obey Allah. Therefore, it is according to their intentions that thesepeople and those people will have everlasting abodes.” He then recited Allah's versein the Qur'an:
“Say, Everyone acts according to his character”
[Quran 17:84] andthen said [meaning] “with his intention”.Imam Jafar Sadiq said, “Allah will resurrect people according to their intentions onthe Day of Judgment.”
The Reward of an Intention to do Good
The Prophet (S) said, “We left groups of people in Madinah, while there was novalley we crossed nor heights we climbed nor hills we descended without them beingwith us. They said, 'How can they be' with us when they did not witness any of this?'He said, “[Because of] their intentions.”The Prophet (S) said, “O Abu Dharr, intend to do good, even if you do not [manageto] do it so that you are not written among the inattentive.”Imam Ali said, “Righteous intention is one of the two actions [it itself is a deed]”
 
Imam Ali said to a man who wished his brother was present so that he could see thevictory of Allah over His enemies, “Did your brother desire to be with us?' He said,'Yes.' Imam Ali said, 'Then he has witnessed us, and groups of people have witnessedus in our army while they are still in the loins of men and the wombs of women. Verysoon time will bring them out and faith will become strong through them.”Imam Ali said, “Allah's granting [of rewards] is according to the intention.”Imam Muhammad al-Baqir said, “When Allah Almighty knows the good intention of someone He encompasses him with protection [from sins].”
The Intention of the Believer is Better than his Action
The Prophet (S) said, “The intention of the believer is better than his action, and theintention of the disbeliever is worse than his action, and every doer does according tohis intention.”The Prophet (S) said, “The intention of a believer is more effective than his action,and same with the evildoer.”Imam Muhammad al-Baqir said, “The intention of a believer is better than his action,that is because he intends good that he cannot perform, and the intention of thedisbeliever is worse than his action because he intends evil and he wishes in evil whathe cannot perform.”Imam Jafar as-Sadiq, in answer to the reason behind the superiority of a believer'sintention over his action said, “Because an action could be done as an act of showing-off, but the intention is solely and sincerely for the Lord of the worlds, so He theAlmighty gives according to the intention what He does not give for the action.”
Enjoinment of Having Righteous Intentions in Everything
The Prophet (S) said, “O Abu Dharr, you should have a righteous intention ineverything you do, even in sleeping and eating.”Imam Jafar as-Sadiq said, “It is important for a servant to have sincere intention inevery movement and even in stillness, for if it was not so he would be regarded asnegligent.”
Bad Intention
Imam Ali said, “Bad intention is a hidden sickness.”Imam Ali said, “With corrupt intentions blessings are removed.”Imam Ali said, “When an intention is corrupt calamity befalls.”Imam Jafar as-Sadiq said, “When a believer makes an intention to sin, he is deprivedof sustenance [as a result].”

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