It is not the choice of a person to die without the will of Allah, death being a time-bound destiny. Whoever seeks a reward in this world, We shall give him out of it, and whoever seeks a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give him out of it. We shall soon reward the grateful.
[Surah Ali-Imran, Ayah 145]
حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ سِنَانٍ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا يَزِيدُ بْنُ هَارُونَ، عَنْ شَرِيكٍ، عَنْ لَيْثٍ، عَنْ طَاوُسٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ : “ إِنَّمَا يُبْعَثُ النَّاسُ عَلَى نِيَّاتِهِمْ ” .
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “People will be resurrected (and judged) according to their intentions.”
Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying,
“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari 1]
What is a Mukhlis?
Mukhlis means a person who obeys and worships Allah with Ikhlas (for which there is no word in English. The nearest is sincerity which must be genuine, unalloyed, pure and totally honest). Ikhlas means that, in this obedience to Allah and in this worship of Him, there should be no intrusion of worldly or personal desires, interests, love of recognition and office and things like that. Whoever is mukhlis (absolutely sincere) in his Amal (deed) and Tbadah (worship), Allah Ta’ala will help him in remaining safe from sins.
[Above sections taken from Maarif ul Quran]
When a person makes the effort to get on the path of rectification, the mercy of Allah (SWT) will come, and Allah will go out of his way to make sure things happen in your favor. We learn that the power of intention when it meets the power of action. You have to intend to do things to make them happen. If we are not intending to do them, we will not see results in our lives and we will not see the impacts of our wishes and aspirations or the little voice in our head that says, “I want to improve.” We will never see the effects of that.
So, we should all have in our hearts and minds the desire to improve and the desire to do whatever it takes to please Allah (SWT). The second thing is that we need to bring from ourselves the power to make the decision to do whatever it takes to reform and do better. It will not simply happen by us sitting around; we need to take some steps.
Being Sincere to Allah
The prophet (SAW) showed us that this life is not about being validated and appreciated by people. Today, the word “like” has a very specific term; it is used to measure our popularity and our validity, even though “likes” are not a measure of any of that. Sometimes things go viral on social media and they get hundreds of thousands of “like”s, even though there is nothing about that to like, and there is nothing in that to make the person who posted it more important than they are. When we get used to this, the pat on the back and the smile on the face, we are happy in the moment, and when it doesn’t happen, we fall, sometimes into loneliness or depression, all because we do not get the stimulus of appreciation. Islam has taught us that it is not about the work we do, but rather, the responsibilities that we fulfill, and the integrity of our character, whether people know about us or not. A person cannot obtain the recognition of Allah (SWT) until they first diminish their own self-importance.
[Above sections from a talk delivered by Mufti Aasim Rashid]
Motives & Intentions
Just like good motives have good outcomes, most of what we achieve has to do with our intentions and motives. If a person has the wrong motive or the wrong intention, it can have an adverse effect on their own outcomes. The Qur’an mentions a story about this in surah Al-Qalam. There was a wealthy and pious man who had a massive orchard. He had a habit of allowing people to pick up the fruit that had fallen before the harvest. In other words, if there was fruit that had fallen from the trees, before harvest, he would allow people to pick up what was on the ground without charge and he would harvest that which was on the trees. So, when he passed away, he advised his sons to allow this to continue. The sons got together and said, “This is a lot of fruit that falls by itself. If we let the poor come and take it all, this is a huge loss. If we were to sell this food, we would make so much more profit.” They said, “How do we contend with this when people have made it a habit at every harvest?”
They reached the consensus that they would leave in the middle of the night and they would get there and collect all the fruit so that when the people came, they would find that there was nothing to pick up and they would leave and understand that it was no longer going to be a practice. These three brothers left in the middle of the night to salvage whatever they could and collect whatever they good before the poor and needy came. When they started walking, they felt as if they were going in circles, and they were not able to find their own farm. They tried and tried and said, “It looks like we are lost.” “How could we be lost? This is our own farm.” After some confusion and walking around in the dark in some time, they realized that they were, in fact, at their farm, but they did not recognize it anymore because there was not much of a farm left to look at.
What had happened was that something had come and annihilated that entire orchard and there was nothing left but twigs and sticks that had fallen on the ground. They said, “How did this happen?” The Qur’an said, “While they were still sleeping, Allah (SWT) had sent a storm that wiped out the entire crop. It was like a farm that had already been harvested.” They realized, “We are not lost, we have been deprived of this.” The middle brother said, “I told you so.” By then, it was too late. This is an example of someone who had set out with the wrong intentions and Allah (SWT) showed the effects of that wrong intention. The intention was to become greedy and take something that poor people were expecting to receive from them. How many hearts would that have broken that day, week or month, and how much damage would have been done just for the sake of greed? When they set out on this mission, Allah (SWT)’s command came and wiped out everything. Similarly, the prophet (SAW) mentions in a hadith that a group of people will be coming in the form of an army to attack the Ka’bah, and while they will be in a flat area outside of Makkah, the ground will open up and swallow all of them.
One of the wise men asked, “Why would all of them be swallowed by the earth even though the habit is that whenever any caravan comes people would join? There might be merchants or people that are coming into Makkah innocently. Why would everyone be swallowed?” We learn from what the Prophet (SAW) said that, in this world, the effects will take place and everyone who was a part of that group will be taken to task. In the hereafter, they will all be raised according to what their motives were. We learn that our motives have an effect on us in this world and also the people around us as well. It becomes so crucial for us to keep checking our intention and motive. May Allah (SWT) purify our intentions and enable us every day for us to keep intending us to come closer and closer to Allah (SWT) and move further and further away from the acts that displease Allah (SWT).
[Above sections from a talk delivered by Mufti Aasim Rashid]
YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF
Intending Allah’s Pleasure Above All
‘Abdul-Wahhab bin Al-Ward narrated from a man among the inhabitants of Al-Madinah who said:
“Mu’awiyah wrote a letter to ‘Aishah, that: ‘Write a letter to advise me , and do not overburden me.'” He said: “So ‘Aishah [may Allah be pleased with her]wrote to Mu’awiyah:
‘Peace be upon you. As for what follows: Indeed I heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) saying: Whoever seeks Allah’s pleasure by the people’s wrath, Allah will suffice him from the people. And who ever seeks the people’s pleasure by Allah’s wrath, Allah will entrust him to the people. And Peace be upon you.'”
[Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2414]
Reward of Tahajjud
It was narrated from Abu Ad-Darda’ who attributed it to the Prophet (ﷺ):
“Whoever goes to his bed intending to get up and pray qiyam at night, then sleep overwhelms him until morning, will have recorded that which he intended and his sleep is a charity given to him by his Lord, the Mighty and Sublime.”
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