Intentions and Actions


As salamun alaikum shaykh,

There is a hadith which states that every amal (work) depends on the intention when it was made.

Does it mean that the only correct intention is if the amal is done for Allah. And in that case that amal will get reward from Allah in Hereafter, beside its benefit in dunya. This is the famous statement: wa laa hawla wa laa quwatta illa bi Allah.

If the statement number one is viewed from the statement number 2, is it correct to say that actually the only thing a man can do is to come up with an intention or niyyat, and the rest is carried out by Allah. But the the score of the deed, good or bad, goes to the man, who came up with the intention.

That is the case with all other creations. The Earth is turning around its axis, can not do it  by itself. The electrons turning around the nucleus, can not do it by themselves.  And so on.

My question :”Is the conclusion correct?”

Thank you for your attention.



Alaykum Salam,

The hadith of intentions is not meant to be taken in a vacuum. Nothing in the Shari`a is in a vacuum. It needs to be taken together with all the other injunctions of Allah and His Prophet which includes five hundred commands and eight hundred prohibitions. We are only tasked with what we know and can do.  Furthermore the hadith of intention is a warning to eliminate self-display and self-delusion because they cancel  reward and have negative consequences. There are other applications as well. An important requirement is to tread the path of teachers and not to try and split hairs by philosophizing on our own.

See: al-Amal bil Niyyat

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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