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The Importance of Having Good Intentions

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

15 January 2016 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Jumu`ah Khutbah

[Opening du`a of Khutbah.]

O Muslims, mu’min! Every `amal depends on niyyah, intention, as Prophet (s) said:

إنما الأعمال بالنيات , وإنما لكل امرئ ما نوى , فمن كانت هجرته إلى الله ورسوله , فهجرته إلى الله ورسوله , ومن كانت هجرته لدنيا يصيبها أو امرأة ينكحها , فهجرته إلى ما هاجر إليه

Verily, actions are by intentions and for every person is what he intended, so the one whose emigration was to Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration was to Allah and His Messenger, and the one whose emigration was for the world to gain from it or a woman to marry him, then his emigration was to what he made it. (Bukhari and Muslim)

Every move you make and every action you do is according to your niyyah: if your niyyah is to Allah and His Prophet (s) and you want to do something good, you will be rewarded for that, even if you did not do it but you intended to, Allah (swt) will reward you. If someone intended to do that action for dunya, then Allah (swt) will give them from dunya and prohibit them from Akhirah, which Muslims and mu’mins don’t want. That is why Prophet (s) is saying to be careful. Innamaa ‘l-`amaalu bi ’n-niyyaat means if what you intended in your mind is for Allah and His Prophet (s), that is the best. If you intended in your mind for a conspiracy or to fight, or to show (false) piety and sincerity while hiding your negative, Satanic self, then your hijra, migration is for the pleasure of that dunya.

That is why Prophet (s) said, “Verily, actions are by intentions and for every person is what he intended,” so there are no games here: when you do something Allah knows your intention. You cannot hide it, although you might be able to hide it from people, but you cannot hide it from Allah (swt). Allah knows if your hijra, migration, is to Him and His Prophet (s), which means you should intend to do good and if you are doing good deeds for your Akhirah, that is accepted, but if you are doing something for dunya by deceiving someone and hiding your true self, that is not acceptable.

"إن أول الناس يقضي يوم القيامة عليه رجل استشهد، فأتي به فعرفه نعمه فعرفها . قال: فما عملت فيها؟ قال قاتلت فيك حتى استشهدت، قال: كذبت، ولكنك قاتلت لأن يقال: جريء، فقد قيل. ثم أمر به فسحب على وجهه حتى ألقي فى النار ورجل تعلم العلم وعلمه وقرأ القرآن، فعرفه نعمه فعرفها‏. قال: فما عملت فيها؟ قال: تعلمت العلم وعلمته، وقرأت فيك القرآن قال: كذبت، ولكنك تعلمت العلم ليقال: عالم، وقرأت القرآن ليقال هو قارىء، فقد قيل، ثم أمر به، فسحب على وجهه، حتى ألقي فى النار، ورجل وسع الله عليه وأعطاه من أصناف المال كله، فاتي به فعرفه نعمه فعرفها، قال: فما عملت فيها؟ قال: ماتركت من سبيل تحب أن ينفق فيها إلا أنفقت فيها لك قال كذبت ولكنك فعلت ليقال هو جواد فقد قيل ثم أمر به فسحب على وجهه ثم ألقي فى النار"

An example is in the Hadith of Imam Muslim (r), that on the Day of Judgement Allah (swt) will call three groups of people: first the martyr, to whom Allah will show His Favors in dunya and asks, “What have you done for Me?” The martyr will reply, “I did my best, I became a martyr.” Allah will answer, “You lied! You did not do that for Me, you did it for people to say you are a good person. You did that for yourself, for your ego, so your niyyah was not for Me, it was for yourself.”

The second one will be someone who gave a donation because he wanted everyone to know what he gave. Allah (swt) will ask him, “What did you do for Me?” That man will reply, “I built schools and hospitals, I gave money in Your Way.” Allah will say, “No, you did that for yourself and for your fame. What you did is being rejected, you lied to Me.” The third one will be someone who put the title ‘`alim’ in front of their name. Allah will ask him, “What did you do for Me?” The `alim will reply, “Yaa Rabbee, I taught people.” Allah will say, “You taught people for money, not for Me, you made them pay.” Not all `ulama do that, but some do. “You charged them money, you did it for yourself. You wanted to be known and be famous and therefore, it was for yourself, not for Me. Now I have to judge you according to what I know your intention was.”

The intention of the first one was to be famous; he broadcasted video clips on TV showing himself being blown up! The second one wanted to show that he is very rich by giving money here and there in order to get fame or win business from poor people who can be misused. The third one, the `alim, wanted to be known and did everything with that intention, not for Allah to be known. So we must not have a bad niyyah because Allah knows our bad and good intentions, as Allah said:

فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا

He inspired the self of its good and its bad. (Surat ash-Shams, 91:8)

Allah (swt) has inspired the self with what is good for us and what is bad. May Allah guide us to the Right Way, may He take us by our hands and always show us the good way and take Shaytan away from us.

[Closing du`a.]

[End of khutbah.]


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