Deeds Depend Upon The Intention

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said:
“Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth, but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.“ (Muslim)

Umar bin Khattab (RA) relates that Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “All deeds depend on intention (i.e. the reward of performance of an act depends on the intention). Therefore a person, who migrated (with a pure intention) for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), his migration will then be for Allah and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). And if someone migrated for the sake of the world, or to marry a woman, then his migration will be for whatever he had intended.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

 Meaning of 'Intention'
Whenever Islamic scholars talk about intentions, they mean one of two things; the action a person wishes to do, or what a person intends to achieve by doing that action.

Common Intentions for daily routines

(For all good and beneficial deeds)
·         I am doing this deed to attain Allah’s pleasure.
·         Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has also performed this act, and I am following his (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) Sunnah.
·         By performing these acts, I want to achieve all those rewards and blessings, which are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and traditions of Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) [irrespective of my knowledge or ignorance about them].
·         I am doing this to practice those Sunnah and supplications which apply to this act/deed.
·         I am doing this deed/act to obey Allah’s command and follow the Sunnah of beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in all aspects of life, whether they belong to belief, worship, dealings, social life and morals.
·         I also make intention to save myself from sins and time wasting frivolities.

Going to sleep

Common Intentions:
·         I am going to sleep to seek Allah’s pleasure.
·         Since our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has done this, therefore I am following his Sunnah.
·         I am doing this to practice those pertinent supplications, which are advised to us by our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
·         Whichever aspect of Islam (belief, worship, dealings, manners) applies to this act, my intention in doing this is to obey the command of Allah, and to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
·         I intend to avoid all useless and frivolous things, while doing this act.

Specific Intentions:
·         I intend to get up for Tahajjud prayers.
·         To sleep in accordance to Sunnah is also worship. I intend to sleep for making one third of my life as worship.
·         I intend to perform good deeds the next day (worship, service, education and invitation to Islam/ Dawah) and to take rest to regain strength for the same.
·         Human body is trust from Allah.  I am sleeping to provide the necessary rest to my body and organs.

Getting up in the morning

[Common Intentions listed above]
Specific Intentions:
·         Intention to offer Tahajjud, recitation of the Holy Qur’an, remembrance of Allah and making Du’a.
·         Preparation for Fajr Salah.
·         To fulfill my obligations and duties.
·         To earn a fair/ Halaal livelihood and earning.
·         To thank Allah for having given me a new day of life.


·         Intention to cover those parts of the body which have been commanded by Allah and his Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
·         To protect Allah’s given body from all harmful effects of the environment, accidents and mishaps.
·         To dress up nicely and to look neat for prayers according to the Islamic etiquette.
·         Thank Allah for his abundant blessings of comfortable dress.
·         To show due respect to the household members, relatives and visitors. [Note: Muslim women must observe Hijab from non-Mahram men].
·         Intention to wear Islamic dress as a form of ‘silent’ Da’wah to people of other faiths and a motivation and identity for Muslims.

Ablution (Wudu)/ using restroom

·         Intention to remove impurities from my body to keep the body clean and fresh
·         Intention to seek Allah’s love and pleasure, by increasing purity and cleanliness
·         To purify the self from the sins through ablution/Wudu.
·         To increase the reward and blessings through ablution, (for example, recitation of the Holy Qur’an while in the state of Wudu brings more reward).
·         To prepare to attend a gathering of knowledge and Zikr.
·         To refresh through ablution and shower for better performance of virtuous deeds.
·         To increase sustenance while in the state of wudu 

Leaving home

·         Intention to participate in masjid’s or a gathering of knowledge and Zikr.
·         To visit another Muslim.
·         To look for opportunities for making charity.
·         To safeguard the eyes, and protect the self from all evils and temptations of the Shaitan.
·         To earn Halal livelihood
·         To do Da’wah, worship, learning/teaching, community services

Going and entering into the Masjid

·         Intention to pray in congregation (27 times reward).
·         To learn solution to daily problems and to increase knowledge about Deen.
·         To pray Ishraaq (stay in the masjid after Fajr until after-sunrise to do Ishraaq prayer) and be in the remembrance of Allah. (Reward equal to Umrah and Hajj.)
·         To join the gathering of pious people, at a place which is the dearest to Allah.
·         To increase the reward of deeds like Zikr and Qur’an recitation.
·         To earn a reward and getting a sin forgiven at every step, while going to the Masjid.
·         To make Du’a between Azan and Iqamah.
·         To make Sunnah Du’a and send Salawaat (invoke blessings) upon the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) when entering the masjid.
·         Intention to hold the self accountable for sins, contemplation on the Hereafter, and to seek forgiveness.
·         To wait for next Salah (the wait-time is rewarded as worship)
·         To do Nafl Aetikaaf
·         To meet a scholar and to pray behind him in congregation
·         To join the gathering of knowledge and Zikr (earn special blessings of Allah)
·         To give Da’wah
·         To meet and serve fellow Muslims (meeting with good manners brings extra reward)
·         To hear the Azaan and to recite Du’a after Azaan
·         To give charity (to find opportunities of giving Sadaqah)
·         To listen to Qur’an recitation
·         Allah is Kareem and He will bless the slave who visits His house (Intention to attain this blessing)
·         Walking to the masjid with Wudu/Ablution brings extra reward
·         To protect the ear, eyes and tongue which are under temptations outside the masjid

Friday’s Congregational Prayer 

(include all intentions of going to masjid listed above)
·         Intention to listen to the Friday Khutbah quietly and learn from it (reward of learning a chapter of knowledge).
·         To listen to the Holy Qur’an and traditions of Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
·         Remembering and spreading the good, and persuading others to do the same.

Acquiring knowledge and teaching it to others

·         Acquire love of Almighty Allah
·         Intention to learn a new chapter of knowledge (reward of praying 1000 rak’a of Nawaafil).
·         Intention to acquire the excellence of a student (in the path of Allah until return).
·         Intention to visit a scholar
·         To join the gathering of knowledge and Zikr (earn special blessings of Allah)
·         Learn the wisdom and skills for Daw’ah and self-correction
·         Help the follow students in revising their lessons
·         Bring 100% Islamic ways in my daily life

Entering the house

·         Intention to protect myself from Shaitaan (Devil) by entering the house reciting BismillahhirRahmannirRahim, Dua and making Salaam.
·         To serve the household members.
·         To look with respect and love towards parents, wife and children and the rest of the relatives of the household.
·         To teach Deen to the family members and to motivate them for good deeds.
·         Human body is trust from Allah.  I am entering home to provide the necessary rest and peace to my body.
·         To protect my eyes (from seeing any non-Mahram, if any)
·         To prepare for next opportunity for serving Deen (Dawah, worship, learning and serving others)

Going to the School or Office

·         Intention to acquire new technology, skill and knowledge for personal benefit and imparting the same to the rest of the humanity and making them more useful for the society. To discover hidden potential in human mind for the progress of humanity.
·         Prepare for earning Halal income, to fulfil rights of my dependants and achieve peace of mind for worship.
·         Intention to  earn Halal income, to spend in charity.
·         To create an environment of Deen at work or school where everyone is motivated to learn and practice Deen, with sound knowledge, accurate mutual dealings, sincerity and trustworthiness.
·         To fulfill the rights of the management and subordinates and thus indirectly making Dawah by being an example of an ideal Muslim.

Going to the marketplace

·         Intention to serve my household members, fellow travelers and neighbors.
·         To make Zikr of Allah in marketplace
·         Intention to return home quickly after doing the needful and getting busy in good deeds and remembrance of Allah.
·         Looking after the needs of the poor and beggars (by giving charity). 
·         To help poor shopkeepers by buying from their shops.
·         To protect eyes from seeing non-Mahram
·         To revive Islamic practices related to dealings and trade
·         To give Dawah, motivate others to do good and stop from evil.

Eating and drinking

·         Intention to thank Allah for His blessings of different kinds of delicious food.
·         To have food and drink with family members, thus increasing love and affection while eating together.
·         To ponder over the blessings of Allah that He has made so many universal forces and creations to serve mankind
·         To teach Islamic etiquette for eating and drinking to children.
·         To motivate one towards paradise and good deeds leading to it – by enjoying a sample of blessings of paradise in this world.
·         To prepare to fulfill rights and to perform good deeds (worship, service, education and invitation to Islam/ Dawah).
·         Human body is a trust from Allah.  I am eating to provide the necessary energy and strength to my body and organs.

Visiting and meeting people

·         Intention to say the Salam first, and a warm handshake.
·         To make a Muslim happy.
·         To visit the sick.
·         To remember Allah in a gathering of people.
·         To visit a scholar or elderly pious person to request for Dua and advice.
·         To look after the needs of Muslims and children of Adam (peace be upon him).
·         To protect eyes from seeing non-Mahram
·         To give Dawah, motivate others to do good and stop from evil.

Visiting the sick

 [Note: Many intentions listed above also apply here]
·         To visit the sick, say things to comfort him to request for supplications. To hope to get the Duas of 70,000 angels and to attain gardens of Paradise.
·         To fulfill the needs of the family of the sick person.
·         To motivate them by saying virtues/rewards of patience at the time of difficulty.

Serving the parents

·         Intention to obey the command of Allah and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) with regards to looking after the parents, and getting all the promised rewards including the Paradise.
·         To get the reward of a Hajj and Umrah by looking kindly at parents.
·         To fulfill the rights of kinship to serve a Muslim and elderly relative.
·         To revive Islamic etiquette of social living.

Recitation of the Holy Qur’an

·         Intention to get reward of just looking at the Qur’an.
·         To memorize the verses of the Holy Qur’an.
·         To get reward on each letter, and the rewards associated with each selected special individual Surah.
·         To listen to the Ayat, understand the meaning and translating them into good actions.
·         To achieve peace of heart and the descent of the angels.
·         To memorize the Holy Qur’an and use its verses in making Dawah and teaching.
·         To learn what Almighty Allah wants me to do.
·         To make several organs (eyes, ears, mouth and hands) busy in the Zikr of Allah.

Nikah / Marriage

·         Intention to achieve purity of heart and piety by leading a successful married life.
·         To protect eyes from looking at non-Mahram
·         To raise good children on Islamic values and improve the number as well as quality of Muslims.
·         To have children as a source of Sadaqa-e-Jaariya (continuing reward) who will be doing Da’wah, worship, learning/teaching, community services for future generations as well as making Du’a for parents.
·         To complete my Deen and to revive Islamic way of living
·         To make my home a model of learning institute and place of remembering Allah.
·         To help the spouse become a good Muslim and have a positive influence on the community by helping in Da’wah, teaching and community service.
·         To have positive influence on in-laws to revive Islamic way of life.
·         To celebrate the marriage ceremony in a very simple manner to promote simplicity and modesty in the society.

Taleem at home (Teaching and learning Islam)

·         Intention to bring complete Deen into my home and community.
·         To help the family members increase knowledge of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
·         To bring mercy of Allah and the descent of the angels.
·         To attain virtues of recitation of the Holy Quran
·         To attain virtues of listening and propagating Hadith of our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
·         To attain virtues of learning a chapter of knowledge.
·         To attain virtues of good deeds, desire for the Hereafter and paradise.
·         To attain virtues of repentance and search for the truth

Cooking food and house work

Intention for husband and wife to render mutual service to each other and family and to develop understanding through love and loyalty.
·         To extend hospitality to others (neighbors, relatives, guests) and make them happy.
·         [For wife] to take care of household work to get reward of outside good deeds performed by the husband.
·         [For husband] To help wife in the household responsibilities as practiced by Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
·         To make Zikr of Allah while cooking and household work.
·         To give some food to the needy and to feed the hungry.
·         To feed the birds and animals with the left over food.

Husband- wife love relationship

·         Intention to become the best person (by offering best treatment to spouse).
·         To be kind, polite and soft towards wife as practiced by Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
·         To look after all legitimate needs and desire of the spouse.
·         To make a Muslim happy.
·         To achieve purity of heart and mind- to protect one from evil gazes and immorality of outside society.
·         To motivate one towards paradise and good deeds leading to it – by enjoying a sample of blessings of paradise in this world.

Intention of raising the children

·         Training, and educating them to be useful to their own selves, to their parents, relatives, community, the Ummah and the world at large.
·         To make them scholars and Haafiz-e-Qur’an and enable them to live Islam.
·         To raise children as a source of Sadaqa-e-Jaariya (continuing reward) who will be doing Da’wah, worship, learning/teaching, community services for future generations as well as making Du’a for parents.


[Intention for “Visiting and meeting people” listed above]
·         Intention of acquiring knowledge and teaching knowledge.
·         To earn Halal livelihood.
·         To fulfill the rights of family, dependants and others.
·         To get the reward of the supplication of the traveler.
·         To achieve health through travel. (Tradition of Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)).
·         To participate in the effort of Deen.
·         To remove obstacles from the path.
·         To visit religious scholars, parents and pious people and seek their advice to acquire love of Allah.
·         To gain experience, and learn lessons by seeing Allah’s world and contemplating on His creation.
·         To protect the eyes from seeing non-Mahram.
·         [For men] To make Etikaaf in the masajid.
·         To engage in Salah, zikr, recitation of Quran at every stop.
·         To study Islamic teachings at centers of learning.
·         Preparation for Hajj or Umrah.

 Service to the humanity

·         Intention to help and strengthen the Muslim brotherhood.
·         To get reward of assisting a Muslim (and making him happy) as well as serving the children of Adam (peace of upon him).
·         To get reward of saving a human life.
·         To spread virtues, and to establish and work for peace.
·         To volunteer to help the poor, needy and the homeless.
·         To find the way to Allah by serving His creation.  To have mercy on Allah’s creation and to help them live in peace.
·         To remove someone’s sufferings so that s(he) can worship Allah with peace.
·         To cure myself from evil desires and bad manners (Tazkiyyah - cure of diseases of heart)

Da’wah (Inviting everyone towards Allah)

·         Intention to increase my own faith in Allah and have a strong connection with Him.
·         To propagate Allah’s Deen and the mission of the Prophets (peace be upon them).
·         To save people from Hell and enable them to deserve Paradise.
·         To have mercy on the children of Adam (peace be upon him)
·         To spread the truth and eradicate disbelief from society.
·         To correct my own deeds, manners and character to become an ideal Muslim.
·         To increase the number of pious and righteous people in a community.
·         To revive the Sunnah of the Prophets (peace be upon them).
·         To learn the wisdom to motivate others and to stop them from evil.
·         To have firm belief in the promises of Allah and the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
·         To invite everyone towards mercy, forgiveness and treasures of the Creator.
·         To search for pious people more suitable (than me) to make effort of Deen and to learn from them.
·         To achieve regular practice on good deeds (Da’wah, worship, learning/teaching and community services).
·         To engage in constant remembrance of Allah, renewing good intentions, making Du’a and following the Sunnah at every step.
·         The name of Allah, book of Allah and invitation to Allah becomes alive in every place.
·         Bring devotion to my own prayers, acquire knowledge of Deen, fulfill rights of everyone and achieve sincerity in all my actions.
·         To increase reward of good deeds while in the path of Allah and service to mankind.

Comments by Shaykh Mufti Nawal ur Rahman