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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Niyyah: 3 ways Muslims can purify their intentions

Muslims need to have the right intention (niyyah) before an act of prayer (ibadah)

Niyyah is an Islamic concept that is concerned with the intention in one's heart to do an act for the sake of Allah (God).

Recently, I saw a short video clip from a movie where a man pretended to be praying because his creditor was at his house to arrest him.

The man kept praying for such a long time that it upset his creditor, who ended up forcefully turning his debtor's head in an attempt to make him end the prayer. It was really funny. Now imagine this scenario, a man coming in from work and he checks the time and sees that it’s time for afternoon prayer (Asr).

Knowing that it is a part of his purpose in life, he goes into the washroom and does his ablution (wuhdu), spreads out the mat and bows in prayer.

In these two scenarios, there are two men who have their heads bowed in prayer. However, there is a difference in their INTENTIONs.

 

For every human action, there’s an intention behind it. As a Muslim, it is not enough to just have an intention. You have to back every act of worship (ibadah) or deed with the right intention (niyyah).

This is very important because the right intention determines if something is accepted by Allah.

ALSO READ: 13 reasons to perform ibadah

The importance of the right intention is signified by the fact that the first hadith (sayings and teachings of the prophet) is about intention.

It says: “Actions are rewarded by intentions and every person will get a reward according to what he intended. Thus, if a man migrates for the sake of Allah, then his reward was for Allah and if he migrates for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his migration would be for what he migrated for”.

This goes to show that actions are from the heart, hence, it must be kept pure in order to carry out good deeds. This hadith further proves that the reward of any deed depends on the sincerity of the intention.

Knowing this, you can understand why it is important to purify one’s intention.

As such, here are three ways and reasons to work on your intentions.

1. Reward: There is always reward for any act of worship or deed. Regardless of how long it takes before you get it, Allah does not overlook a good deed. Bear this in mind as you try your best to have good your intentions.

 

2. Taqwa: This means the consciousness of Allah. This implies that you do everything as if Allah was right in front of you. Being conscious of His presence and knowing that you will eventually make accounts of every intention and action helps to create a check and balance inside of you. Remember He is watching and regardless of how little your good intentions might be, He knows you are trying. Still, you should strive to please him always.

 

3. The Garden Of Bliss (Paradise): Every life will surely come to an end someday and how long you have left is unknown.  So carry out every act as if it’s the last one and it could earn you a place in paradise which is the ultimate. Don't forget that hell fire is blazing and you don’t want to make it there.

 

Your actions are either good or bad based on the intention they are carried out and they would, in turn, affect your immediate environment.

As a Muslim, do your best to ensure that your actions are backed by the purest of intentions.

This article was written by Rodiyah Aderinoye, a Journalist, Reporter with Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Freelance creative writer and blogger.



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