Reviving Your Intentions

Few days back I was listening to a lecture by an Islamic scholar. He stated how people these days need to learn to gain the good will of others. Elaborating on his point of view, he explained how every person needs the other’s supplication. “Unfortunately, in current times it has become easy for people to win another person’s hate rather than win their love and trust,” he added. He went on to explain how good-mannered, helpful, kind acts go a long way in assisting a person trying to reach their goals. His words seemed truer than ever.

“…and do good as Allah did good to you, and do not seek to make mischief in the land. Surely, Allah does not like the mischief-makers.” (Surah Al Qasas, Verse 77)

The more a person tries to benefit those around them, the more they receive Allah’s help and reward in their endeavour. Despite this being a fact, people abstain from building bridges between people and their needs. They believe that if they have been wronged during their course of life, inflicting the same amount of pain on others will somehow help them recover from their pain. This philosophy is far from the actual truth. Our life is solely a byproduct of what we give to others. As for the pain and suffering that a person undergoes, it is a test from Allah (swt) so He can raise our status in ‘jannah’.

It makes a lot of difference when a person does something that pleases / helps others, and they receive ‘duas’ in return. This supplication can help a person get what they want because it is a sincere one. Similarly, when a person constantly harms others with their words and actions, they call the wrath of Allah on themself.

Intentions to play a very important role in this scenario. Let me share with you a story of a lady who wanted to start an Islamic school for students interested in gaining worldly and religious knowledge on the same platform. She was a very intelligent, smart woman with lot of capabilities. Those who knew her, though of her endeavour as a pure and pious act. People always believed her to be someone filled with faith and thought highly of her. The truth was something else.

Despite trying constantly to achieve her goals, she failed in trying to start this school. Some or the other problem would erupt. This was because her intentions were never to please Allah (swt). She thought of herself as being better than others and had a superiority complex. She wanted a position above others so she could control those under her, and this was one of the reasons she wanted to start this school. Another aspect was her hunger for praises. Praises from other people was her driving course. She sided with people who praised her and followed her lead in carrying out evil actions. Though her act was in accordance with the guidance from the Quran and sunnah, but her intentions were not that to please Allah (swt). Hence, she failed in this venture and didn’t receive Allah’s help.

Those who believe and do good deeds are the best of creation. 

(Surah Al-Bayyinah, Verse 7)

This type of personality can be understood if we know the history of Iblis. He was a devoted servant of Allah(swt). It wasn’t for his lack of dedication towards Allah(swt) that turned him sour, but rather thinking of Adam (as) as inferior to him. The prolonged thought of being superior to others led to his expulsion from ‘jannah’. He lost his position infront of Allah(swt) and gained a place in the worst place in hell. He became among those rejected slaves who never receive Allah’s mercy.

Hence, it is utmost important for a person to check intentions before doing something. Is every action done with an intention to gain Allah’s pleasure? If there is any contradiction in this, then it is time to revive one’s intention. The only way towards success is if Allah is happy with a person and those who He loves are happy with them. This is the only recipe for success in this world and the next. 

Narrated Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him): “I heard Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) saying, “The (reward of) deeds, depend upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for the sake of Allah and His Apostle, then his emigration will be considered to be for Allah and His Apostle, and whoever emigrated for the sake of worldly gain or for a woman to marry, then his emigration will be considered to be for what he emigrated for.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)