Once we are out of the
gray areas and our course of action is clear, the next step is to examine the intention behind what we are doing. In the Arabic
language, intention is “niya”. As a reminder, we are here to obey, serve, and worship Allah (S.W.A). Therefore,
how well we perform these three duties is entirely dependent on our intentions. Allah (S.W.A) confirms:
will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts and he is Oft-Forgiving,
Most Forbearing (2:225)”
Fear and selfishness are our enemies and a cause for wrong intentions. We do
things for friends because we fear to lose them; we are nice to our parents, so that they can love us or buy us the latest
shoes; we study hard, so that we do not fail or we score high on our exams; we try to please people, so that we can remain
on good terms with them; the list goes on. Think of more examples of when you do things out of fear or selfishness as opposed
to doing duty of service, worship and obedience to Allah (S.W.A). Unfortunately, Allah (S.W.A) accepts no action done for
other than service, worship or obedience to Him. In short, anything done with the intention other than obeying, worshiping
or serving Allah (S.W.A) is a wasted effort in this world- in the long run, and a total loss in the
Hereafter. Allah (S.W.A)
" Say: 'Shall
we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds? (18:103) -
efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works (18:104)?
They are those
who deny the signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet him:vain will be their works, nor shall we, on the Day
of Judgement, give them any weight (18:105)".
Allah (S.W.A) is not mean
to us or selfish. No, because He created us for a certain
end – a purpose, and this end is to worship, to serve and to obey none but Him. If we deviate, then, we fail the object
of our creation. Allah (S.W.A) exhorts us to be firm and not to swerve from his worship, service and obedience for whatever
reason, not even death. In case of death and extreme necesity, Allah (S.W.A) advises us to remain deeply rooted in faith with
our hearts even though our enemy may force the physical body to do otherwise. Allah (S.W.A) speaks:
"He has only
forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name has been invoked besides that
of Allah. But if one is forced by necesity, without willful disobedience, and transgressing due limits - then is he guiltless.For
Allah is oft - forgiving most merciful (2:173)" .
Again, Allah (S.W.A) reminds
us about our covenant with Him. He speaks:
”Oh Children of Israel! Call to mind the favor, which
I bestowed upon you, and fulfill your covenant with me as I fulfill my covenant with you and fear none but me (2:40)".
"And believe in what I reveal confirming the revelation that is with you, and be not
the first to reject faith therein, nor sell my signs for a small price; and fear me and me alone (2:41)”
verses refer to the Jews but they carry general instructions for all of
us. The favors Allah (S.W.A) gave to the Jews may be different, but Allah (S.W.A) has given us, too, countless favors as well.
"And he gives
you all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given
up to injustice and ingratitude ( 14:34)".
And also remember, we
gave a covenant, too – to serve, to worship and to obey Allah (S.W.A). For us, to sell Allah (S.W.A)’s signs
for a miserable price would be the selfish intentions we seek when we follow our whims or the whims of those we
fear in exchange to upholding Allah (S.W.A)’s rights. Whatever we do for anyone else other than Him, Allah (S.W.A)
rejects it for himself. Therefore, we must purge our intentions from any motives other than obedience, service and worship
even if it involves our enemies. We must do right to our enemies as well in response to our duties of obedience, service and
worship to Allah (S.W.A). Put it this way, other than doing service, obedience and worship of Allah (S.W.A), humanity is a
useless article roaming Planet Earth. We must serve creation or obey man only in in service and obedience
to Allah (S.W.A); and worship? That is only for Allah (S.W.A) alone. He speaks:
" Say, ' I
am but a man like yourselves, ( but) inspiration has come to me that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord,
let him work righteousness, and in the worship of his lord, admit no one as partner ( 18:110)".
Even if the intention
that favors Allah (S.W.A) does differ from what we want right now, we must still endeavor to do just that. This is total submission
to the will of Allah (S.W.A) – the real Islam! Here is Allah (S.W.A)’s stand concerning doing right for His sake.
Allah (S.W.A) speaks:
”Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and
let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and
fear Allah. For Allah is well acquainted with all that you do (5:8)
To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness
has Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward (5:9)
Those who reject faith and deny our signs will be companions
of the hellfire (5:10)”
To Be Continued.