Friday, 30 July 2010

Silatur Rahm Joining the Ties of Relations

Silatur Rahm Joining the Ties of Relations

Relatives are those who are related to you through blood and close ties; such as the brother, the uncle, the aunty, or their children. Everyone who has a tie of relation with you has certain rights upon you in accordance with how closely they are related to you. About this, Allaah - the Most High - said:
"And give to the relative his right." [Soorah al-lsraa 17:26].
Allaah - the Most High - also said:
"And worship Allaah alone, and do not set-up any partner to Him in worship, and be kind and good to the parents, and to the relatives." [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:36].

So it is obligatory upon everyone to treat their relatives in the best possible manner, and to support them in accordance with their needs, and what they seek of help and support. And this is what is necessitated by the Sharee'ah (Prescribed Islaamic Law), the 'aql (sound reasoning) and the fitrah (natural state).

And there are many textual evidences encouraging and urging silatur-rahm (joining the ties of relations); such as what Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu 'anhu relates from the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, that he said:

"Indeed Allaah created the creation, until when He finished doing so, the Rahm (womb/ties of relation) stood-up and said: Is this the place of one who seeks refuge in You from those who severe and cut ties with me. So Allaah said: Yes, Indeed. Would it please you that I keep ties with those who keep ties with You, and cut-off ties with those who cut-off ties with you? So the Rahm said: Yes, indeed! So Allaah said: Then this is for you."

Then Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"Recite if you wish: 'Would you then, if you were given the authority, cause corruption in the land, and cut-off ties of relations. They are those upon whom is the curse of Allaah, so that He makes them deaf and blinds them." [Soorah Muhammad 47:22-23]."2

The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam also said:

"Whosoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day let him keep the ties of relations."3

Unfortunately, many people do not fulfill this haqq (right) and transgress the bounds concerning this. Some of them do not seek to join ties with relatives or show kindness to them; neither through wealth, nor through good behaviour, nor through the giving of occasional gifts and presents nor through rendering help to them in their rimes of need. indeed, many days or months may pass without even seeing or visiting them. And sometimes, rather than seeking to join ties of relations, some people even intend to severe such ties, by seeking to harm their relatives - either through words, or action, or both. Such people may even keep close ties with those who are not relation, yet cut-off ties with relatives!

Some people only keep ties of relations with those who maintain ties with them, but cut-off from those who cut-off from them. So such people are not truly the waasils (those who keeps ties of relations), but rather they are those who do so based upon tit for rat. So they will only keep ties with those who keep ties with them whether relatives, or other than them. However, the true waasil (one who keeps ties of relations) is the one who keeps ties of relation for the sake of Allaah - regardless of whether his relations keep ties with him or not. 'Abdullaah ibn 'Amr radiallaahu 'anhu relates that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "The waasil (one who keeps the ties of relations) is not the one who merely does so out of reciprocation. Rather, the waasil is the one who even when the relatives cut-off from him, yet he still maintains ties with them." So a man asked: O Messenger of Allaah. I have relatives with whom I maintain ties of relations, yet they cut-off from me. I treat them kindly, yet they treat me in an evil manner. And I am forbearing and patient with them, yet they behave rudely and ignorantly towards me. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "If the situation is as you say, then it is as if you are filling their mouths with sand. And Allaah will continue to aid and support you as long as you continue doing what you are doing."4

If there were no other rewards for keeping ties of relations, except that Allaah keeps ties with the waasil in this world and the Hereafter, and that He extends His Mercy due to it, and makes affairs easier through it, and removes distress and anxieties by it, then that would be more than sufficient. However, along with this, silatur-rahim (joining the ties of relations) brings with it closeness to one's family and relatives, as well as love and compassion developing between one another, and their being mutual help, in times of ease and hardship. between one another, and other such joys and delights - as is experienced and well-known. And when ties of relations are not maintained, then each one of the aforementioned benefits turn to their opposites, and great harm comes to the society.

1. Huqooq Da'at Ilayhal-Fitrah wa Qarrarthash-Sharee'ah (pp.11-13)
2. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.1987) and Muslim (no.3456)
3. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.6138), from Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu 'anhu.
4. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.5911).

Sheikh Muhammed Saalih Ibn al-Uthaimeen
Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.6 - Dhul-Qa'dah 1417H / March 1997

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Ramadaan: A Reminder of Unity

Ramadaan: A Reminder of Unity

By Shaykh Muhammad Nasirud-Deen al-Albaanee

The month of Ramadaan should be a reminder to the Muslims about the disunity amongst their ranks.

Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ’anhu) related that the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: "Fast when they fast, end the fast when they end theirs, and sacrifice the day that thy sacrifice. " [2]

Al-Bayhaqee relates by way of Aboo Haneefah, who said: ’Alee Ibnul-Aqmar related to me, from Masrooq, who said: I entered upon ’Aa‘ishah on the day of ’Arafah, so she said: "Serve Masrooq with some gruel, and make it more sweeter." Masrooq said: Nothing prevented me from fasting this day except that I feared that it may be the day of Sacrifice. So ’Aaishah said to me: "The day of Sacrifice is when the people sacrifice, and the day of ending the fast is when the people end their fast."

This chain of narration is jayyid (good), due to what has preceded.


Imaam at-Tirmidthee says after quoting the hadeeth:

"One of the People of Knowledge has explained this hadeeth by saying: Its meaning is to fast and end the fast along with the Jamaa'ah and the majority of people."
As-San'aanee said in Sublus-Salaam (2/72):

"In this (hadeeth) is a proof that being in agreement with the people is accepted in establishing the ’Eed, and that the individual person who believes that it is the day of ’Eed - because of sighting the moon - then it is obligatory upon him to be in agreement with the people, and that the ruling of the people - concerning the Prayer, breaking the fast, and sacrificing - is binding upon that individual."

Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) mentioned this meaning in Tahdheebus-Sunan (3/214), and said: "It is said: In it is a refutation of those who say that whosoever knows the positions of the moon you due to astronomical calculations, then it is permissible for him to fast and end the fast, even if others do not know. It is also said: 'that the individual witness who sees the moon, but the qaadee (judge) has not accepted his testimony, then there is no fasting for him, just as there is no fasting for the people."

Abul-Hasan as-Sindee said in Haashiyah ’alaa Ibn Maajah, after mentioning the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah which was related by at Tirmidthee: "And its apparent meaning is: That there is no room for individual (opinions) to enter into these affairs, nor to act individually in this. Rather, this affair goes back to the Imaam (the Leader of the Muslims) and the Jamaa’ah (united body of Muslims under the Imaam). It is obligatory upon the individuals to follow the Imaam and the Jamaa’ah. From this is that if an individual sights the moon, but the qaadee rejects his witness, then the individual has no right in these matters, but rather he must follow the Jamaa’ah in this."

And this is the meaning which is evident from the hadeeth, and which is emphasized by the fact that ’Aa‘ishah (radiyallaahu ’anhaa) used it with Masrooq when he prevented himself from fasting on the day of ’Arafah, fearing that it could be the day of Sacrifice. So she explained to him that there is no weight given to his individual opinion in this, and that he should follow the Jamaa’ah. So she said to him: "The day of Sacrifice is when the people sacrifice, and the day of ending the fast is when the people end their fast.’’

And this is what is befitting for the easy-natured and tolerant Sharee’ah (Prescribed Islaamic law), one of the goals of which is uniting the people together, unifying their ranks and keeping away from them all that would split their comprehensive unity - from the individual opinions. So the Sharee’ah dos not give any weight to the individual opinion in matters concerning ’ibaadah jamaa’iyyah (collective acts of worship); such as Fasting, -‘Eed, and Prayer in congregation - even if the opinion is correct, from one angle. Do you not see that the Sahaabah (the Companions) (radiyallaahu ’anhum) used to pray behind each other. So from them were those who held the view that touching a woman, or the flowing of blood from the body invalidates the wudhoo’ (ablution), along with those who did not hold this view. From them were those who would complete the Prayer whilst travelling, whilst others shortened. Yet these, and other such differences, did not prevent them from collectively praying behind a single Imaam and deeming it to be acceptable. And this is because they knew that tafarruq (splitting-up) in the Religion is more evil than having ikhtilaaf (differences) in some opinions. Indeed, the matter with one of them reached the extent that he would not even deem acceptable any opinion which differed with the great Imaam in the major gatherings; such as the gathering at Minaa (during Hajj), to the extent that he would totally abandon acting upon his opinion in that gathering - fleeing from that which could result from this evil, because of acting according to his own opinion.

Thus, Aboo Daawood relates (1/307) that ’Uthmaan (radiyallaahu ’anhu) prayed four rak’ahs at Minaa, so ’Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood criticised him saying: "I prayed two rak’ahs with the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and two rak’ahs with Aboo Bakr, and two rak’ahs with ’Umar, and two rak’ahs with ’Uthmaan in the beginning of his rule, then he completed it (i.e. by praying four rak’ahs). After that the ways became divided with you all. So I hope from these four rak’ahs, that two of them would be accepted." Then Ibn Mas’ood prayed four rak’ahs. So it was said to him: You criticised ’Uthmaan, yet you prayed four? So he said: "Differing is evil."

So those who continue splitting-up with regards to the Prayer, and who refuse to follow the local Imaams in some mosques - especially in the wilt Prayer during Ramadhaan - using as proof that this is against their madhhab (school of thought), then they should reflect upon the above mentioned hadeeth and athar (narration). Likewise, those who claim knowledge of astronomy and who, due to their opinion, fast and end their fast alone - preceding or lagging behind the majority of Muslims, not seeing any problem in doing so - should also reflect upon the previously quoted proofs. So all of them should consider, and reflect upon the knowledge that has been mentioned. Perhaps they will find for themselves a cure for their ignorance and self-delusion, so that they may then become a unified rank along with their Muslim brothers - for indeed the Hand of Allaah is over the Jamaa’ah.


[1] Silsilatul-Ahaadeethus-Saheehah (1/442-445), the hadeeth authentication has been abridged and edited.
[2] Saheeh: Related by at-Tirmidthee (2/37). Shaykh al-Albaanee authenticated it in as-Saheehah (no.224).

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Importance of Intention

The Importance of Intention

A very detailed explanation of the hadeeth of intention from the tremendous work of Ibn Rajab.

Below are translated excerpts from the beautiful work by Imaam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee (RH) entitled 'Jaami Al-Uloom wal Hikm' in which he has a detailed commentary on 50 ahaadeeth of the Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. (Basically an-Nawawee's 42 ahaadeeth with 8 added on)


Umar bin al-Khattaab relates that: 'I heard the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, "verily actions are by intentions, and for every person is what he intended. So the one whose hijra was to Allaah and His Messenger, then his hijrah was to Allaah and His Messenger. And the one whose hijrah was for the world to gain from it, or a woman to marry her, then his hijrah was to what he made hijrah for." Related by Bukhaaree and Muslim.

This hadeeth is singularly narrated by Yahya bin Sa'eed al-Ansaaree from Muhammad bin Ibraaheem at-Taimee from Alqama bin Abee Waqqaas from Umar bin al-Khattaab (RA) and this hadeeth has no other authentic route as stated by Ali bin al-Madinee and others.

Al-Khattaabee said, 'I do not know of a difference concerning this amongst the Ahlul Hadeeth.' This despite the fact that it has been reported from the hadeeth of Abu Sa`eed and others – and it is said that it is reported via many routes – but none of them are authentic according to the Hadeeth Masters.

Then from al-Ansaaree a huge group of people reports this hadeeth. It is said that the number is more than two hundred, and it is also said that the number is more than seven hundred. From the most notable of these are: Imaam Maalik, ath-Thawree. Al-Awzaa`ee, ibn al-Mubaarak, Layth bin Sa`d, Hammaad bin Zayd, Shu`bah, ibn Uyaynah and others. The scholars have agreed to its authenticity and have unanimously accepted it.


And Imaam Bukhaaree commences his Saheeh with this hadeeth and gives it the place of an opening lecture from him thereby indicating that every action that is done not desiring the Face of Allaah is invalid bearing no fruits in this world and in the Hereafter.

This is why Abdurrahmaan al-Mahdee said, "If I were to write a book composed of chapters, I would place in every chapter the hadeeth of Umar bin al-Khattaab to do with 'actions are by intentions'."

And from him that he said, "whosoever desires to author a book then let him start with the hadeeth to do with 'actions are by intentions.'"

This hadeeth is one of the hadeeth around which the whole religion revolves, and it is related from Imaam ash-Shaafi'ee that he said, "this hadeeth constitutes a third of all knowledge."

Imaam Ahmad said, "the foundations of Islaam are upon three ahaadeeth:

The hadeeth of Umar, 'verily actions are by intention'

The hadeeth of Aa`ishah, 'whosoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not part it, then it is rejected.'

The hadeeth of Nu`maan bin Bashir, 'the halaal is clear and the haraam is clear.'"

Ishaaq bin Raahawayah said, "the foundations of the religion are upon four hadeeth:

The hadeeth of Umar, 'verily actions are by intention.'

The hadeeth, 'the halaal is clear, and the haraam is clear.'

The hadeeth, 'verily the creation of one of you comes together in the stomach of his mother for 40 days.'

The hadeeth, 'whosoever invents into this affair of ours anything which is not part of it, then it is rejected.'"

Abu Ubayd said, "the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, collected all the affairs of the Hereafter in one statement, 'whosoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not part of it, then it is rejected.' And all the affairs of this world in one statement, 'verily actions are by intentions.' Place them in every chapter."

Abu Daawood said, "I looked into the hadeeth of the Musnad (i.e. of Ahmad) and it consisted of 40 000 ahaadeeth. The I looked again and (found that) the 40 000 ahaadeeth revolved around 4 ahaadeeth:

The hadeeth of Nu'maan bin Bashir, 'the halaal is clear and the haraam is clear.'

The hadeeth of Umar, 'verily actions are by intentions'

The hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah, 'Verily Allaah is pure, and does not accept except that which is pure. And indeed Allaah ordered the Muslims with that which He ordered the Messengers.'

The hadeeth, 'from the excellence of ones Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.'"

And also from Abu Daawood, "it suffices man that he knows from all these ahaadeeth [the ones he collected in his Sunan] 4 ahaadeeth:

The first: His, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'verily actions are by intention.'

The second: His saying, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, 'from the excellence of a persons Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.'

The third: His, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'The believer will not truly believe until he wishes for his brother that which he wishes for himself.'

The fourth: His, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'the halaal is clear and the haraam is clear.'"

And in another narration from him, "Fiqh revolves around 5 ahaadeeth:

(The hadeeth), 'the halaal is clear and the haraam is clear'

His, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'do not harm and do not reciprocate harm.'

His saying, 'Verily actions are by intentions.'

His saying, 'The religion is advice/sincerity'

His saying, 'what I forbade you from then stay away from it, and what I ordered you with then do as much of it as you can.'"


His, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'verily (innamaa) actions are by intention' and in a narration 'actions are by intention' - and both of these statements dictate constraint [to the fact that all actions are in need of intention] according to the correct opinion. And it is not our goal here to direct the discussion towards this or expound in any length on it.

[Ibn Daqeeq al-Eid says in his 'Ihkaam al-Ahkaam': "2: The words 'innamaa' is used for constraint according to what is established in the Usul… and there is agreement over this. The meaning of constraint: is to affirm all that is contained in what is mentioned, and to negate all that falls outside of it…

3: Constraint sometimes dictates an unrestricted constraint (al-Hasr al-Mutlaq) and sometimes a specified/restricted constraint (Hasr Makhsoos) – which it is, can be understood from the context and secondary evidences. For example the saying of Allaah, 'innama anta mundhir' (indeed you are only a warner) 13:7. The literal sense of this verse confines the Messenger's, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, duties only to warning, but the Messenger is not merely confined to this rather he has many beautiful descriptions such as giving glad tidings and others. But the understanding of the (context) of the words dictates that he is constrained to giving warnings only to those who believe and negates his ability to have descend (from the heavens) the Signs that the disbelievers wish. (This then is an example of restricted constraint)

Similar to this is his, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'indeed I am only a man (innama ana bashr) and when you fall into a dispute and come to me…' Its meaning: his being constrained to (normal) human qualities with respect to his inability to examine what is inside the disputants (i.e. see into their hearts and minds) not with respect to every quality for indeed the Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, has many other qualities (which are better than the normal human qualities)….

…So when the word 'innamaa' occurs then consider it, if the context and the intention of the words show that the constraint is specific to something then stick to this, and if it is not specific to something then take it to be an unrestricted constraint. With regards to this (unrestricted constraint) is his, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'indeed (innamaa) actions are by intentions.' Allaah knows best."]

And they differ as to the limits of his saying, 'actions are by intention'. And many of the later Muslims think that the limit is that the action is made correct, able to be considered and acceptable with the intention. And in this what is meant is that action which is legislated (Shar`i) needing an intention. And as for what is not requiring an intention like habitual actions such as eating, drinking, dressing and other things, or like returning the trust or guarantees then none of these is in need of an intention.

And others say, rather 'actions' here is to be understood in its generality, and nothing is exempt from it. And some of them relate this as the saying of the majority, meaning the majority of the early people. And this occurs in the words of ibn Jareer at-Tabaree and Abu Taalib al-Makki and others from the early Muslims. And it is clear from the words of Imaam Ahmad, he said in a narration, 'I like that for every action, from prayer or fast or charity or any action of righteousness that there be an intention preceding the action. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "actions are by intentions", and this is taken for every matter.'

Fadl bin Ziyaad said, 'I asked Abu Abdullaah (i.e. Ahmad) about the intention in action, how should it be? He said, "one should treat his self when he intends to do an action, not desiring by it the people (i.e. showing off)."'

…And it is possible that the limits of his, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, 'actions are by intention' (is that the action is made) good, or corrupt, or acceptable, or rejected, or rewarded, or not rewarded according to the intention. Therefore this statement informs us of the Islamic ruling concerning this- and that is that the correctness or incorrectness of the action is in accordance to the correctness or incorrectness of the intention, and its acceptance and rejection is according to its conclusion.

And his saying after this, 'and for everyone is what he intended' is informing that he will not gain anything from his action except what he intended. So if he intended good, he gets good. And if he intended evil then he gets evil. And this second statement (of the hadeeth) is not merely reiterating the first, for the first statement points to the fact that the goodness or corruptness of the action is according to the intention necessary for that action to exist. The second statement points to the fact that the reward of the actor for his action is in accordance to his good intention, and that the punishment for his action is in accordance to his evil intention. And if the intention is permissible (mubah), then the action is permissible (mubah), and there is not for it any reward or punishment.

Therefore the action in itself is good, or bad, or permissible according to the intention behind it necessary for that action to exist. And the reward of the person or his punishment is according to the intention upon which the action became righteous, or bad or permissible.


Know that Niyyah (intention) in the language is a type of purpose (qasd) and desire (iraadah). And Niyyah in the speech of the scholars occurs in two meanings (or contexts):

1) To distinguish different types of worship, one from the other. Like distinguishing Dhuhr prayer from Asr prayer, or distinguishing the fast of Ramadaan from other fasts. Or distinguishing actions of worship from actions of habit, like distinguishing the bath from impurity from the baths simply to get clean. And this meaning of Niyyah you will commonly find in many of the works of the Legal Jurists.

2) To distinguish the intended objective of the action - is it for Allaah only and for no other, or for Allaah and other than him? And this is the meaning of intention you will find in the works of the Gnostics (`aarifoon), in their discussions on sincerity and those things that it is dependant on. And this (meaning) you will often find in the statements of the Salaf.

And Abu Bakr ibn Abee Dunya wrote a book, calling it, "Sincerity and intention', and he meant this (second meaning) of intention. And it is the meaning of intention which is repeatedly mentioned in the speech of the Prophet , sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam,, sometimes with the word niyyah, other times with the word iraadah, and sometimes with words close in meaning to the above two. And the mention of intention occurs in the Qur'aan many times, by the use of words other then niyyah but with similar meaning…


We have mentioned that the meaning of niyyah in the speech of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and the Salaf of this nation was used generally in the second sense and therefore carries the meaning of Iraadah.

And in the Qur`aan often it describes intention with the word iraadah as in His saying,

"Among you are some that desire (yureed) this world and some that desire the hereafter" (3:152)

"Whosoever desires the life of this world and it's adornment" (11:15)

"And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and evening seeking (yureedoona) His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of this life." (18:28)

And sometimes niyyah is described with the word ibtigaa (desire) as in His saying,

"Except only the desire (ibtigaa) to seek the Face of His Lord, the Most High" (92:20)

"And you spend not except seeking (ibtigaa) the Face of Allaah" (2:272)

And as for what occurs in the Sunnah and statements of the Salaf to do with this (second) meaning of niyyah then there is a large number, and we will mention some of them: …

The Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "People will be gathered upon their intentions" [Ibn Maajah, Saheeh al-Jaami no.7898]

"Mankind will be resurrected upon their intentions" [Muslim]

"Verily those slain on the battlefield will be resurrected upon their intentions" [ibn Abee ad-Dunya]

"For the ones whose concern is this world Allaah will scatter his affair, and place poverty between his two eyes. And he will not get from the world except what is written for him. And for the one whose intention is the hereafter Allaah will gather for him his affair and place contentment in his heart, and the world will come to him willingly" [ibn Maajah, Saheeh al-Jaami no.6386]

And Yahya bin Abu Katheer said, "Learn your intention for it is more serious than the action."

Zayd ash-Shaamee said, "verily I like that I have an intention for everything even if it be eating and drinking"

And he also said, "have intention for everything, desiring the good, even if it be leaving for the toilet"

Sufyaan ath-Thawree said, "I have not treated anything more difficult then my intention, because it keeps changing."

Yusuf bin Asbaat said, "purifying the intention from its corruption is harder upon the workers than long striving (i.e. in their work)"

Ibn al-Mubaarak said, "maybe a small action is made great by its intention, and maybe a great action is made small by its intention"

Ibn `Ijlaan said, "the action is not acceptable except by three: Taqwaa of Allaah, and good
intention, and correctness (i.e. conformity to the Sunnah)"
Fudayl bin Iyaadh said, "Allaah wishes from you only your intentions and desires (iraadah)"
[I have not quoted all the verses, ahaadeeth and narrations here].

All of these were reported by ibn Abee ad-Dunyaa in his 'al-Ikhlaas wa an-Niyyah'.

And with this, the meaning of Imaam Ahmad's statement becomes known, that the foundation of the religion is upon three ahaadeeth:

"Verily actions are by intention"

"Whosoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not part of it then it is rejected"

"The halaal is clear and the haraam is clear"

For the whole religion returns to doing the commanded actions and staying away from the forbidden actions and stopping at the doubtful matters as is contained in the hadeeth of Nu`maan bin Basheer. And all of this is perfected upon two matters:

1) That outwardly the action be done as taught by the Sunnah, and this is to be found in the hadeeth of Aa`ishah, "whosoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not part of it then it is rejected."

2) That inwardly the action be done seeking the Face of Allaah, as is contained in the hadeeth, "verily actions are by intention."
Fudayl bin `Iyaadh said about His saying, "That he may test which of you is best in action' (67:2)
- "who is sincere in it and correct in it. And the action, if it is sincere and not correct then it is not accepted. And if it is correct and not sincere then it is not accepted. It is only accepted when it is both sincere and correct. And it is sincere when it is for the sake of Allaah, and correct when it is done according to the Sunnah."

And the proof of what Fudayl said lies in the verse,

"So whosoever hopes for the meeting with His Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of His Lord " (18:110)