Always Set A Niyyah (Intention)
Though we may know the importance of having a niyyah (intention) for everything we do in this life, it is something we often forget. We read in a hadith that our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW said:
“Verily, deeds are only with intentions. Verily, every person will have only what they intended. Whoever emigrated to Allah and his messenger, his emigration is for Allah and his messenger. Whoever emigrated to get something in the world or to marry a woman, his emigration is for that to which he emigrated.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
We become fully engaged with our daily lives. We become distracted by our families, our friends, our jobs, our happiness and our sadness. It is not the case that we should just completely isolate ourselves from these parts of our lives. However, there is a way for every aspect of our daily life to become something that Allah rewards us for.
For example, we can go to work whilst having the intention in our minds that we are fulfilling our Islamic duty to provide for our families or help the poor. Through this simple act of setting an intention, we make matters of our daily lives relevant to our worship of Allah (SWT). We increase our feeling of spirituality and closeness to our Lord.
When we take care of our families, we may get so caught up in our duties that we start to feel so engrossed in them. We may feel our focus fixated on those things to such a point that we feel distant from our remembrance of Allah. However, we should set an intention in our minds that we are looking after our families because we want Allah to reward us for our kindness and efforts.
It may be that we view certain behaviours as simple and trivial, such as letting someone go before us in the queue for the till at the supermarket, or giving way to another driver on the road whilst we are out driving our cars. Perhaps we may do these things subconsciously because it is part of our personality and who we are, or we may do these things consciously because we want to be kind.
In those moments, we should actively set an intention in our minds that we are doing these things to please Allah. We are doing those things because as Muslims we must be kind. By simply having this intention in mind we increase our remembrance of Allah and create a way to earn more rewards. We read the hadith:
“O Aisha, Allah is gentle and He loves gentleness. He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness and He does not reward anything else like it.” (Sahih Muslim)
Through having this intention, we will feel a closer connection to our Lord. We will feel at peace and more content about our lives because in every action of ours, we will be setting an ultimate intention to please our Lord. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Qur’an 13:28)