As-Salamu `Alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)
I was confused by the issue of intention after I had listened to several lectures, and knew that intention is divided into three stages:
(1) To dedicate all actions to Allah sincerely without seeking anything from the world.
(2) To dedicate actions solely to Allah but seeking also therewith the reward of the Hereafter and the fruit of the world.
(3) To dedicate it for the world only. Also I read Allah’s Saying: “Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein.” [Surat Hud: 15].
As for the Prophet’s saying: “Whosoever desires (by his deeds) the reward of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward, and whosoever desires the reward of this world (by his deeds), We give him thereof (what is decreed for him), and he has no portion in the Hereafter.” [Surat Ash-Shura: 20], but sins always prevent us from understanding the significance of these Ayahs; so I hope you clarify things out.
Also, I read about the subject of charity where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Cure your patients with charities.”
Scholars mentioned that whoever gives in charity just to cure a sick person shall have no reward in the Hereafter.
The first question: How can we compromise between those who do actions for the sake of Allah but seeking therewith a worldly benefit and the actions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Companions where the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to:
• Offer Salah for Rain which is a worldly sustenance.
• Offer the Salah of need.
• The Prophet’s commandment to his daughter Fatimah when she came to ask for a servant,which is a worldly matter, to recite Adhkar (invocations and Remembrances said at certain times on a regular basis) before sleeping.
• The story of the Companion whose son was captured and the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded him with frequent saying of: “La Hawla wala Quwata illa billah (There is neither might nor power except with Allah!).”
Do these instances contradict dedicating actions to Allah with the purpose of achieving a worldly benefit?
The second question is: My son is sick, which intention should I have when I want to give in charity?
The third question is: When I need to achieve a worldly benefit and I want to seek Allah’s Aid to fulfill it, what should I do? What intention should I have in this action?
The fourth question is: How to compromise between relying on Allah when starting worldly actions for the sake of combining between worldly benefits and sincerity?
The fifth question and the last is: How could we correct intention and how to make sure of it? I have the intention of seeking knowledge (Engineering for example) because I love it and for the sake of sustenance, but sometimes fame sneaks into my heart, how to correct my intention?
May Allah reward you the best.
All praise be to Allah and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, upon his family, his Companions, and those who follow him.
Dear valued brother, we ask Allah to increase your keenness to good deeds as we ask Allah to cure your child without leaving any trail.
It seems that you missed a great meaning which is the virtue of righteous actions in Islam. Righteous actions bring about goodness and blessings not only in the Hereafter but also in the world because Allah (Glory be to Him) is the Most Grateful who rewards great reward for few actions, forgives many mistakes, and does not waste the reward of benevolent. Allah’s Reward for His Believing Servant is not limited to the Hereafter but in the world as well. Allah saves good deeds for a believer in the world and rewards him in the Hereafter to achieve the condition of acceptance which is sincerity. A person is also rewarded in the world by facilitating his conditions and easiness of obtaining sustenance, giving blessings to children, curing the sick by charity, protecting his offspring and so on. There is no contrast in rewarding him in both the world and the Hereafter as the Shari`ah indicated that, so we have to believe in it. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “When an infidel accomplishes any good deed, he is rewarded for it in this world; and in the case of a Muslim, Allah stores up his good acts for him in the Hereafter and provides him with subsistence in this life due to his obedience.” Another narration is: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Allah does not wrong a believer a good deed because he is given blessings for it in this world and will be rewarded for it in the Hereafter. But the infidel is given in the world the reward for good deeds, he has performed for the sake of Allah and when he comes to the Hereafter, there is no good deed for which he can be rewarded.” [Reported by Muslim].
The Hadith is apparent in giving rewards to disbelievers in the world, where as a believer is rewarded in both the world and the Hereafter, for the one who has enjoyed his goodness to the full in this world and enjoyed with it is the disbeliever who is only rewarded in the world unlike the believer. The proof to that is Allah’s Saying: “Whosoever desires (by his deeds) the reward of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward, and whosoever desires the reward of this world (by his deeds), We give him thereof (what is decreed for him), and he has no portion in the Hereafter.” [Surat Ash-Shura: 20].
And Allah’s Saying: “Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).”[Surat An-Nahl: 97].
And Allah’s Saying: “Whoever desires the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell; he will burn therein disgraced and rejected, (? far away from Allâh’s Mercy). * And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it (i.e. do righteous deeds of Allâh’s Obedience) while he is a believer (in the Oneness of Allâh – Islâmic Monotheism)- then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, (thanked and rewarded by Allâh).” [Surat Al Isra’: 18 – 19].
Al Hafizh ibn Kathir said his Tafsir: “And We shall reward the grateful.” [Surat Al `Imran: 145] i.e., We shall give them of Our Favors and Mercy in this world and in the Hereafter according to their gratitude and actions.
Dear brother, you should reflect on this great Ayah and how did Allah subjugated two of His Messengers to build a wall for the offspring of a righteous person by the blessing of their actions which is a worldly matter. “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did them not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience.” [Surat Al Kahf: 82].
Al Hafizh ibn Kathir said in his Tafsir: The Ayah is a proof that the offspring of a righteous person is protected by the blessing of his worship to his lord in the world as well as in the Hereafter through his intercession to them and raising their degrees in Paradise as was mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Sa`id ibn Jubayr reported from Ibn `Abbas: They were protected by the righteousness of their father without mentioning their righteousness.
Perhaps this is a good answer to your questions, so you give in charity for the sake of Allah to gain His Mercy and to cure your son. What is important is to dedicate your actions to Allah exactly as you do in the Salah of need, Salah for choice and so on. As sins remove blessings and sustenance, good deeds increase blessings such as ample sustenance.
Imam Ash-Shatiby said in Al Muwafaqat (3/7): Actions are based on intentions and intentions are considered in behavior such as acts of worship and customs, and the proofs to this meaning are countless. It is only enough to mention that intentions can distinguish between what is a custom and what is an act of worship. Acts of worship are divided into obligatory and non-obligatory acts, and customs are divided into obligatory, permissible, reprehensible, forbidden, valid and invalid. One action may be intended to something which is an act of worship and the same action be considered a custom elsewhere.
Ibn Najim said in Al Ashbah wan-Nazha’ir (19 -26): Scholars decided that the Hadith of “Actions are based on intentions” has an estimated missing word which is “the rulings” of actions.
The rulings of actions are of two types: Hereafter which contains reward and punishment and worldly which contain valid and invalid actions. The Hadith indicated the side of the Hereafter because there is no reward or punishment except based on intention. Ibn Najim mentioned these examples to indicate actions that should be done and actions that should be avoided. Then he said: The validity of worship is not a condition for reward but a person is rewarded for his intention even if it is corrupt without intention as if a person offers Salah while not pure thinking that he is pure.
I ask Allah to grant us good actions and good intentions.