Intention and reward - I




Rewards, Deeds and Intention


by Shaykh Ahmed Abdul Mujeeb Qasmi Nadvi (translated by Muhammad Owais Jafrey)


 Abdullah Ibn-e-Abbas (RA) quotes Prophet (SAW), who said that verily Allah (SWT) has pre-destined good deeds and bad. A person who intended to do a good deed, and didn’t do it, Allah (SWT) will write one good deed in his record, and if he actually did it, then Allah (SWT) will add 10 good deeds. That too is not the limit. The number may reach 700 and beyond subject of Allah’s will. And if a person intended to commit a bad deed, but didn’t do it, Allah (SWT) will add one good deed to his record [for refraining from doing it], and if he did commit it, then only one sin will be added to his history sheet. [Bukhari & Muslim]


In this tradition Prophet (SAW) had made us aware about the kindness, mercy and blessings of Allah (SWT). He is the Supreme Sovereign and the Lord of the Heavens and the earth.  It is up to Him to reward or not to reward, and His servants cannot claim it as a right. It is Allah’s mercy that He guides us to do good, and then rewards us for doing good.


Aayah 161 of Surah Al-An’aam says: “Say, My Lord has guided me to a straight path, an upright religion, the faith of Ibrahim, a man of pure faith. He was not a polytheist (believing in many gods).”


And Aayah 261 of Surah Al-Baqarah says: “Those who spend their wealth in Allah’s cause are like grains of corn that produce seven ears, each bearing a hundred grains. Allah gives multiple increases to whoever He wishes: He is limitless and all knowing.”


Blessings and rewards which Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon the Ummah of Prophet (SAW) are mentioned in many places in the Holy Qur’an and the traditions of Prophet (SAW). We are a distinct people for belonging to a uniquely distinguished Ummah. We can maintain this distinction not by merely believing in the Deen of Allah, but by fulfilling its requirements, and by translating the commands of Allah (SWT) and his Prophet (SAW) into action, by practicing what we believe in theory, by living Allah’s Deen and by being a living example.


If someone starts doing a good deed, and may not be able to follow it up due to some unavoidable circumstances, he then is given a full reward. According to a tradition of Prophet (SAW), if a person leaves for Umrah, Hajj, or for struggling in the path of Allah and passes away, Allah (SWT) rewards him in full. Allah (SWT) says in Aayah40 of Surah Al-Nisa:


He (Allah SWT) does not wrong anyone by as much as the weight of a speck of dust: He doubles any good deed and gives a tremendous reward of His own.”


According to a tradition of Prophet (SAW) if a person went to bed with an intention of Tahajjud, and couldn’t wake up, he gets the full reward of Tahajjud. (Mishkawt).


Let me share with you some traditions of Prophet (SAW) with regards to the overflowing mercy of Allah (SWT) for his servants. Praying in congregations has great reward:


Narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA), Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: “A man’s Salat in congregation is 27 times more rewarding than his Salat at home or in his shop, and that is because when he performs his ablution properly and proceeds towards the mosque with the sole purpose of offering Salat in congregation, he does not take a step without being raised a degree (in rank) for it and having a sin remitted for it, till he enters the mosque. When he is engaged in Salat after entering the mosque, the angels continue to invoke Blessings of Allah on him as long as he is in his place of worship in a state of ablution. They say: “Ya Allah! Have mercy on him! Ya Allah! Pardon him.” He is deemed to be engaged in Salat as long he waits for it.” [Bukhari & Muslim]


Ibn Umar (RA) relates that Prophet (SAW) said: “Salat in congregation is 27 times more (in reward) than a Salat offered individually.” [Bukhari & Muslim].


  Uthman bin Affan (RA) narrated that he heard Prophet (SAW) saying: “He who attends ‘Isha’ in congregation, is as if the has offered Salat for half of the night; and he who attends ‘Isha’ and ‘Fajr’ prayers in congregation, is as if he has offered Salat for the whole night.”


 Jaabir (RA) in another narration quoted Prophet (SAW) to have said: “There is reward for every step (towards the mosque) a degree (of reward) for you.” [Muslim]


 Abu Hurairah (RA) relates that Prophet (SAW) said: “He who purifies (performs ablution) himself in the house and then walks to one of the Houses of Allah (mosque) for performing an obligatory act [i.e., to offer Salat], one step taken by him towards the mosque will exalt him in status (in Paradise).” [Muslim]


Similarly planting a tree has a promise of reward from Allah (SWT)


 Jaabir (RA) reported that Prophet (SAW) said: “When a Muslim plants a tree, whatever is eaten from it is charity from him and whatever is stolen [from it] is charity and whatever is subtracted is charity.” [Muslim]


The person who thanks Allah (SWT) after having meals has been equaled to a person who observes fast with patience.


Reward is also related to the timings as mentioned in Surah Al-Qadr:


“We sent it down on the Night of Power, What will explain to you what that Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months; on that night the angels and Gabraiel descend again and again with their Lord’s permission on every task; [there is] peace that night until the break of the dawn.”


And reward is also related to the place of worship. Prophet (SAW) said that the person who goes to Hajj on foot and returns on foot is rewarded 700 good deeds of the Haram. People submitted to Rasul Allah as what was meant by good deeds of the Haram? Prophet (SAW) replied that each good deed is equal to one hundred thousand good deeds.


Good deeds also wash out sins as mentioned in Aayah 114 of Surah Hud:


“[Ya Rasul Allah], Keep up the prayer at both ends of the day and during parts of the night, for good things drive bad away – this is a reminder for those who are aware.”


According to a tradition of Prophet (SAW), performance of Hajj washes out all earlier sins, and the sins between two prayers are forgiven. Scholars opine that it is applicable in the case of minor and not major sins.


There many traditions of Prophet (SAW) regarding Sadaqah (charity).


 Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: “Prophet (SAW) said: “Sadaqah is due on every joint of a person on each day the sun rises. Administering justice between two men is charity, assisting a man to mount his beast is charity, or helping him load his luggage on it is charity, and every step that you take (towards the mosque) for Salat is charity and removing harmful things from the road is a charity. [Bukhari & Muslim]


Ummul Momineen  Aa’isha (RAnha) that Prophet (SAW) said: “Everyone of the children of Adam has been created with 360 joints; so he, who declares the Glory of Allah (i.e. saying Allahu Akbar), praises Allah (i.e. Al-hamdu lillah), declares Allah to be One (i.e. La Ilaha Illallah), glorifies Allah, and seeks forgiveness from Allah (i.e., Astaghfirullah), and removes stone, or thorn, or bone from people’s path, and enjoins good and forbids evil, to the number of those 360, will walk that day having rescued himself from Hell,”


This Hadith also tells that even a person who does not have the capacity to pay Sadaqah can also pay it in the manner prescribed above and earn its reward. Moreover, he can also pay alms for the joints in his body.


It is a great blessing of Allah (SWT) that he even rewards for the intentions, and add to rewards when the intended deed is performed. For example if a person wants to pray, his intention, his ablution, his going to the mosque, waiting and sitting and then finally praying, each of his acts from the beginning to the end will be rewarded. The truth is that there are unlimited gains in the path of Allah, no loss what so ever. We supplicate that Allah (SAW) may enable us to seize every single moment of this fleeting life and invest it in the promised gain in here and in the Hereafter. Aamin!


The Friday Khutbahs are published to enhance your knowledge of Islam.  The references of Quran and Hadith are the approximate translation of the Arabic text.   The editors have not verified the accuracy of the the English translation.  The scholarly reader is encouraged to refer to the original Arabic script if there is any doubt.  Kindly notify us if the translation can be enhanced.