بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 


The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

"Actions are only according to intentions, so each man will have what he intended. Therefore, whoever’s migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; and whoever’s migration was for some worldly gain, or to marry a woman, his migration is to that for which he migrated."

This hadith is one of the foundational hadiths in Islam, let's look into some of the meanings behind it.

Intention and sincerity in worship

The hadith shows that our worship and good deeds must be done for the sake of Allah. This includes our prayer, fasting, charity, help to relatives and those in need, and all other types of worship. Intention is an important criteria for our deeds to be accepted and rewarded.

Shahadah also demonstrates the same principle. The phrase “I testify that there is no god but Allah” signifies that He is the only One deserving of our worship. The opposite of sincerity is hypocrisy, and we ask Allah’s protection from it.

Everyday activities can be worship

Importantly, our everyday routines such as sleep, work, and family life, can become worship through intention. Why do we go to bed? To restore our strength, wake up in the morning for prayer, and continue a productive life. We raise children so that they become good Muslims, strong, intelligent and kind, and become a vehicle for a positive change. We treat all people justly because they are the creation of Allah, and have God-given dignity and rights.

On the other hand, worship without a correct intention may not actually count. For example, prayers done to impress people or “out of habit”.

Success comes only from Allah

Of course, being sincere is difficult, and often we have a mix of several motives in our actions.  Absolute sincerity is the success that comes only from Allah.  What do we do then? We should ask Allah the Almighty to make us sincere, then try our best, and analyze why we do what we do. 

To avoid being proud of ourselves, we should treat every opportunity to do good as a gift from Allah, and a reason to be grateful.

Seek knowledge

It is important to note that a wrong action remains wrong even if the intention is good. In other words, one cannot act unjustly towards oneself and others, with the excuse that "my intentions are good." We make our good deeds meaningful through sincerity in the heart, and we confirm our intentions through good deeds.

The meaning of migration (hijrah)

The “migration” (in Arabic “hijrah”), which is referred to in the hadith, is the migration of the first Muslims from Mecca to Al-Medina. They had to leave their home because of being persecuted.  Some even had to leave behind all their wealth, as the Meccans wouldn’t let them migrate with their belongings.  Such cases were repeated in history, and Muslims had to emigrate to other lands in order to maintain the opportunity to practice Islam. In a peaceful context, migration is more of a spiritual act, when a person firmly decides to leave sin and do what Allah has commanded.  Therefore, the decision to start praying and to leave the «haram» is also a migration. 

May Allah make us sincere and accept our deeds!