The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.
Selected Hadiths from Al-Bukhari
First hadith: “Actions Are Judged by Intentions”
Narrated `Umar ibn Al-Khattab: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) saying, “The (reward of) deeds, depend upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for the sake of Allah and His Apostle, then his emigration will be considered to be for Allah and His Apostle, and whoever emigrated for the sake of worldly gain or for a woman to marry, then his emigration will be considered to be for what he emigrated for.”
He is `Umar ibn Al-Khattab ibn Nufayl. He was born in 584-589 CE and killed in 644 CE – 23 AH. He descended from a rich family working in trade, which was his business until he became a caliph. `Umar was a firm believer who fiercely defended the Muslim community from attack. He became the second caliph of the Prophet after the death of Abu Bakr.
As Caliph, `Umar was known for acting justly with all people. During his rule, the Islamic state extended to Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. At zenith of his power, `Umar was assassinated at the hands of Abu Lu’lu’ah (Piruz Nahavandi). `Umar’s nicknames are Al-Faruq and Abu Hafs.
Niyyah (Intention): It refers to the resolve of the heart to do an obligatory or non-obligatory action. (Al-Nawawi)
Hijrah (migration): In the Islamic context, it means moving from a place of non-Muslim majority and rule to a place of Muslim majority and rule.
This hadith is one of the most eloquent and significant hadiths. It talks about the importance of sincere intention in the acceptance of acts of worship. Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy upon him) began his book with this hadith inspiring the meaning involved, namely sincerity.
Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali said, “Al-Bukhari prefaced his book with this hadith referring to that every action performed for the sake of other than Allah is null and void, whether in this worldly life or in the Hereafter. It is reported from Ash-Shafi`i that he said, “This hadith is one third of knowledge and it comes under seventy sections of Fiqh.” Imam Ahmed said, “The principles of Islam are based on three hadiths: First, the hadith of `Umar (i.e. this hadith)….”(1)
The hadith at hand stresses the importance of intention in the acceptance of good deeds. It tells us that actions with good and sincere intention are only accepted, while those with bad and insincere intentions are of no avail.
Abu Umamah reported that a man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “What is about a man who goes for Jihad seeking reward (from Allah) and good reputation among people?” The Prophet replied, “Nothing.” The man repeated his question thrice and received the same answer from the Prophet. Then, the Prophet said, “Allah accepts only sincere actions that are done for the sake of Allah.” (An-Nasa’i)
The first word “actions” refers to good deeds as evil or prohibited deeds are already unallowable and intention has nothing with them, even if it is good. There is a basic rule that says, “Good intention does not validate the invalid action.”
So, the hadith is dealing with the allowable actions only, for which one seeks Allah’s pleasure. In fact, the prohibited actions are means of Satan to misguide the Muslim and incur the displeasure of Allah, the Almighty, upon him.
The scholars of Islam put two prerequisite for the acceptance of actions: permissibility and good intention. They took these conditions from Allah’s saying:
So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone. (Al-Kahf 18:110)
The Prophet gave an example for actions whose reward differs according to the intention. The example that the Prophet gave is worthy of great consideration; it is Hijrah (migration) from Makkah to Madinah. As we know, Muslims were oppressed and tortured in Makkah. They were forced to leave their homeland to Abyssinia or Madinah where they would feel safe regarding their religion and souls.
Yet, all of these sufferings can be fruitless if they were for the sake of other than Allah. Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “It is reported that a man has migrated from Mecca to Medina because of a woman called Umm Qays, whom he loved. So, he was surnamed Umm Qays migrant.”(2) The Prophet maintained that whoever migrated for a worldly affair or business, he will take nothing in the hereafter.
Therefore, we all have to review our intentions and inspect our deeds, whether they are done for Allah’s sake or for worldly purposes. When a Muslim wants to do something good, Satan spares no effort to prevent him from that. If he fails, he will do his best to corrupt the Muslim’s intention. He reminds him with such and such of the beauties of world as well as people’s appreciation. He tries to make the Muslim forget Allah and sincerity.
So, we should be wakeful of Satan’s insinuations. Yet, the best way to confront these temptations is to always remember that this life is transitory but the other life is the permanent and endless one.
Moreover, Allah is more concerned with intention than with the deed itself. Abu Hurairah narrated, “The Messenger of Allah said, “Allah does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts and accomplishments”. (Muslim)
Lessons and Rulings:
- Intention changes allowable things into worship: There are a lot of things that one makes by nature, such as eating, drinking, sleeping, etc. of permissible actions. One can take a reward for that if one does so with the intention of being able to perform the worship of Allah (Glory be to Him).
- The reward of actions differs according to intention: The reward of the same action, such as prayer or fasting, may increase or decrease depending on the degree of the sincerity of one’s intention.
- Setting examples for elaboration: A caller or teacher is advised to use examples to clarify the topic while addressing people or students. This is more helpful in understanding and elaboration, following the example of the Prophet in this hadith.
(1) Ibn Rajab, Jami` Al-`Ulum wa Al-Hikam, Beirut, Al-Risalah, 2001, p. 62.
(2) Ibn Taymiyyah, Al-Fatwa, Riyadh: King Fahd Printing Complex, 1995, vol. 18, p. 254.
By Editorial Staff
Ablution is one of the prerequisites of performing prayer. Although washing both feet to the ankles is compulsory, there is a substitute for this which is wiping over socks.
An important term to define here is Khuff which is mentioned in almost all the hadiths that discuss this matter. Scholars in turn use the term in their books.
Khuff means a covering (often of leather and the like) for the foot that usually reaches above the ankle. Moreover, this article will also discuss the legal rulings for wiping over boots, shoes, socks, sandals and slippers.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “Seventy Companions of Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) told me that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) wiped over his khuffs.”
The Legal Ruling on Wiping over Khuffs (Leather Socks)
All Sunni scholars of Islam agree that wiping over Khuffs (leather socks or boots) is permissible. There are many hadiths that support this legal opinion. Hummam reported:
Jarir urinated, then performed ablution and wiped over the khuffs. It was said to him: Do you do like this? He said: Yes, I saw that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) urinated, then performed ablution and then wiped over his khuffs.
A’mash said: Ibrahim had observed that this hadith was a surprise for them (the people) because Jarir had embraced Islam after the revelation of Surat al-Ma’ida. (Muslim)
In Surat Al-Ma’idah (Surah 5), Verse 6 demonstrates the obligatory acts of ablution. The fact that Jarir (Allah be pleased with him) accepted Islam after the revelation of such verse means the above mentioned legal ruling is effective. If such incident had occurred before the revelation of Surat al-Ma’idah, the ruling would have been abrogated.
“I have no doubt about the permissibility of wiping over khuffs because (I know) 40 hadiths concerning it”, Imam Ahmad said. In addition, Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “Seventy Companions of Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) told me that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) wiped over his khuffs.”
In addition, Sunni scholars have reached a consensus that wiping over khuffs is permissible whether the person is on a journey or at the place of residence and whether there is a need to do so or not.
Prerequisites for Wiping over Khuffs and the Like
1. You must wear them while you are in a state of purification through ablution or ritual bath.
Then, when you need to perform ablution after wearing khuffs, you do not need to wash your feet again. Narrated `Urwa bin Al-Mughira:
My father said, “Once I was in the company of the Prophet (ﷺ) on a journey and I dashed to take off his Khuffs (socks made from thick fabric or leather). He ordered me to leave them as he had put them after performing ablution. So he passed wet hands over them. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
2. The Khuffs must reach above the ankle to cover the feet and the lower part of the leg
According to this condition, you can wipe over boots, leather socks. However, you may not wipe over sandals, slippers and shoes that do not cover the ankle. The hadiths that allow a person to wipe over shoes are not authentic.
As for socks, there are two different opinions concerning the permissibility to wipe over them. On the one hand, Abu Hanifa, Malik and Al-Shafi’i are of the opinion that it is not allowed to wipe over socks. In fact, all the hadiths or reports which denote that Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) wiped over socks are not authentic.
On the other hand, it is allowed to wipe over socks according to Imam Ahmad. Here, there are two things used by Imam Ahmad and other scholars who uphold this opinion to support it. The first thing is that a good number of the companions are reported to have wiped over socks. The second thing is the analogy that is there between socks and khuffs. However, according to the majority of the scholars, one may not wipe over light socks.
3. The khuffs must be made from legally pure material
One may not wipe over khuffs or boots that are made from pig’s leather for example.
4. Wiping over khuffs must take place within the legally prescribed period.
A person who is at the place of residence may wipe over khuffs for a day and a night i.e. 24 hours. However, a traveller may wipe over khuffs for three days and nights. Narrated ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him):
The Prophet (ﷺ) fixed the period of wiping over the leather socks for three days and nights for a traveller and one day and a night for the resident person in a town. (Muslim)
How to Wipe over Khuffs?
It is permissible to only pass your wet hands over the apparent or upper part of the khuff. You may not wipe over the bottom part which cover the sole of your feet or the back of your leg.
Things Which Nullify Wiping over Khuffs
1. Major ritual impurity
Major ritual impurity is a state which requires a person to take a ritual bath. In this case one must take off one’s khuffs. Narrated Safwan bin ‘Assal (Allah be pleased with him):
When we were on a journey, the Prophet (ﷺ) used to command us to wear our Khuffs (leather socks) for three days and three nights, whether we had to answer the call of nature or slept. However, in case of ejaculation or sexual impurity, he commanded us to remove the leather socks. [Reported by An-Nasa’i and At-Tirmidhi, version is of the latter. With them Ibn Khuzaima graded it Sahih (sound)].
2. The expiration of the prescribed period
A person at the place of residence may not wipe over khuffs for more than 24 hours. Likewise, a traveller must take off his or her khuffs after three days and nights. After the expiration of such period, a person can take off khuffs, perform ablution and wash his or her feet before wearing them again.
3. Taking off the khuffs
Taking off the Khuffs nullifies wiping over them. However, does that nullify ablution? The preferred opinion is that it does not nullify ablution.
The imam stands beside the body facing the qiblah at Mecca with the followers behind him in lines.
The prayer to God for the deceased Muslim is a common collective duty (Fard Kifayah). This means that some Muslims should offer this prayer, and when it is offered by some of the Muslims present at the time it is sufficient, and the other Muslims become exempt from responsibility.
– When a Muslim dies, the whole body – beginning with the exposed parts washed in ablution (wudu’ ) – must be washed a few times with soap or some other detergent or disinfectant, and cleaned of all visible impurities. A man washes a man and a woman washes a woman. A woman may wash her husband, and a man or woman may wash young children. During the washing, the washer’s hands should be covered by gloves or cloth, and the private parts of the dead body should be washed without being seen.
When the body is thoroughly clean, it is wrapped in one or more white cotton sheets covering all the parts of the body
– The dead body is then placed on a bier or in a coffin and carried to the place of prayer, a mosque or any other clean premises. The body is put in a position with the face toward the qiblah (direction of Makkah).
– All participants in the prayer must perform an ablution unless they are keeping an earlier one. The imam stands beside the body facing the qiblah at Mecca with the followers behind him in lines.
– The imam raises his hands to the ears declaring the intention in a low voice to pray to God for that particular deceased one, and saying Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest). The worshippers follow the imam’s lead and after him place their right hands over the left ones under the navel as in others prayers
– Then the imam recites in a low voice the “Du’ a Thana’” and Al-Fatihah (the 1st chapter of the Qur’an) only.
– Then he says Allahu Akbar without raising his hands and recites the second part of the Tashahhud:
“Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammadin kamaa sallayta ‘ala Ibraheema wa ‘ala aali Ibraheem. Innaka hameedun majeed. Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammadin kamaa baarakta ‘ala Ibraheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraheem. Innaka hameedun majeed.” (O Allah, exalt Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You exalted Ibrahim (Abraham) and the family of Ibrahim. Verily You are full of praise and majesty. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim. Verily, You are full of praise and majesty.)
– Then he makes the third takbir saying Allahu Akbar without raising the hands and offers a supplication (du`aa’ ) in any suitable words he knows, preferably these
“O God! Grant forgiveness to our living and to our dead, and to those who are present and to those who are absent. And to our young and to our old folk, and to our males and to our females. O God! whomsoever You grant to live, from among us, help him to live in Islam, and whomsoever of us You cause to die, help him to die in faith. O God! Do not deprive us of the reward for patience on his loss, and do not make us subject to trial after him.”
– Then the fourth takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) without raising the hands is made followed by the concluding peace greetings right and left as in other prayers. It should be remembered that the worshippers behind in lines follow the lead of the Imam step by step and recite privately the same utterances in low voice.
– After completing the Prayer, the body is carried to the graveyard, there the body is lowered in the grave for burial with the face resting in the direction of Mecca. When lowering the body down these words are said:
“In the name of God and with God, and according to the Sunnah (Traditions) of the Messenger of God upon whom be the blessings and peace of God.”
– Besides these, any other fit prayers may be offered. If the deceased is a child under the age of puberty, the prayer is the same except that after the third Takbeer and instead of that long supplication the worshippers recite these words:
“O God! Make him (or her) our fore-runner, and make him for us a reward and a treasure, and make him for us a pleader, and accept his pleading.”
The whole funeral prayer is offered in the standing position.
Whenever a funeral procession passes by, be it of a Muslim or otherwise, every Muslim should stand out of respect for the dead.
The grave should be built and marked in a simple way. The dead body should be covered with white cotton sheets of standard material. Any extravagance in building the grave or dressing up the body in fine suits or the like is non-Islamic. It is false vanity and a waste of assets that can be used in many useful ways.
The custom of some Muslims of offering a big and costly banquet upon burial of the deceased is also non-Islamic and an irresponsible waste of money and effort that can be of infinite benefit If used otherwise.
The article is excerpted from the author’s well-known book “Islam in Focus”.
When what Allah willed had happened and the unbelievers were drowned, the rain stopped and the water sank away.
Noah stayed with his people for nine hundred and fifty years, calling them to Allah, but his people would not believe. They would not stop worshipping idols. They refused to return to Allah.
How long could Noah wait? How long could he watch the earth and its people being ruined? How long could he put up with his people worshipping stones? How long could he watch them eat from Allan’s provisions while they worshipped something else?
Why did Noah not get angry? He was more patient than anyone else could have been! Nine hundred and fifty years: Glory be to Allah!
Then Allah revealed to Noah: “None of your people will believe except those who have already believed.” (Hud 11:36)
When Noah called his people again, “they said, ’Noah! You have disputed with us and you have disputed often with us, so bring us what you promised us if you are speaking the truth’.” (Hud 11:32)
Noah became angry for Allah and despaired of those people. He called upon Allah not to leave even one of the unbelievers on the earth!
And Noah said: My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers in the land. (Nuh 71:26)
Allah answered Noah’s prayer and He decided what the fate of the unbelievers would be. All of them would be drowned in a great flood.
Allah wanted to save Noah and the believers. He commanded Noah to build a great ship, and Noah began straightaway.
The unbelievers from his people saw him working busily and they mocked: ‘What is this, Noah? Since when have you become a carpenter? Didn’t we tell you not to sit with the carpenters and ironsmiths and now you have really become a carpenter!
‘Where is this ship going, Noah? Everything about you is unbelievable! Is it going to sail in the sand or climb up the mountains? The sea is a long way from here. Will the jinn carry it or will oxen pull it?‘
Noah heard all that and was patient. He had heard worse things and had been patient. But sometimes he would say to them, “If you mock us, we will mock you as you mock.” (Hud 11:38)
The promise of Allah came. We seek refuge with Allah!
It rained and rained until the sky was like a sieve which could not hold the water. Water poured down and gushed up and flowed in until it surrounded the people on every side.
Then Allah revealed to Noah, Take with you those of your people and family who believe.’
Allah revealed to Noah to take with him a pair of every animal and bird, a male and a female, because the flood would cover the earth. Neither man nor beast would be saved from it. Noah did so. With him in the Ark were those of his people who believed in him and a pair of every bird and animal.
The Ark rode with them on waves like mountains. The people outside the Ark climbed onto every high place and every hill, fleeing from Allah’s punishment.
But there is no refuge from Allah except in Him.
Noan had a son who was with the unbelievers. Noah saw his son in the flood and said, “‘My son, embark with us and do not be with the unbelievers.’ He said, ‘I will seek refuge on a mountain that will protect me from the water.’
Noah said, ‘Today there is no protector from Allah’s command except for the one to whom He shows mercy.’
The waves came between them and Noah’s son was among the drowned.” (Hud 11: 42, 43)
Noah was sad about his son; How could he not be sad about his own son? He wanted to save him from the Fire on the Day of Judgment since he was not able to save him from the water. The Fire is worse than the water.
The punishment of the Next World is harsher. Did not Allah promise that He would save his family? Yes! And Allah’s promise is true. He wanted to speak to Allah on behalf of his son.
“He Is Not One of Your Family”
Noah called on his Lord and said, ‘My son is part of my family and Your promise is true. You are the most just of those that judge.’ (Hud 11:45)
But Allah does not look at people’s family trees. He looks at their actions. Allah does not accept pleas on behalf of idol-worshippers. The idol-worshipper is not part of a Prophet’s family, even if he is his son.
Allah made Noan aware of that. He said,”Noah, he is not part of your family; he is of evil conduct Do not ask of Me that about which you do not know, I warn you lest you be one of the ignorant.” (Hud 11:46)
Nun became aware and turned to Allah, repentant. He said; “My Lord, I take refuge with You lest I should ask of You something about which i have no knowledge. If you do not forgive me and show mercy to me, I will he among the losers.” (Hud 11:47)
After the Flood
When what Allah willed had happened and the unbelievers were drowned, the rain stopped and the water sank away.
The unbelievers of the people of Noah were destroyed. Neither the heavens nor the earth wept for them. It was said, “Away with the wrong-doing people!“ (Hud 11:44)
The Ark stopped on Mount Judi. It was said, ”Noah, get down in peace.” (Hud 11:48)
Noah and the people of the Ark got down and walked on the earth in peace. Allah blessed the descendants of Noah and they spread in the land and filled the earth.
There were communities among them and there were Prophets and kings among them.
Peace be upon Noah among all beings!
Peace be upon Noah among all the worlds! (As-Saffat 37:79)
The article is an excerpt from the author’s Stories of the Prophets, UK Islamic Academy publications.
Prophet Noah’s Call and Message
From Adam to Noah: The Need for Guidance