On The Importance of Intention, and the First Hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari

Bismillahi Rahmaani Raheem,

With the name of Allah, the most loving & caring, the always loving and caring,

Praise be to Allah, and we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds.

Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.


For anything to have truly blessing in it, it must be begun with the sending of praise upon Allah , and prayers upon our Messenger . That is how all khutbas are given. But the step before even that is to form the intention in one’s heart; what one intends to do (when and where are also included in this), why he intends to do it, and for whom.

We should strive towards making the answers to why, and for whom, our Lord – in everything we do. And in acts that are directly for seeking the pleasure of our Lord, it is even more important to keep our intention in check, to ensure that we truly are doing what we are doing for our Lord. It is scarily easy to fall into the traps of showing off, arrogance and even indirect shirk when one does the act for someone other than Allah.

The first hadith in the Sahih of Imam Bukhari talks exactly of this:

Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:

I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”

We have much to learn from this Hadith itself — and we must apply this advice in everything we do. Turning off the TV when someone is praying salah? Say bismillah. Drinking water? Say bismillah. Walking to the masjid? Say bismillah!

Doing so truly keeps our intentions in line, and reminds us of it. And, this is also a great way to remember our Lord in everything we do — a key part of ever having taqwa.

And when Imam al-Bukhari and also Imam Nawawi) put this hadith at the very start of their collection — truly, they wished to start their work with the right intention and so they put the hadith stressing its importance right there. I wanted to start this website the same way.

As salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi, wa barakaatuh,

May peace of every aspect be upon you, along with the mercy of God and also His blessing


Sahih al-Bukhari: 1

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