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Effects of Good Intentions on Permissible Acts

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Shaykh Nathim Sultan

According to the scholars, a Mubaah (permissible) act is the act that neither brings about reward, if performed, nor brings about punishment, if abandoned. Performing or abandoning the Mubaah are the same. Yet, one will gain a reward if he precedes performing a Mubaah with a good intention, such as eating with intention to be stronger in the obedience to Allah and His Messenger, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, and one’s working in the intention that he support his family and save himself from the humiliation of begging others, etc.

Many scholars agree with this understanding. Ibn Al-Qayyim said, "Those who are the closest to Allah are the ones who have their Mubaah turned into acts of worship and into a means of approach to Allah, on account of their good Niyyah. They no longer have a Mubaah that is equal on both side (where doing or abandoning it are the same). All their deeds are leaning to one side, (that is, they always gain a reward)." Also, ibn Al-Hajj Al-Maliki said, "With the Niyyah, Al-Mubaah may become a Mandoob (preferred act). And if we can precede an act with a Niyyah similar to that which precedes performing an obligation, it will be even better in this case, because of the Qudsi Hadith, ‘And My slave will not perform any act of worship better in My Sight than doing that which I have obliged on him.’ [al-Bukhari" Also, An-Nawawi said, in his book, Al-Arba`un an-Nawawiyyah, about this Hadith (#25 of the Forty Nawawi Hadiths), "This Hadith proves that Al-Mubaah acts will be turned into acts of worship if accompanied by good intentions. Sexual intercourse (for example) becomes an act of worship if one intends by it to satisfy and fulfill his wife’s rights, to live with her in a way that is better, to seek an offspring and to help himself and his wife to preserve their honor and to avoid looking at, thinking about or intending to commit any impermissible act, etc."

What gives further proof to the validity of these sayings by the respected scholars, is the Hadith by the Prophet to Saa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, "You will not give away a charity with which you seek Allah’s Face, but you will gain a reward for it, including what you put in your wife’s mouth (of food)." [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]. After mentioning this Hadith, An-Nawawi said, "Putting a bite (of food) in the wife’s mouth, is usually an act of fondling her. Therefore, it has a lot to do with one’s desire. Yet, if a good intention and seeking the rewards with Allah precede this action mentioned in this case, then this person will gain a reward as a bounty from Allah."

Imam As-Suyuty said, "One of the best supporting evidence that the scholar have used to prove that the Muslim will gain a reward on account of his good intention when performing Al-Mubaah, is the Prophet’s saying, ‘And every person will earn that which he intended.’ Those who do this (preceding Al-Mubaah with a good intention), will gain a reward if they intend (by their actions) to draw closer to Allah. However, if they did not intend that, then they will not gain any reward." Also, the Prophet said, "And one will be performing an act of charity when he has sexual intercourse (with his wife)." The companions said, "O Messenger of Allah! Will one be satisfying his desire and still gain a reward?" He said, "Do you see that if he satisfies this desire with Haraam (illegal sexual intercourse), will he carry the weight of this evil act? Likewise, if he satisfies it with Halal (permissible means, with the wife), he will gain a reward." [Muslim & Ahmad]

Courtesy Of: Islaam.com

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