The powerful tool of a pure intention

"If My servant considers doing a sin, do not record it against him. If he acts upon it, record it as one sin. If he considers doing a good deed and does not do it, record it as one good deed, and if he actually does it, record it as 10 good deeds." (Muslim)

The powerful tool of a pure intention 

We all know that intentions are a powerful tool to get what you want. We have all read or heard about "the Secret". But do you know that the thing they refer to as Universe actually is Allah? It is Allah who sustains every soul with what he or she wants. Allah responds to your prayer. What the Secret doesn't talk about is that, apart from being thankful and in great mood, you also have to have a pure intention and an intention that is in lign with what is good and right, or as the Muslims say, halal.
If you have bad intentions, perhaps you will get what you want, but what you don't know is that you will not only be judged according to what you have intended but you will either be rewarded or punished.
Another thing about intention is that you won't have the effect of the intention for this life only. You will also have the effect in the next life. So, The intention must be for the sake of Allah and you must only desire or intend what Allah has said to you that you can enjoy, things that are halal.
For example; if you want to have a good reputation in this world, you might get it, but the intention will only last for this life, not the next life. Why?
Another example. If you intend to read Qur'an to have a good reputation, then it will also last only this life. Why? The answer is that the Qur'an is a good thing to read, but if your intention is for the sake of this world's affairs, then everything will be jumbled, because you didn't believe in the hereafter and you didn't do it for the sake of Allah. Even though it is a good intention to read Qur'an it is not good if it is mixed up with the intention of being famous. It will not be accepted and rewarded in the next life, only in this life. And Allah knows best.
You can not intend something that, in the next life, will not be accepted; things that are forbidden, or as the Muslims say, haram. For example. You want to use magic. This is a thing that is forbidden. You have intended something forbidden. If you have intended a forbidden thing, you might get it in this life, but you could also be punished both in this life and in the next life. Why? Because it is not a good thing to intend, it is something that is haram, forbidden.
So the effect is that, if you are a Believer, a Muslim, and you have intended that forbidden thing, you have intended something in vain; for this life and the next one.

'Umar b. al-Khattab narrated that the Prophet (S) said: Deeds are [a result] only of the intentions [of the actor], and an individual is [rewarded] only according to that which he intends. Therefore, whosoever has emigrated for the sake of Allah and His messenger, then his emigration was for Allah and His messenger. Whosoever emigrated for the sake of worldly gain, or a woman [whom he desires] to marry, then his emigration is for the sake of that which [moved him] to emigrate." Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.

Intentions are powerful

Be careful with your intentions. Intentions are powerful. That is why Allah has given us tools, hadiths on how to pray and what to say when we intend something. Allah has said that our thoughts are very important and that they must be pure. The thoughts must not only be pure, they must also be good and halal. Allah has taught us what we must say when we intend or pray for something.
There are quite many hadiths about intentions and douas that you can use.
You must also remember that the intention you have and the thoughts that are in your mind should be something that is good. If you get something that you really wanted, it  may be that it is not what you really needed or wanted, when you look at it afterwards. How? The answer is that the thing that you really desired could be a thing that is not good for you, even if it is halal. How?
When Allah gives you what you intended, others things can come along with it. For example. A man wants a nice, expensive car. He intends for it and Allah gives him a car. But with that particular car he will also have an accident. And Allah knows what is best for us and what awaits us when choosing in our lives. So let Allah decide for us. So, another example. Another man also wants a nice, expensive car. He really wants to have it but he has knowledge that if he gets the car something bad might happen. So what does he do? He asks Allah for what is best for him and that Allah shall protect him against evil. That is the best intention you can have.
So, be careful for what you wish for. It may come true, with everything with it.
And don't be sad if the intention doesn't come to you, because it may be that Allah has protected you from something that is worse.

Umar bin Al-Khattab was on the pulpit and he said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, saying, “Indeed, deeds are only with intentions. Indeed, every person will get rewarded only for what they intended. Therefore, whoever emigrated (to Medina) for worldly reasons or for a woman, then his emigration is for what he has emigrated to.”
[Sahih Bukhari, Book 1, Number 1]

عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ عَلَى الْمِنْبَرِ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ إِنَّمَا الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى دُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوْ إِلَى امْرَأَةٍ يَنْكِحُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ
صحيح البخاري كتاب بدء الوحي باب بدء الوحي

To learn more about intentions, you must read The Complete Forty Hadith by Imam An-Nawawi. You can find it here in English.

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