عن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه مرفوعاً: «إنما الأعمال بِالنيَّات، وإنما لكل امرئ ما نوى، فمن كانت هجرتُه إلى الله ورسوله فهجرتُه إلى الله ورسوله، ومن كانت هجرتُه لدنيا يصيبها أو امرأةٍ ينكِحها فهجرته إلى ما هاجر إليه». [صحيح] - [متفق عليه] المزيــد ...
‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Verily, the reward of deeds depends on the intentions, and each person will be rewarded according to what he intended. So, he whose migration is for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, then his migration is for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, and he whose migration is to achieve some worldly gain or to take some woman in marriage, then his migration is for that for which he migrated." Sahih/Authentic. - [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This is a greatly significant Hadīth and some of the scholars have considered it to be one third of Islam. The believer will be rewarded according to his intention and the level of its righteousness. So the one whose deeds are sincerely devoted to Allah, they will be accepted even if they are few on condition that they comply with the Sunnah. On the other hand, the one whose deeds are done for the sake of showing off before people and are not sincerely devoted to Allah, they will be rejected even if they are grand and numerous. Any deed that is done for the sake of something other than Allah, whether it is done for the sake of a woman, money, prominence, or any other worldly affair, Allah will not accept it. This is because the two conditions for the acceptance of any righteous deed are: that it be sincerely devoted to Allah alone, and that it complies with the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him).
It urges sincerity, for Allah does not accept any deed unless it is done sincerely for His sake.
In the case of deeds meant to win Allah’s pleasure, a person will not be rewarded for doing such deeds if he observes them as part of his routine, though the deed itself is a valid one, unless he seeks thereby to win Allah’s pleasure.
It points out the merit of emigration for the sake of Allah and His Messenger and that it is a pious act because it is done for Allah’s sake.
This Hadīth is one of the Hadīths that constitute the core of Islam. The scholars said that Islam revolves around two Hadīths, namely this one and the Hadīth reported by ‘Ā’ishah: “Whoever does an act contrary to our matter, it will be rejected.” This Hadīth is the main criterion of the heart’s actions and inward deeds, whereas the Hadīth of ‘Ā’ishah is the major criterion of the body’s actions.
Acts of worship should be distinguished from one another and from dealings. Nothing can distinguish between apparently similar deeds but the intention.
A deed without intention is useless and entails no question of validity or recompense.
He who is sincere in what he does will secure his objective, namely the validity of the deed and its recompense. If the relevant requirements are met, his deed is valid and worthy of reward.
When done without sincerity to Allah, a deed is rendered worthless.
It belittles worldly life and its desires, as indicated by the words: “Then, his immigration is for what he has immigrated for.” He kept what will happen to he who immigrates for worldly life unidentified, whereas he explicitly mentioned what will happen to he who immigrates for Allah and His Messenger. This is indeed an eloquent and profound way of speech!