Origin and Definition of Intention
Niyyah is translated in English as intention. It is not merely a verbal declaration; it is the silent prayer of the heart, an inner resolve that precedes our actions. Niyyah is the pillar of worship and the essence and foundation of action. Niyyah is very important in Ibaadah as like niyyah for Wudu, niyyah for Ghusl, niyyah for Salah, niyhyah for Janazah, niyyah for Fasting niyyah for Hajj and Umrah.
What is the Meaning of Intention
In Islam, the meaning of sincere intentions refers to the inner desire to do something and the purpose behind an action. To act to please Allah and obtain His reward is a serious and well-thought-out decision and an honest desire. It is believed that for an action to be accepted by Allah, complete with something else an honest niyat is necessary.
How to Set and Maintain Intentions
How to Make Niyyah
To make Sincere Intentions or Niyat, follow these steps:
Purify your intention: Before making any intention, get your heart and mind pure niyat and purity of intention. Consider your intention and make sure it aligns with your values and the teachings of your faith.
Understand the Purpose: Clearly understand the purpose and importance of your intention. Whether it’s a prayer, a goal you want to achieve, or a decision you want to make, be clear about why you’re making that intention.
Be Specific: Make your intention specific and clear. Avoid vague or general intentions. For example, if you are planning a prayer, state the type of prayer, the time, and any additional details.
Internalize your Intention: your intention by focusing your thoughts and emotions on it. Visualize yourself fulfilling the intention and imagine the positive results or benefits that will result.
‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (R.A), reported:
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, his emigration will be for Allah and His Messenger; and whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration would be for what he emigrated for”.[Riyad as-Salihin 1]
Importance of Having Clear Intentions
Having clear intentions is important because they provide direction and purpose in our lives, guiding our actions and decisions to what we truly desire. They help us stay focused, motivated, and accountable, allowing us to make choices that align with our values and goals consciously. Sincere Intentions enable us to effectively communicate our desires to others, fostering better relationships and cooperation. Ultimately, having clear intentions gives us the power to create the life we want and manifest our dreams into reality.
The importance of having clear intentions is also explicit in the Quran;
Even though they were only commanded to worship Allah alone with sincere devotion to Him in all uprightness, establish prayer, and pay alms-tax. That is the upright Way. [Bayyinah Ayat 5]
Important Activities in Islam
In Islam, making sincere intentions is essential for any act of worship to be accepted by Allah. Here are some important guidelines for establishing and maintaining intentions in various acts of worship:
Niyyah for Salah
Before starting each Namaz, it is important to make an intention in your heart for which specific Namaz you are praying (eg Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, or Isha). The niyat should be solely for the pleasure of Allah and as a Muslim, one should fulfill one’s duty.
Niyyah for Fasting
When one intends to fast, it is necessary to have the intention in one’s heart before dawn, the intention to fast for the pleasure of Allah, and to fulfill the obligation of fasting in the month of Ramadan or any other mustahab fast. should be done.
Niyyah for Zakat (Alms)
The intention when giving Zakat should be to purify your wealth and fulfill the duty of giving Sadaqah as prescribed in Islam. The intention should be to seek Allah’s pleasure and help the needy.
Niyyah for Hajj and Umrah
Before starting the journey of Hajj or Umrah, it is essential to have a sincere intention to perform Hajj or Umrah solely for the pleasure of Allah, for His forgiveness and blessings. The intention should be to fulfill the obligation of Hajj or Umrah and to gain closeness to Allah.
Niyyah for Ablution
Before starting the process of ablution, it is mustahab to keep the intention of self-purification for the pleasure of Allah in your heart and fulfill the obligation of ablution as a condition of prayer. To gain the pleasure of Allah, one must intend to purify oneself physically and spiritually.
Intentions for Ghusl
When intending to perform Ghusl, you must have the intention in your heart to purify yourself for the sake of Allah and to fulfill the duty of Ghusl as is permissible in Islam. The intention should be to purify oneself from major impurities, seek forgiveness, and seek spiritual purification.
Niyyah for Janazah
While performing the funeral prayer, it is necessary to have the intention that we as Muslims pray for the deceased and seek the pleasure of Allah. The intention should be done in the heart and there should be sincerity. It is not necessary to verbalize the intention as it is an internal matter.
Role of Intention in Decision-Making
The role of intention in decision-making is very important because it provides the primary motivation and purpose behind our choices. Intention helps us align our decisions with our values, goals, and desires. Which, ensures that our actions align with our true desires. By setting clear and sincere intentions, we can make more informed and purposeful decisions. Resultantly, leading in personal growth, fulfillment, and success. Niyat acts as a guiding force, helping us stay focused, motivated, and committed to our decisions despite challenges or distractions. Ultimately, intention empowers us to make choices that align with our desired outcomes and contribute to our well-being.
Impact of Intention on Behavior
Having good Intentions has a profound effect on our actions and spiritual well-being. It increases our sincerity, strengthens our relationship with Allah, and ensures that we are rewarded for our efforts. Having bad intentions can lead to dishonesty, lack of reward, and spiritual loss.
Impact of Intention on Behavior
The effect of intention on behavior is significant. When we set Sincere Intentions for our actions, it is a guiding force that directs our behavior to achieve that intention. Our intentions shape our thoughts, feelings, and actions, which influence the choices we make and the way we interact with others.
For example, if we intend to be compassionate and empathetic towards others, this will influence our behavior. Consequently, it makes us more mindful of our words and actions, and more inclined to help and support others. On the other hand, if we intend to be self-centered and selfish, it will lead us to behave in ways that prioritize our own needs and desires over the well-being of others.
The Transformative Power of Niyyah
In conclusion, Niyyah is a powerful tool that can transform our entire lives into an act of worship. It is a tower that guides our actions, a mirror that reflects our inner self, and a path that leads us to the pleasure of Allah (SWT).
Let us try to harness the power of this transformation. Let’s make a firm commitment to purify our intentions not only in our worship but in every aspect of our lives. We must remember that Allah is All-Knowing and All-Seeing and nothing is hidden from Him, not even the subtle whispers of our hearts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Purpose of Niyyah?
The purpose of intention in Islam is to establish the sincerity and focus of one’s actions. The main purpose of Niyyah is to gain the pleasure of Allah.
How important is Niyat in Islam?
Intention is considered very important in Islam. This is the foundation on which all actions and worship are built. In Islam, it is the belief that the intention behind an action determines its value and reward in the eyes of Allah.
What is the Root word for Niyyah?
Niyyah is the Arabic word for intention, and it is derived from the letters nun, waw, and ya.
Is Niyyah Obligatory?
The intention is considered obligatory in Islam for certain acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, and Hajj. It is important to have sincerity and special intention before engaging in these activities so that they are valid and acceptable to Allah.
What is the Reward of Niyyah in Islam?
In Islam, the reward of intentions is in the sincerity and purity of intentions. When a person worships with pure intention solely for the pleasure of Allah, he is rewarded for his intention and effort, regardless of the result or outcome of the action.