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Online Quran Academy - Islamic Mentors

Importance of Making Sincere Intention


Origin and Definition of Intention

The word “Niyyah” is translated into English as “Intention“. It is not just a verbal statement but a silent prayer from the heart, a determination that comes before our actions. Niyyah is the foundation of worship and the essence of our actions. 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, sincere intentions refer to the inner desire to perform an action and its purpose. They involve the decision to act to please Allah Almighty and seek His rewards. It is believed that for an action to be accepted by Allah (SWT), it must be accompanied by an honest niyat. In other words, a pure and genuine intention is crucial for any action to be considered virtuous in Islam.

Allah knows what is in our Hearts

Surah Ali 'Imran ayat no 29

Say, O Prophet, “Whether you conceal what is in your hearts or reveal it, it is known to Allah. For He knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And Allah is Most Capable of everything.” (Surah Ali ‘Imran 29)

Surah Taghabun ayat no 4

He knows whatever is in the heavens and the earth. And He knows whatever you conceal and whatever you reveal. For Allah knows best what is hidden in the heart. (Surah Taghabun 4)

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, purify your heart and mind and ensure your niyat is pure. Consider your intention and ensure it aligns with your values and the teachings of your faith.

Understand the Purpose: It’s essential to clearly understand the purpose and significance of your intention, whether it be a prayer, a goal, or a decision you want to make.

Be Specific: When setting an intention, be specific and avoid vagueness. For instance, state the type of prayer, time, and additional details when praying.

Internalize your Intention: Your intention can be fulfilled by focusing on it with positive thoughts and emotions. Envision the positive results and benefits.

Hazrat Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him), reported that:

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

Clear intentions are crucial because they provide a sense of direction and purpose. They guide our actions and decisions toward what we truly desire, helping us stay focused, motivated, and accountable. Clear intentions enable us to make conscious choices that align with our values and goals, effectively communicating our desires to others and fostering better relationships and cooperation. Ultimately, having clear intentions empowers us to create the life we want and turn our dreams into reality. The importance of having clear intentions is also emphasized in the Quran.

The importance of having clear intentions is also explicit in the Quran;

Importance of making sincere intention

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, it is essential to have sincere intentions for any act of worship to be accepted by Allah. Here are some essential guidelines for establishing and maintaining intentions in various acts of worship:

Niyyah for Salah

Before starting each Namaz(Prayer), it is essential to make an intention in your heart for which specific Namaz(Prayer) you are praying (e.g., Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, or Isha). This intention or “niyyah” should be made solely for the pleasure of Allah. As Muslims, we must fulfill this obligation.

For more information, visit our blog Salah.

Niyyah for Salah

“I intend to pray [Pre/Post] [Sunnat/Fard] of [Subh/Dhuhar/Asr/Maghrib/’Ishhaa] [2 rak’ah/3 rak’ah/4 rak’ah] facing the Qibla (Ka’bah Shareef) [as Imaam/as Ma’moom] for Allah, the most Great”.

If you are an imam, you will say the word imam; if you are a muqtadi, you will say the word behind the imam when intending to pray.

Niyyah for Fasting

When you intend to fast, it is essential to have the intention in your heart before dawn. The intention should be to fast for the pleasure of Allah Almighty and to fulfill the obligation of fasting in the month of Ramadan or any other recommended fast. Ensure that you make this intention.

Also read our other blog Fasting: The Third Pillar of Islam.

Niyyah (Prayer) at the beginning of the Fast

By fasting tomorrow, you are making the intention to fast during the month of Ramadan.

Niyyah for fasting

Niyyah (Prayer) for the end of the Fast

Oh Allah, I have fasted for You, believed in You, and broken my Fast with Your provision.

Dua (Prayer) at the End of the Fast

Niyyah for Zakat (Alms)

When giving zakat, you should aim to purify your wealth and fulfill the duty of giving zakat as Islam prescribes. The intention should also be to seek Allah Almighty’s pleasure and help those in need.

Niyyah for Hajj and Umrah

Before starting the journey of Hajj or Umrah, it is crucial to have a pure and sincere intention of performing the pilgrimage solely for the pleasure of Allah (SWT), seeking His forgiveness and blessings. The intention should be to fulfill the Hajj or Umrah obligation and draw closer to Allah Almighty.

Read our other blog Understanding Hajj.

Niyyah for Hajj and Umrah

Oh Allah, I want to perform Umrah and Hajj, so please make them easy for me and accept them.

Do you Know What is Umrah?

Niyyah for Ablution

Before beginning the process of ablution, it is recommended that you purify yourself for the sake of Allah Almighty. Ablution is a requirement for prayer, and to gain the pleasure of Allah (SWT), you should intend to purify Yourself both physically and spiritually.

Intentions for Ghusl

When preparing to perform Ghusl, it is important to have the intention in your heart to purify yourself for the sake of Allah Almighty and fulfill the duty of Ghusl as permitted in Islam. The intention should be to purify yourself from major impurities, seek forgiveness, and attain spiritual purification.

Read our other blog on seeking forgiveness by Doing Istighfar.

Surah Baqarah ayat no 222

They ask you O Prophet about menstruation. Say, “Beware of its harm! So keep away, and do not have intercourse with your wives during their monthly cycles until they are purified. When they purify themselves, then you may approach them in the manner specified by Allah. Surely Allah loves those who always turn to Him in repentance and those who purify themselves.” (Surah Baqarah 222)

Niyyah for Janazah

When performing the funeral prayer, it’s crucial to have the intention in our hearts that we’re praying for the deceased and seeking the pleasure of Allah Almighty. This intention should be done sincerely; there’s no need to verbalize it as it’s an internal matter.

Role of Intention in Decision-Making

The role of intention in decision-making is crucial as it provides the primary motivation and purpose behind our choices. Intention helps us align our decisions with our values, goals, and desires, ensuring that our actions align with our true desires. By setting clear and genuine intentions, we can make more informed and purposeful decisions, leading to personal growth, fulfillment, and success. Niyat guides us, 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

The intentions behind our actions significantly impact our behavior and spiritual health. When our intentions are pure and good, they increase our sincerity, strengthen our relationship with Allah (SWT), and reward us for our efforts. However, when our intentions are bad, they can lead to dishonesty, lack of reward, and spiritual loss.

For example, if we intend to be compassionate and empathetic towards others, this will impact our behavior. We will be more aware of our words and actions and more likely to assist and support others. Conversely, if our intention is to be self-centered and selfish, we will prioritize our own needs and desires over the welfare of others.

The Transformative Power of Niyyah

Niyyah is a powerful tool that can transform our lives into an act of worship. It guides our actions, reflects our inner selves, and leads us to the pleasure of Allah (SWT). It is like a tall tower that provides direction, a mirror that reflects our true intentions, and a path that leads us toward our ultimate goal. Therefore, we should always strive to purify our intentions and make them aligned with the will of Allah (SWT) to attain His blessings and mercy. Let us try to harness the power of this transformation.

Let’s make a firm commitment to purify our intentions in our worship and every aspect of our lives. We must remember that Allah Almighty is All-Knowing and All-Seeing, and nothing is hidden from Him, not even the subtle whispers of our hearts.

Difference between Making Good and Bad Intention

Sometimes, people sincerely intend to do good, but unexpected circumstances prevent them from fulfilling their actions. According to Islam, even if the good deed was not carried out, people are still rewarded for it because of their sincere intention.

When the Prophet left Madinah on a campaign, some people requested him to take them along. However, he did not have enough resources to accommodate everyone, so some had to be left behind. The Prophet mentioned that these individuals who were left behind but intended to join him would still share the same reward as those who went with him. This is because of their sincere intentions and fair reasons for not being able to accompany him. The story is mentioned in the Qur’an.

Surah At-Tawbah ayat no 92 about the importance of making sincere intention

Nor [is there blame] upon those who, when they came to you for you to take them along, you said, “I can find nothing upon which to carry you.” They turned back while their eyes overflowed with tears out of grief that they could not find something to spend [for the cause of Allāh]. (Surah At-Tawbah 92)

Allah’s pleasure is not achieved by human efforts alone; Allah’s generosity and grace are required to receive His divine reward. The Prophet assured us of Allah’s generosity.

Narrated by Hazrat Abbas (RA):

The Prophet (SAW) narrated about his Lord I’m and said, “Allah ordered (the appointed angels over you) that the good and the bad deeds be written, and He then showed (the way) how (to write). If somebody intends to do a good deed and he does not do it, then Allah will write for him a full good deed (in his account with Him). Suppose he intends to do a good deed and did it. In that case, Allah will write for him (in his account) with Him (its reward equal) from ten to seven hundred times to many more times: and if somebody intended to do a bad deed and he does not do it, then Allah will write a full good deed (in his account) with Him, and if he intended to do it (a bad deed) and did it, then Allah will write one bad deed (in his account) .”

(Sahih al-Bukhari 6491)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Purpose of Niyyah?

In Islam, intention aims to establish the sincerity and focus of our actions. The main purpose of Niyyah is to please Allah Almighty.

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 (SWT).

What is the Root word for Niyyah?

Niyyah is the Arabic word for intention, derived from the letters nun, waw, and ya.

Is Niyyah Obligatory?

In Islam, sincerity and particular intention are considered obligatory for specific acts of worship, such as prayer, fasting, and Hajj. Thus, these activities are valid and acceptable to Allah Almighty.

What is the Reward of Niyyah in Islam?

In Islam, intentions are rewarded for their sincerity and purity. When a person worships with pure intention solely for Allah Almighty’s pleasure, he is rewarded for his intention and effort, regardless of the action’s result or outcome.


The importance of making sincere intentions, or niyyah, in Islam cannot be overstated. Niyyah forms the foundation upon which all actions and worship are built, serving as a crucial aspect of sincere devotion to Allah Almighty. It is through sincere intentions that our actions gain value and reward. By purifying our intentions, understanding the purpose behind our actions, and internalizing our commitment to please Allah, we can align our lives with the teachings of Islam and strive for spiritual growth and fulfillment. Whether it is in acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, or Hajj, or in our daily decisions and interactions, the power of niyyah guides us toward righteousness, compassion, and humility.






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