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Clarification on Hadiths regarding good/bad intentions

Question

1) The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “What I fear for you the most is the minor shirk, that is ar-riya. Allah will say on the Day of Judgement when He is rewarding the people for their actions: Go to those for whom you did riya for in the world then see if you find the reward with them.” Related by Musnad Ahmed (5/428, 429)

2) The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Shall I not inform you of what I fear for you more than the Masih ad-Dajjal? It is the hidden shirk. It is when a man stands up for prayer, then beautifies his prayer for another to look at.” Related by Ibn Majah (2604)

My question in relation to the meaning of these Hadith is: does it apply to people who performed worship or did good deeds for the sake of riya and/or does it also apply to people who performed worship and did good deeds for the sake of Allah, but then later on implemented the intentions/thoughts of riya. Please confirm what the Muhadithun say in regards to this. JazakAllah.

 

Answer

Some Muhaddithun have stated that the intention made at the beginning of the action is considered. Some have said it is the motive that is dominant in one’s mind which will count.

(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 1)

 

However, bear in mind the following:

The second Hadith clearly states,

‘…It is when a man stands up for prayer, then beautifies his prayer for another to look at.’

The apparent meaning of this Hadith does refer to a person who initially didn’t have any foul intention, but changed his intention when he noticed others looking at him.

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar