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Intention when performing Ibadah

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Allah created us humans and angels with the sole purpose of worshipping HIM. The purpose of our good deeds should be solely for carrying out this command of Allah and to fulfill this purpose. Pleasing Allah should be the sole purpose behind our good deeds. But most of us, especially myself, offer salaah not as a duty bound slave but for ulterior motive of gaining benefit in this world. I pray so that I can ask Allah for increase in rizq or to gain prosperity in business.


Sometimes when I sit alone and ponder, I feel guilty that I am using the farz salaah as a means to worldly benefits because I am always asking Allah for something or the other. I am not praying solely for making HIM happy. Is such salaah valid? I tell myself that if I want worldly benefit I should pray nafl, or better still beg of HIM in Tahajjud and not in the 5 farz salaat as those salaat are our duty. Am I right in thinking in this way? Please advise as I am eaten by guilt.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

Your enthusiasm and eagerness to perfect your Deen is commendable. May Allah accept you and keep you steadfast. Ameen.

 You are correct. All Ibadah and good deeds should be solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. It is stated in a Hadith,

«إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَقْبَلُ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ إِلَّا مَا كَانَ لَهُ خَالِصًا، وَابْتُغِيَ بِهِ وَجْهُهُ»

‘Allah does not accept any deed, except that which is purely for Him, and seeking His pleasure.'(Sunan an-Nasa’i 3140)

It is therefore necessary to correct our Niyyah (intention) when doing any Ibadah. In doing so, Allah Ta’ala would give barakah and good in this world and the Aakhirah.

As you stated, it would be ideal to beg Allah Ta’ala in Tahajjud and nafl Salah to fulfil your needs. You should ask Allah not only for increase in wealth, but for Barakah in it. Imam Bukhari Rahimahullah narrated the following Hadith,

Narrated by Um Sulaim: that she said, “O Allah’s Messenger (Sallalahu Alahi Wa Sallam)! Anas is your servant, so please invoke for Allah’s blessing for him.” The Prophet (Sallalahu Alahi Wa Sallam) said, “O Allah! Increase his wealth and offspring and give Barakah in whatever You give him.”(Bukhari 6378)

Also, one must remember that the true prosperity for a believer is prosperity in Imaan and closeness to Allah Ta’ala, not in worldly gains.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Arshad Ali

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.



This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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