RAMADAN with WISDOM [Part 1] “Deeds are upon intention”

“Deeds depend upon intentions, and every person gets but what he has intended….”[1]. So if one does a fasting seeking the pleasure of Allah, he gets that. The first sentence, “deeds depend upon intentions”, point to the validity of an action depends upon the intention, whether they are valid, invalid, acceptable, and unacceptable, while the second sentence, “every person gets but what he has intended” suggests that a person would be accountable for his actions according to his intention, rewarded for good and valid intention, punished for evil and invalid intention and neither rewarded or punished for allowed actions.

What is intention?

Technically, intentions distinguish between; one action from another, specifying an obligatory act of fasting in Ramadan or an optional fasting; one acts of worship and other taken habitually, such as ritual bathing and normal bathing. Moreover, intentions elucidate the aim of the action, whether seeking the face of Allah, for Allah and others, and for others. The Quran states:

“Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter – We increase for him in his harvest. And whoever desires the harvest of this world – We give him thereof, but there is not for him in the Hereafter any share.”[2]

Prophet (S) said:

“If anyone fights in a war for the sake of Allah, seeking only one ‘Iqal (fetter), he will get what he sought”[3]

The Intention behind Fasting

Fasting should be for the sake of Allah as any act. Jurisprudentially, an intention should be particular to an act, which means a general intention would not suffice. On the other hand, one has to be aware of the intention, that he should refresh it during the course of act, restricting from any evil interrupt the sincerity. One should intent specifically that the first day of Ramadan is being intended to fast and for the sake of Allah alone.

Prophet (S) said: “Whoever has not resolve for the fast at night, there is no fast for him.”[4]

Pronouncing out the intention

“Intention is the expression of what is determined in one’s mind,” said, Ibn Rajab al Hanbali[5]. So it is not necessary to express the intention verbally. There is no evidence to articulate intention either from the Quran or from the Hadith and the way of salaf (Pious predecessors).

Sufyan Ath Thawry said: “The most difficult thing I keep observing is my intention, as it is always apt to change.”

[1]Sahih Bukhari

[2]Quran 42: 20

[3] [Sunan Nasa’ai, Musnad Ahmed, As- Sahih by Ibn Hibban, Al- Mustadrak, Graded ‘Sahih’ by Al- Albanee in Sahih Al Jami’]

[4]Musnad Ahmed

[5]Jami’ Al- ‘Ulum Wal- Hikam