Everything you do, do for Allah ﷻ. There are so many things we do on a daily basis, from brushing our teeth, eating breakfast, studying, working, etc. But do we do them with the right intention, or have the tasks just become habits we do without thinking about them?
Many of us do not think about these every day actions as being something to get closer to Allah by. We tend to think that good deeds are only obvious acts of worship like praying, fasting, and dhikr. However, depending on our intention, a normal, everyday activity can become an act of worship that we can use to help us gain blessing in this life and the hereafter باذن الله.
The prophet ﷺ said in a hadith:
On the authority of Omar bin Al-Khattab, who said : I heard the messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam say : “Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus he whose migration was for Allah and His messenger, his migration was for Allah and His messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that for which he migrated.” ~ Related by Bukhari and Muslim
Our actions are defined by our intentions. We must alter our intentions to get the goodness from whatever acts we preform. Of course, things that Allah and His messenger have made impermissible in Islam can never become acts of worship, but empty actions that are just a part of everyday life can definitely be changed.
For example, a person can wake up in the morning and eat breakfast. It is not impermissible to eat breakfast, so long as what the person is eating is halal. This act is quite an empty action other than the fact that the person may have said “Bismillah” before he or she ate. What could give this action a heavier weight on the scales?
If a person makes his or her intention that he or she is eating breakfast to have the energy to pray and worship Allah throughout the day, he or she has now magnified the value of this simple action. Now, everytime the person eats breakfast with this intention, Allah سبحانه و تعالى gives him or her a reward for the action that would otherwise have little or no spiritual benefit.
We can take advantage of this in every aspect of our lives. When it comes to school, work, family obligations, chores, and even relaxation time, we can perform these actions with a good intention in hopes that Allah will reward us for even the most trivial day to day activities. When we need to take a break, go out for coffee, hang out with friends, or stay at home and watch a movie, we make our intention that we are taking the break in order to have the mental capacity continue living and working for Allah.
Always doing things for Allah creates a sense of consciousness about Him عزّ وجلّ. Now, because of our intention, we do not do things we are not supposed to do, we do not watch things we are not supposed to watch, and we do not say things that Allah would not be pleased with. Why? Because all of the actions that we do, we are doing them with the intention of making Allah happy and gaining reward.
We never know what action will tilt the scale on the Day of Judgement, and we should try our hardest to accumulate as many good deeds as possible. Letting an opportunity to do good miss us should never be an option for us believers. We strive to do as much as we can so that perhaps with our good deeds, Allah erases our bad deeds that we would otherwise not be able to erase. Let us begin to pay attention to our intentions and make them solely for Allah سبحانه و تعلى and hopefully gain much blessing in doing so.
May Allah make us of those who do all of our actions for Him. May He make us conscious of Him, and may He make us of those who recognize His perfection and our shortcomings. We ask the Most Merciful to forgive our sins and overlook our shortcomings. We ask Him to make us like our father Ibrahim عليه السلام. When he said:
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.”
Holy Quran [6:162]
و الله أعلم و صل الله على نبينا محمد