This Hadith is constantly being quoted by Muslims. Interestingly enough, I don't think many who use it have actually read the Hadith in its original form. Often times when it's used, it's from those who try to excuse wrongdoings or acts that we are told to stay away from by saying "my intentions were good". I think we forget that this Hadith doesn't generally reply to just wrongdoings but even things that might be good to do. Our deeds/actions should match our intentions but if our intentions aren't pure but our deeds are 'good', we're missing out on getting the full barakah.
I attended a lecture once and the Da'ae spoke about a friend he knew who always gave great lectures to the ummah. After a while, his friend started realizing that his intentions for doing these lectures were not simply to improve the ummah or guide them. While these were part of his intentions, he knew that he also did them because he was liking the attention he was getting. He liked that people were referring to him as righteous and pious. He liked that he felt as if he was better than them. He liked being their 'reminder' to do better. After this realization, he stopped speaking. He didn't stop speaking publicly because there was something wrong with people thinking he was righteous and pious. He stopped speaking publicly because he started to realize that part of the motivation behind him giving his lectures was the recognition. His intentions were no longer primarily for the sake of Allah(SWT) but for admiration from the creation.
This is something that we as Muslims, especially those who consistently give advice, need to remember. This is bigger than just giving advice though. Whenever we're doing anything, we should check our intentions. Why are you observing hijab? Why did you stop listening to music? Why do you pray tahajjud regularly? Why do you want to become a hafiza? All these actions/deeds are great and Alhamdulilah, we should all strive to do them but the why is also important. Are you doing it to adhere to Allah(SWT)? Are you doing it to praise him? Are you doing it to become a better Mu'min? Are you doing it so people can say "mashaAllah, Aisha is so pious" or so you can say "Alhamdulilah, I am better than Khadijah"? Why did you feel the need to announce these actions on social media? It's important that we keep our intentions pure and don't get caught up in labels and 'worldly' categories/accolades.
I personally constantly think about the intentions behind all of my actions in relation to Islam. If you're doing a noble act for the wrong reason, the solution isn't to stop doing the act but to sit down, reflect, and find ways to adjust your intentions. Keep praying tahajjud, continue observing hijab, keep limiting non-mahram interactions, continue working on memorizing the Qur'an. Just make sincere dua to Allah(SWT) that your intentions remain pure and sincere.
I’m going to use this post to introduce myself. In sha Allah, knowing more about me will allow you to understand my posts a bit better. So, where do I start? Well I’m a 23 year old Nigerian Muslimah living in the US. I was born and raised in a Muslim household and come from a pretty big family. I enjoy cooking, reading, learning and traveling. I am married, Alhamdulilah. My husband is American and reverted to Islam six years ago. We’ve been married for a year and currently do not have any children but in sha Allah, someday, we will.
I studied Islam, politics, development and economics in school and I've previously worked for non-profit organizations. Currently, I spend my time being an awesome wife, managing Striving For Modesty, being a matchmaker, working as a Younique Presenter, volunteering with various community organization, and now, contributing to Striving For Clarity. You’re probably wondering why and how I do all these things. Well 1. I love being busy and 2. There are so many things that I want to do and I believe that if I prioritize and manage my time well, I can do them all. Alhamdulilah, I have so far been successful in all of my endeavors. You’re probably also wondering how a ‘proper’ Muslimah can be a Younique Presenter. The simple response to that is- Islam has guidelines and boundaries and as long as one stays within them, all is well. There is nothing impermissible about makeup in itself. What can be impermissible is the manner in which it is used, such as being tabarruj(adorning ones self in the presence of non-mahram). I take care in ensuring that I don’t fall outside of the boundaries. I’m sure I’ll go into more details about this in a future post.
Islam is something that I consider an integral part of my life and I’m always striving to be a better Muslim. I love learning new things and I am always interested in discovering new knowledge about Islam. When I am introduced to new knowledge, I generally research it more in depth and if I find that the information is authentic, I ponder over how I will incorporate it into my life.
With that being said, it’s important to mention that I am extremely cautious of where I get knowledge from and who I ‘listen’ to when it comes to religious advice. My husband and I believe in following the Qur’an and Sunnah and practicing Islam in the manner endorsed by the Pious Predecessors. Most people would probably characterize us as strict or conservative. For the most part, we are conservative and prefer ‘adherent’ over strict.
We don’t celebrate or observe un-Islamic holidays(notice I said UN-Islamic and not non-Islamic) such as Christmas, Halloween, etc. in any way. We try to limit interactions with members of the opposite gender and outside of work and family, avoid gender mixing. We generally read the Qur’an everyday and discuss the ayat we read. We try our best to adhere to the deen and not look for ‘loopholes’. We pray, we fast, we engage in charity work and overall, try to represent Islam in a positive way.
I do observe hijab by wearing a headscarf and an abaya/jilbab. I previously wore niqab but I no longer do. At the moment, I am working on memorizing more of the Qur'an and preparing for Ramadan. I have grown over the years in regards to my adherence to Islam and I, in sha Allah, hope to grow and improve even more.
Overall, I look forward to contributing loads of interesting ‘tidbits’ to my “corner”. I love getting feedback and engaging in dialogue so please leave comments on my posts and ask questions!
About "Life Gems"
Welcome to another addition to "Lady_Meansie's Corner". This portion of my corner is essentially my blog. The posts will be short but packed with important reminders for fellow Muslimahs. Remember to leave your thoughts in the comments. I love engaging in dialogue with my fellow Muslimahs.