Assalamu alaikum WRWB,


From Umar Ibn al-Khattab RA who said I heard the prophet SAW said, "Actions are judged according to intentions ...." (Bukhaari and Muslim)

Actions and deeds are judged according to intentions, and mankind should always intend and have in mind Allah SWT, and Him alone, in the execution of their religious deeds and other civil interactions. We should have Ikhlaas, or sincerity of purpose, in our Mu'amalat. Lack of Ikhlaas in our actions and deeds could even be synonymous to shirk -associating another being with Allah SWT - which will lead us ultimately to our destruction.

The prophet once said: "I fear for you the lesser shirk" and the sahaba asked: "What is a lesser shirk?". He said: "Show off"; Allah (SWT) will say on the day He rewards for deeds, to His servants, "Go to the ones you were showing off to (in the world) - And see whether you will get some good from them" .This is because their actions - both ibadaat and mu'amalat - were devoid of sincerity, and largely done for show off and worldly gains.

And the prophet said: "Allah (SWT) said:

"I am contented (do not desire) the deeds in which another is associated with Me".

 It is noted that He does not accept any deed, only what is devoid of Riyaa [show off], and only when done in good faith towards Allah (SWT), without any other in mind. He also does not reward such deeds except with the hell fire. For the Quran said:

"He who desires it in haste, We hasten it for him....and We place for him the hell fire"

i.e. he who desires the world, and not the hereafter, Allah will reward him, according to his intentions, with worldly material gains now while reserving the hell fire for him later.

Inspite of this the prophet cautioned that a group will appear at the end of time who will strive for worldly gains with the false pretence of sincere religious intents. Oh Allah,  distance us from them, amen.

A man came to the prophet and said: "O messenger of Allah, I gave out a sadaqah for the sake of Allah but I also desire that I be showered praises" and subsequently, according to certain sources, this verse was revealed

"Say O Muhammad, I am only a man like you it has been inspired to me that your Ilah [God] is one Ilah [God-Allah]. So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteous and associate none as partner in the worship of his Lord". (18:110)

All acts should therefore be done in good faith with Allah (SWT) in mind. And the prophet said: "He who performs a prayer well, while being observed by people, and performs it badly when alone...i.e. disgracing the Salat will himself be disgraced on the day of judgement". These people have also been cited in the Quran where Allah (SWT) says:

"Verily the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah but it is He who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Salat, they stand with laziness and to be seen by men and they do not remember Allah". (4:142)

People should also perform their daily Mu'amalat - not only Ibadat - with good intentions and sincerity of purpose, while interacting with other citizens of the Ummah. There should be no malice within the Ummah. For the Ummah functions, as the prophet said, like a human body, if one part is sick all of it is sick. We should work as a single whole regardless of individual differences, for the prophet even said: "None of you believes until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself". Insincerity, ill advised intentions, intrigues will not augur well, neither at the individual nor at the societal [Ummah] levels. Furthermore, insincerity leads to vices and other social evils; hypocrisy; etc. Rewards for
deeds, including judgements, performed with due sincerity are multiplied, even if the outcome is not as initially expected/intended, or even if it turns out to be a mistaken judgement, for actions are judged according to intentions. As always, one should perform his/her daily activities, ibadat and mu'amalat, cognisant of the authentic prophetic saying

"Serve Allah as if you are seeing Him, for if you do not see Him, He is seeing you".