The Forty Hadith Of Imam Al-Nawawi Explanation by Sheikh Abdur Rahman Naseer Al-Barrak (Hadith 1)

Benefits Derived From The Forty Hadith Of Imam Al-Nawawi  Explanation by Sheikh Abdur Rahman Naseer Al-Barrak

Hadith 1

عن أميرِ المؤمنينَ أبي حفصٍ عمرَ بنِ الخطَّابِ رَضِي اللهُ عَنْهُ قالَ: سَمِعْتُ رسولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يقولُ: « إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بالنِّيَّاتِ وإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ ما نَوَى، فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلى اللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ، وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ لِدُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَو امْرَأَةٍ يَنْكِحُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ».

رواه إماما المحدثين : أبو عبد الله محمد بن إسماعيل بن إبراهيم بن المغيرة بن بَرْدِزْبَه البخاري، وأبو الحسين مسلم بن الحجاج بن مسلم القشيري النيسابوري في صحيحيهما اللذين هما أصح الكتب المصنفة.

On the authority of Ameer ul-Mu’mineen (the Commander of the Faithful), Abu Hafs `Umar ibn al-Khattab Radiallahu Anhu, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu alayhi was sallam say:

“Actions are but by intentions and every man shall have only that which he intended. Thus he whose migration (Hijrah to Madinah from Makkah) 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.”

(Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

It is related by the two Imams of the scholars of Hadith, Abu `Abdillaah Muhammad ibn Isma`eel ibn Ibraheem ibn al-Mugheera ibn Bardizbah al-Bukhari and Abu-l-Husain Muslim ibn al-Hajjaaj ibn Muslim al-Qushairee an-Naisaabooree, in their two Sahihs, which are the soundest of compiled books [i.e. the most truthful books after the Book of Allah, since the Qur’an is not ‘compiled’].



This hadith is a principle from the principles of the religion and is from the concise speech which the Messenger Sallallahu alayhi was sallam was given. Thus this hadith is used in every aspect of Islamic Jurisprudence and this hadith comprises many benefits some of which are:

  • That any action which is void of intention is invalid, no ruling nor any reward or penalty
  • That intention is a condition in every act of worship be it Salah (Prayer), Zakah (Alms) or Fasting, etc. Also one must make intention for the type of worship (they intend to do) and specify it. For example they must make intention for the current Salah (they are praying) or the Sunnah prayers after the obligatory prayers or that they were making up for missed days of fasting, similarly intention is also necessary for contracts whether they be transactional or otherwise or whether they be in the form of a gift or freeing a slave one must make intention
  • There is nothing to differentiate between two of the same actions except the intentions
  • Actions are dependent on intentions to either make them acceptable or corrupt and unacceptable. Likewise the reward of an action depends on the intention, so the corruption of one’s intention ultimately necessities the corruption of one’s action, such as the one who does an action other than for the sake of Allah. On the other hand correctness and soundness of ones action as there is another condition which needs to be fulfilled for one’s action to be accepted and that is the action must be in accordance with the Sunnah
  • A person will not gain from his action except that which he intended
  • The hadith shows the obligation of Sincerity (Al-Ikhlas) in actions for the sake of Allah
  • It shows the impermissibility of doing acts of worship for other than the sake of Allah
  • The permissibility of migrating from a country of Shirk to the country of Islam
  • The obligation of having Sincerity in migrating, only migrating for the sake of Allah, His Messenger, towards the Deen (Religion) and towards his Sunnah after his death
  • That whosoever makes their actions sincerely for the sake of Allah they shall gain what they were seeking in terms of the action being sound and in terms of reward. His action shall be correct and shall gain reward if all the conditions are met for an action to be accepted
  • That whomsoever does an action for the sake of worldly gain will only get what they intend of Allah wills,

مَنْ كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعَاجِلَةَ عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَاءُ لِمَنْ نُرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَاهَا مَذْمُومًا مَدْحُورًا

 Whoever desires the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell, he will burn therein disgraced and rejected, – (far away from Allah’s Mercy).[1]

  • That an action is rendered invalid if there is no sincerity
  • Intention is of two types:

1)    The Intention of the action, i.e. intending to do an action, example, Intending to perform Salah (Prayer)

2)     The Intention is for whom or for what reason this action was done, i.e. For the sake of Allah or for the sake of showing off

The first type of intention is mentioned in the part of the hadith where the messenger of Allah says “Indeed all actions are judged by Intentions”. The second intention is in the part where he says “and for a person is whatever he intended” (whether he intended the action to be for the sake of Allah or for another reason.)

  • Belittling the Dunya and its desires due to the Prophets statement “then his migration was for whatever he intended” by not mentioning what he will gain by migrating for the Dunya, as opposed to the in who migrated for Allah and His messenger for indeed he clarified what that person will gain, this is beautiful  speech and eloquence



[1] Surah Al-Isra: 18


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