The Importance of Pure Intention: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

The muhaddith Ibn Hibbaan brings the following narration in his Saheeh:

 حدثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب أنبأ العباس بن الوليد بن مزيد البيروتي أخبرني أبي قال : سمعت الأوزاعي يقول : حدثني أبو كثير الزبيدي عن أبيه قال

 سألت أبا ذر فقلت : دلني على عمل إذا عمل العبد به دخل الجنة قال : سألت عن ذلك رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ، فقال : تؤمن بالله . قال : قلت يا رسول الله إن مع الإيمان عملًا ؟ قال : يرضخ مما رزقه الله . قلت : وإن كان معدما لا شيء له ؟ قال : يقول معروفا بلسانه . قال : قلت فإن كان عيبا لا يبلغ عنه لسانه ؟ قال : فيعين مغلوبا . قلت : فإن كان ضعيفا لا قدرة له؟ قال : فليصنع لأخرق . قلت : وإن كان أخرق ؟ قال : فالتفت إلي وقال : ما تريد أن تدع في صاحبك شيئا من الخير ، فليدع الناس من أذاه . قلت : يا رسول الله إن هذه كلمة تيسير ؟ فقال : والذي نفس بيده ما من عبد يعمل بخصلة منها يريد بها ما عند الله إلا أخذت بيده يوم القيامة حتى تدخله الجنة

Abu Kathir narrates from his father that: I asked Abu Dharr (raadi Allaahu ‘anhu), “Show me an action which if the slave does it he will enter al-Jannah.” He said, “I asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) about that and he said, ‘That he has eemaan in Allah.'” So I said, “O Messenger of Allah! Isn’t there action along with the eemaan? He said, “Let him give a little of what with which Allah provides him.” I said, “What if he is destitute, not owning anything?” He said, “Let him say what is good with his tongue.” I said, “Then what if he is incapable and his tongue will not express what he intends?” He said, “Then let him help someone who has been overcome.” I said, “Then what if he himself is weak and has no power?” He said, “Then let him make something for a clumsy, unhandy person.” I said, “Then what if he himself is clumsy and unhandy?” Then he turned to me and said, “You don’t want to leave your friend with anything good, do you? Then let him protect people from his own mischief.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah! All of this is easy.” So he said, “By who One in Whose Hand is my soul! There is no slave who does any one of these practices, seeking thereby that which is with Allah, except that I will take him by his hand on Yawm al-Qiyaamah until he enters al-Jannah.”

[Saheeh ibn Hibbaan #373, and he declared it saheeh. Sheikh al-Albaani graded it as saheeh li-ghairi in al-Saheehah #2668. al-Haakim reported it with a different wording in Mustadrak al-Haakim #212, and he considered it saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim. Sheikh al-Albaani graded it as Saheeh li-ghairi in al-Saheehah #2668. Al-Tabarani also reported a different wording of the hadeeth in al-Kabeer, which al-Albaani graded as hasan li-ghairi.]

Ibn Rajab mentioned this narration in Jaam’i al-‘Uloom w’al-Hikam, after which he mentions:

فاشترط في هذا الحديث لهذه الأعمال كلها إخلاص النية كما في حديث عبدالله بن عمرو الذي فيه ذكر الأربعين خصلة وهذا كما في قوله عز وجل ‏{‏لاَّ خَيْرَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّن نَّجْوَاهُمْ إِلاَّ مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلاَحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ ابْتَغَاء مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا‏}‏ النساء‏.‏

A stipulation is this hadeeth is that all of these actions must have purity of intention, as is mentioned in [a previously mentioned] hadeeth of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr discussing the forty characteristics. And this is like Allah’s saying, “There is no good in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or reconciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking the pleasure of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward” [4:114].

[Jaami’ al-‘Uloom w’al-Hikam 2/90]

See also: Ask that his eemaan be preserved!

See also: Those who come to Allah with a Pure Heart: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: Notes on Perfecting One’s Deeds and their Acceptance: ibn Rajab

See also: Three Conditions for the Acceptance of Deeds: Imam al-Shinqitee

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4 thoughts on “The Importance of Pure Intention: Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

  1. Pingback: Those who come to Allah with a pure heart: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “People whose hearts are like the hearts of birds”: Sharh al-Nawawi | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Notes on Perfecting One’s Deeds and their Acceptance: ibn Rajab | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Be More Concerned about the Actions of the Heart than the Actions of the Limbs: ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

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