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Life in Islam - Sahih Bukhari Hadith on Intentions

Updated on April 10, 2014

Understanding Sahih Bukahri Hadith Series

The glorious Quran and Sunnah help Muslims to live our lives according to the way Allah layed out for us. Muhammad (peace be upon Him) was sent down to earth to show us as an example in practical ways on how to live an Islamic life.

Hadiths are a collection of traditions and sayings of the prophet (peace be upon Him) collected from first person experiences so that the Muslim Ummah can live their life according to the Quran and Sunnah. Both are very important and go hand in hand. One without the other is is not Islamic because we worship Allah and follow the life of Muhammad (peace be upon Him) and his traditions.

This new series on understanding and implementing hadiths from Sahih al Bukhari is a passion of mine which i would like to share with the world, whether you are Muslim or non-Muslim. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) was sent by Allah as a mercy to all of mankind who heed his messages. After all, he is the Messenger of Allah and through him was revealed the the miracle of all miracles, that is the holy Quran.

Please share with your family and friends so that we can all benefit from learning more about Islam and gaining more knowledge.

Allah & Muhammad
Allah & Muhammad

Hadith on Intentions

This is the first hadith in Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 1, Number 1.

Narrated by 'Umar bin Al-Khattab

I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for."

Good Intentions Bad Intentions

This hadith being the first one in the whole book is fascinating subhan Allah. We get rewarded for good intentions and sin for bad intentions which we act upon.

As the hadith says 'So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for' clearly states that even if you emigrate for a certain reason that reason is what you emigrated for. If you wanted to make more money by working abroad, that is your intention, making more money.

The emigration part was given as an example but the hadith is relevant to all intentions.

Importance of Saying Insha Allah (If Allah Wills)

[18:23 & 18:24,, Translation: Sahih International]

And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,”

Except [when adding], “If Allah wills.” And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct.”

Intentions We Make

We all make intentions every day, whether they're good or bad. We have two angels on our shoulders who are writing down every move we make, everything we say and every intention we make. We will be answerable to every action we make.

We get rewarded by Allah for good intentions we make but it's different when we make bad intentions.

When we make a bad intention but don't act upon it, then we don't sin but if we go ahead and act upon the bad intention then one sin is written down. Allah tells the angels to wait until we carry out that bad deed we intended to do. Even after we act upon the bad intention, Allah still gives us time to repent; to ask for forgiveness and Allah is the most merciful so he forgives us.

There are times when we make good intentions and don't or cannot act upon it, but the angels write the good deed down straight away. Sins are not written down straight away, we get time to ask Allah for forgiveness by way of istighfar (Astaghfirullah (I seek forgiveness of Allah)).

If you think about it carefully, we make intentions probably every minute of our lives. When we wake up in the morning we think and plan ahead for the day which involves good and bad intentions, although we may not know it. We make intention when we take a step and so on.

Don't forget that if you make a good intention, then say 'INSHA ALLAH', if Allah wills.

May Allah guide us all on to the 'seerat al mustakeem', the straight path and keep us on it with steadfastness. Ameen.

Islamic Lecture on Intentions

Kaba Door in Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Kaba Door in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Don't Abandon the Quran

Do you act upon good intentions you make?

See results

More on Understanding Sahih Bukhari Hadith

Insha Allah there will be more to come on understanding and implementing sahih hadith (sunnah) in our lives.

May Allah give us the guidance to be successful in this life and in the hereafter.

رَبَّنَا آَتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآَخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Rabbana aatina fiddunya hasanatan wafil akhirati hasanatan waqina adhabannaar:

Our Lord, give us good in this life, and in the Hereafter, and protect us from the Hellfire.



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    • G Miah profile imageAUTHOR

      Gous Ahmed 

      5 years ago from Muslim Nation

      The Prophet ﷺ tells us in this hadith: “The Scribe on the left delays registering the sin of a Muslim for six hours. If he repents (within these six hours), and seeks Allah’s forgiveness, they drop if off. If he doesn’t, they write is down as a single sin.” [Tabarani]

    • theomajor profile image


      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Shalom, I found your article started off quite well. I would have preferred it to follow through with some more substance from the hadiths though. I have to ask you where you get your thinking in regard to "Sins are not written down straight away, we get time to ask Allah for forgiveness."?


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