Intention. A thing intended; an aim or plan. Many of us go to school because we want to get a degree or because we want to make our parents and the community around us proud, but let me ask you this… what is your ultimate intention?
When you work hard at school and get your degree, it will feel absolutely amazing to have finally accomplished such an expected and awaited accomplishment. As you look around the arena, you try to find your parents and see if you truly made them proud. All of that will last about 15 seconds… then little did you expect, there is another expectation or accomplishment waiting to be fulfilled.
Now don’t get me wrong, making your parents proud is an important part of our deen (religion). In fact, it is so important that Allah SWT says… “And your Lord has decreed that you worship not except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” Did you notice the moment that Allah said to worship none but Him, He follows it directly with being good to your parents? So, make your parents proud and be good to them, but also, make your ultimate intention to please Allah first.
I know we can all get lazy when it comes to homework and our studies, but here is one thing that can push you to do better and perhaps gain some motivation. We get rewarded for completing our assignments. Did you know that? You read right! Everything we do can be an act of worship…How? By having pure intentions.
Our Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said “Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended.” When one intends to do something or complete a task for the sake of his parents, he is putting his effort into that task for limited human beings who can only reward you with so much. On the other hand, when one intends to do something for the sake of his Lord, he is putting his effort into that task for the All-Mighty, the Ever-Living. The One who can bless you with great rewards, either in this life, the next, or both. So the next time you do anything, think to yourself… “who am I doing this for, why am I doing this?”
One way to purify your intentions is to do more hidden deeds. Deeds that no one knows about but you and Allah. The more you hide your good deeds, the more you will want to continue doing them for Allah’s sake and expect reward from Him only. Another way to purify your intentions is to make lots of dua and sincerely ask Him to make it easier for you. We are all guilty of wanting attention and validation from our peers and others but how many of us will try to truly change? Let's be amongst those that try.
As “40HadithNawawi.com” greatly puts it, “Intentions lead to results. When a change in intention occurs, a change in the external conditions will follow. Intention is also enough for Allah SWT to make a change in our reality, so we should not belittle the necessary change in intention that has to occur in order for our external condition to change.”