Narrated Ameerul-Mu‟mineen, Abee Hafs, „Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him): I heard Allaah‟s Messenger (peace be upon him) saying,
“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrates to Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration is to Allaah and His Messenger. And whoever emigrates for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhari]
The Subject and Overall Explanation:
The subject of the hadeeth is making clear the rank of the intention vis-à-vis the actions. This is a great and comprehensive hadeeth, making clear that the intention is comprehensive, covering all actions such that there is no action without intention. And therefore, the actions correctness (or corruption), the reward upon it (or the punishment), is dependent upon the intention. And each person shall have that which he intended, whether it is a noble objective or a lowly, despicable one.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), made that clear in order to incite the doer to aim high in his intentions, seeking Allaah‟s Face and the Final Abode and to keep away from the lowly intentions and bottom ranks. So if the intention is correct – intending the Face of Allaah (subhanahu wa ta ala) – then it is acceptable and if otherwise, then it will not be (acceptable) because Allaah is Most Sufficient and in no need of partners.
Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a similitude in migration, so that it may be reference for the rest of actions. Therefore, those who migrate have different intentions and as a result the reward will vary to a great extent, even though the action is the same (i.e., migration). So whoever migrates for the sake of Allaah, seeking the reward of Allaah and victory for the Deen and giving help to the Deen, then he is the sincere Muhaajir (immigrant), who attained, in his intentions, the highest and most noble objectives. And whoever migrates seeking this lowly life and its vanishing enjoyments is the one who went low in his intention and therefore, he shall have no share of the Hereafter. The one who migrates from the land of Shirk seeking the reward of Allaah and the protection of His Deen and the support of the Deen and seeking to learn the Sharee‟ah, his Hijrah (migration) is fee sabeelillaah and Allaah will keep him steadfast on that. And the intention distinguishes the worship from the habit. Take for example al ghusl (taking a bath): If it is done intending to lift the janabah (the sexual defilement) then it is „Ibaadah (worship). And if it is done for cleansing or to cool off then it is „aadah (a habit).
The Benefits of this Hadeeth:
1. Emphasizing the importance of the Niyyah (intention) concerning the actions. And that the correctness of deeds and the recompense is in accordance with the intention.
2. Inciting to have sincerity in the intention and making clear the merit of that.
3. Warning from seeking and intending this lowly life in our actions.
4. Showing that people differ concerning their intentions and that each will have that which is in accordance with his own intention. A man will be rewarded only for what he intended.
5. At-Taharatu minal `amal (purification is from actions), and therefore it cannot be established without a Niyyah (intention). Everyone who performs the purification, then his purification is in accordance with his intention (and this is the point of evidence in this hadeeth which fell under the chapter of purification).
6. The excellence in teaching by the Prophet (peace be upon him), and his perfect eloquence and clarification where he mentions the foundations and the principles foundations then he explains them by examples.
This hadeeth is evidence for the intentions place is the heart and utterance of it is an innovation. Also, it is a must to be careful concerning ar-Riyaa (showing-off and seeking fame for the sake of this life). And that the Hijrah (the migration) from the land of Shirk to the land of Islaam is from the most meritorious of deeds, if the Face of Allaah is intended in that. This is in summary the points relevant to this matter.