Ramadan Day 1: On Intentions (Again)

For the 29/30 days of Ramadan I’ve challenged myself to write my daily reflections and share them via Haya wa Iman. Insha’Allah they are words of benefit.

In the weeks before Ramadan, Ramadan was all I could think and talk about. The words, “It’s coming. I’m not ready,” were repeated often. The action behind those words were filled with eating as much froyo possible (twice daily), finishing up my tv shows and movies and packing in as many social activities as possible. These things are, of course, fine. However, I also had the intention of setting my intentions for Ramadan which lacked little-to-no action. Even in my genuine excitement for the coming of Ramadan, I got caught up in the adventures of summer.

In a previous post by my girl Makkah, we reviewed the merits and requirements of the niyyah, intentions.

In Islam, making intentions (niyyah) is the top requirement before you do anything—including in one’s work, pursuit of knowledge, speech, silence, prayer, and of course—fasting. In Islam, those who complete all of their daily actions as a form of worship are highly regarded. This way of living, with sincerity and purity of intention, is known in Arabic as Ikhlas.

Ironically, on my way home today I was reading Imam ‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Alawi Al-Haddad’s The Book of Assistance and the second chapter was “On Intentions.” I was moved by this reminder:

Ibn ‘Abbas narrated: ‘God has written good and evil deeds, then rendered them clear; anyone who intends a good deed but does not perform it, God records it as one good deed, whereas should he intend and then perform it, God records it as ten good deeds, up to sen hundred fold, and to yet more multiplications. If he intends an evil deed and does not do it, God records it as one full good deed; if he intends and then does it, God records it as one evil deed.’

I start with intentions again this Ramadan as we should never undermine their importance.

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