Conditions Acceptability Of Deeds By Allah: Simply That You Intended To Follow The Quran And Sunnah?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
Muslim does an action, what conditions make it
acceptable and therefore rewarded by Allah. Is it
simply that you intended to follow the Quran and
Sunnah, and therefore you will be rewarded even though
you may have been wrong in your action. Or is it that
you must have the intention, but you also need to
follow the correct Sunnah as well?
Praise be to Allah.
For acts of
worship to be acceptable to Allah and for a person to
be rewarded for them, there are two conditions which
must be met:
The first condition: the act of worship should be
devoted to Allah Alone. Allah says (interpretation of
"And they were commanded not, but that they should
worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone
(abstaining from ascribing partners to Him)."
The meaning of worshipping Allah alone is that the
person should intend in all his words and deeds, both
inward and outward, to seek the Face of Allah (i.e.,
His pleasure). Allah says (interpretation of the
"And who has (in mind) no favour from anyone to be
Except to seek the Countenance of his Lord, the Most
"(Saying): "We feed you seeking Allah's Countenance
only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you."
"Whosoever desires (by his deeds) the reward of the
Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward, and
whosoever desires the reward of this world (by his
deeds), We give him thereof (what is decreed for him),
and he has no portion in the Hereafter."
"Whosoever desires the life of the world and its
glitter, to them We shall pay in full (the wages of)
their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution
They are those for whom there is nothing in the
Hereafter but Fire, and vain are the deeds they did
therein. And of no effect is that which they used to
It was narrated that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah
be pleased with him) said: "I heard the Messenger of
Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say:
'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 to marry a woman, his emigration was for
what he emigrated for.'"
(Narrated by al-Bukhari, Bad' al-Wahy, 1).
It was narrated by Muslim from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah
be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah
(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
"Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, says: 'I am so
self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an
associate. Thus he who does an action for someone
else's sake as well as Mine will have that action
renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me.'"
(Narrated by Muslim, al-Zuhd wa'l-Raqaiq, 5300)
The second condition is that the action should be in
accordance with the only way which Allah has
prescribed for worship, which is by following the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in
the laws that he has brought. It was narrated that the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
said: "Whoever does any action that is not in
accordance with this matter of ours (i.e., Islam),
will have it rejected." (Narrated by Muslim, al-Aqdiyyah,
Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "This
hadeeth (narration) forms one of the most important
principles of Islam. It is like a scale for weighing
up deeds according to their outward appearance, just
as the hadeeth 'The reward of deeds depends upon the
intentions' is the means of weighing up the inner
nature of deeds. Just as every action which is not
intended for the sake of Allah brings no reward to the
one who does it, so too every deed which is not in
accordance with the command of Allah and His Messenger
will also be rejected and thrown back at the one who
does it. Everyone who innovates in Islam something for
which Allah and His Messenger have not granted
permission, that thing has nothing to do with Islam.
(Jami' al-'Uloom wa'l-Hikam, part 1, p.176)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
enjoined following his Sunnah (ways) and teachings,
and made them binding. He (peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him) said: "You have to follow my Sunnah
(way) and the way of my rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa'
al-rashidoon); bite onto it with your eyeteeth (i.e.,
cling firmly to it)." And he warned against bid'ah
(innovation), as he said: "Beware of newly-invented
matters, for every newly-invented matter is a going
astray." (narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-'Ilm, 2600;
classed as saheeh/authentic by al-Albani in Saheeh
Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 2157)
Ibn al-Qayyim said: "Allah has made devotion of
worship to Him alone and following the Sunnah the
means of deeds being accepted; if these conditions are
not met, then deeds are unacceptable."
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Who has created death and life that He may test you
which of you is best in deed."
Al-Fudayl said: "'best in deed' means, most devoted to
Allah alone and most in accordance with the Sunnah.
And Allah is the Source of strength.