How Can I Make my Intentions Solely for Allah in My Dealings With Others?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: 1) Are you rewarded for deeds you to do that are part of your nature(being good to others, forbearance…)?

2) Why was the prostitute forgiven for giving a dog water? Her actions were due to her nature…

3) What about non-Muslims who are kind and patient?
4) How can you make your intentions for Allah?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
(1) Make a general intention to uphold good character for the sake of Allah, and then proceed as you have been doing. The sign that an intention is for Allah is that if you were asked why you were upholding such traits, you would ultimately respond that it is for the sake of Allah.
(2) Firstly, the traditions would seem to indicate that this was before the time of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), so we cannot necessarily apply our principles of understanding to that occurrence. And secondly, we don’t know what her intention was– the assumption would be that she felt pity for the animal for the sake of Allah, and she was forgiven due to that.
(3) In general, and if for the sake of Allah, such actions are minute in view of their disbelief.
(4) Make your primary intention Allah, and then make secondary intentions which explain how you are seeking Allah through the action. For example, “I am holding the door open for the sake of Allah,” is your primary intention, and then, “in assisting my fellow man, in doing the good for others, in following the beautiful way of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace),” and so on.
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.