Intentions create your life and afterlife. The very first hadith of Al-Bukhari is about intention. Make your intentions appropriate and you’ll see a huge change in your life. Actions do matter, but before taking any action, the intention of that action will decide the consequence of that action. A person who spends his whole life doing good deeds with inappropriate intentions will fetch nothing but the ashes of this own deeds.
The following story will illustrate how intentions decide the consequences of your actions. Your actions and intentions, both are in your hands. They are your choice, but consequences are not your choice. They are the result of your intentions first then your actions. Always keep appropriate intentions behind your every action and look how your life changes.
Our Intention Creates Our Reality
A simpleton villager heard about Satan that he bewitches people into committing mischief and lead them astray. Angered by this, the villager picked his axe and left home looking for Satan, determined to exterminate him forever. While he was on his way, he met Satan. As he raised his axe, Satan pleaded him to spare his life in lieu of a monthly sum of gold coins. The villager thought about it and accepted the offer and went back home.
For 3 months, Satan sent him the sum regularly. However, the fourth month the payment didn’t arrive. Infuriated, he picked the axe again looking to teach Satan a lesson. On his way, he met Satan again, who was looking much stronger than before. “Why did you stop the payments. Don’t you see my axe?”, the villager waved his axe and exclaimed.
“The first time we met, your goals (niyat) was to kill me for the benefit of humankind”, Satan replied. “I was scared of your honesty, never your axe. However, now you are here not for the benefit of people, but for your greed. I am no longer scared and if you take a small step, I will tear you apart into pieces!”