Every Action is Judged Upon its Intention
“Every day,” “there are twenty-four thousand breaths, sixteen thousand movements and thirty thousand works for each person. On the Judgment Day, each of us will be questioned: ‘What was your intention for each of those actions?’ If you can reply to Allah Almighty, ‘I was intending your pleasure,’ this will be enough.”
Oh Muslims! Do not imagine that Allah Almighty is waiting for your prayers, your fasting, your covering your heads or your dressing in Islamic clothes! No! Allah Almighty is looking to your hearts to see if they contain an atom’s weight of sincerity, and only if He finds that sincerity does He accept anything from you! None of your actions are, of themselves, pleasing to your Lord if they are not motivated by sincere intentions.
The heart of that old woman who came to Damascus may have been full of sincerity, so that her performance of these simple devotions may have been more acceptable in the Divine Presence than my prayers. Yes, that is all there is to it and it is enough for you to now know how to relay the message of servanthood of Allah Almighty to Western people.
I heard a tale about a Majusi, a fire-worshipper who lived in Baghdad. After his death, a grandsheikh looked into Paradise and saw that one there and asked, "How can you be here?" That is in order to give people something of real knowledge and of divine knowledge, so that servants may know something about their Lord's attributes, and in order that no one should be hopeless. Every one may hope; everyone has a right to be hopeful of his Lord's Mercy Oceans. When Allah Almighty wants to save His servants from the hands of devils, He has endless, countless ways to save them. Therefore we have rights to be hopeful, fully hopeful.
And when that grandsheikh asked him, the fire-worshipper said, "O my Lord's servant, the reason that I am here in Paradise is a simple, very simple thing. I wasn't taking any care about it, but it happened: "One day I saw that my child, a little boy, had a piece of bread in his hand, eating it, and I took him by his ear and said: 'Do you not know that this is the holy month for Muslims? They are fasting. Then how are you carrying a piece of bread in your hand and, eating it, while people are respecting that this is the holy month? What are you doing?' And I slapped him and took him inside," the Majusi said. Zoroastrian. Even among non-Muslims living in Muslim areas, eating in public during the daytime in Ramadan was considered a mark of disrespect for the sanctity of the holy month and toward one's Muslim neighbors.
A church is also built to be a place for worshipping the Lord, Almighty Allah, and Allah Almighty rewards those people according to their intentions. It is impossible for a person not to be rewarded if he has sincere and good intentions; he must be rewarded by the Lord, Almighty Allah - don't suppose anything else. A person may be Christian, may be Jewish, may be from another religion, and Allah Almighty looks at his intentions and rewards him.
Allah Almighty looks through the hearts of all his servants for sincerity. Whether one is a believer or not is not the criterion. Allah Almighty looks at the intentions of His servants whether they are sincere or not. This, He does because of his endless mercy. Our intentions are more important than our actions. The important point here is that Allah Almighty is looking and searching for sincerity in these hearts. If He is finding sincerity in the heart of His servant He takes more care of that servant. That sincerity will lead that person to find his way to God, Almighty Allah.
Therefore, in Islam intention is the most important thing, and for every action, for every worship, intention is fard, obligatory, the most important order from Allah Almighty. Just as rewards from Allah Almighty comes because of good intentions, all punishments come because of our bad intentions. In everything, we are in need of intention - an intention to accustom, to train ourselves, an intention that keeps us away from troubles and from suffering, here and Hereafter.