Prayer # 2: Niyah (Intention)
# 2: Niyah (Intention)
In the Islamic Religion, Niyah is the intention to do something, because the reward of a person depends upon his/her intention.
Narrated Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA), Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said,
“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and a person will get the rewards according to what he has intended” (Bukhari: 1, Muslim: 1907).
Similarly, prayer must be preceded by intention in our hearts to pray solely for Allah, Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. Expression of intention does not necessarily have to be uttered. There are many works that we do without reciting any intention of what we will do, so then why do we need to recite intention aloud when we pray? Intention expressed by the tongue is contrary to the Sunnah because Prophet Muhammad, Salallahu ‘alaihi wassalam, and his companions never said the prayer intention before executing prayers. Intention is the action of the heart and mind, not of the tongue.
According to Imam Ibn Taimiya, none of the scholars of Islam is of the view that intention for prayer should be expressed by the tongue. Allah’s Messenger (SAW), his companions and their descendants never uttered specific words to express the intention. It is an agreed opinion among Muslim scholars that intention for acts of worship e.g. ablution, bath, prayer, fast, and charity is developed in hearts (not expressed by tongue). (Al-Fatawa Al-Kubra).