25 Apr 2021

Verbal Intention Before Prayer: Necessary?

Intention of Prayer 

Question: 

Sometimes I feel that I cannot control my mind. For example, when I intend to offer prayer, something disturbs my mind. Then, I start to utter the intention because I cannot control my heart, what can I do?

Answer:

The intention of performing ablution, ritual bath, prayer, fasting, paying charity, pilgrimage, and all other acts of worship does not necessarily need to be uttered by the tongue. There is a consensus among the four schools of jurisprudence that the place of the intention is the heart. Some of the later scholars said that it is permissible to utter the intention, provided that it is accompanied by the intention in one’s heart. If what is uttered goes against what is in the heart, the intention of the heart counts. There is no single report from the Prophet (peace be upon him), one of the companions, righteous ancestors or later four imams saying that the intention should be made with the tongue in acts of worship.

There is a consensus among scholars that offering prayer without an intention made by the heat is not valid. Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “When the Prophet (peace be upon him) stood up to pray, he would say: “Allahu Akbar,” and he did not say anything before that, or utter the intention out loud at all. He did not say, “I am going to pray such-and-such a prayer, facing the qiblah (direction of prayer), four rak`ahs, as an imam or following an imam.” (Zad Al-Ma`ad)

Responding to this question, Dr. Muhammad Salah states that one does not have to pronounce the intention as it is made by the heart. It is made to declare your intention before Almighty Allah. One may say that this act is for Allah, but it is not. As what is in one’s heart is concealed and only Allah knows about it. Therefore, if one is going to offer `Asr (Afternoon) prayer and he/she has already offered Zhuhr (Noon) prayer, what will confuse one to start offering `Asr immediately?

Enjoy watching this interesting talk with Dr. Muhammad Salah to know more about the intention before offering prayer and how to avoid whispers of Satan.

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Source: Iqra Youtube Channel.

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