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Multiple Intentions for a Single Act of Worship

Question: Is it permissible to combine multiple intentions in a single act of worship? For example, can a person perform Salat at-Tahajjud by intending simultaneously to perform Salat at-Tahajjud, Tahiyyat al-Wudu', and a qada salat?
ANSWER
Yes, it would be excellent. It is a ta’ah [good deed loved by Allahu ta'ala] to sit in the mosque. If one who enters the mosque thinking that it is the house of Allah also intends to visit it, it will be more rewarding [thawab]. Also, if one intends to wait for the next salat or stays inside the mosque to go into seclusion to meditate on the next world and to listen to preachers, one will receive separate reward for each intention. Similarly, if a person dresses smartly and uses fragrance because it is sunnat, if he intends to pay reverence to a mosque and not to hurt the Muslims who sit by him in the mosque, to be clean, to be healthy, to protect Islam’s dignity and honor, he receives different rewards for each of these intentions of his. (Endless Bliss)

Hadrat Ibn Abidin states:
"Sunnat salats are nafila acts of worship. It is sunnat to perform a two-rak'at salat on entering the mosque. This salat is called Tahiyyat al-Masjid. On entering the mosque, performing a fard or sunnat salat is counted as Tahiyyat al-Masjid. When performing a salat other than Tahiyyat al-Masjid, it is not necessary to also intend to perform Tahiyyat al-Masjid, but it would be better if done" (Radd-ul-Mukhtar, p. 710).

"If one performs a sunnat salat with the intention of both performing the sunnat salat and performing a qada salat, one will be considered to have performed both the sunnat salat and the qada salat" (Najat-ul-Mu'minin, p. 90).

"When intending to perform a sunnat salat, it is necessary to add the intention of a qada salat" (Ramiz-ul-Mulk, the superintendent of fatwa in Tripoli).

It is written in Tatarhaniyya, "It is better to perform a sunnat salat with the intention of both a sunnat salat and a qada salat" (Uyun-ul-Basair, p. 103).

"If one, when performing a fard salat, performs pre-fard and post-fard sunnat salats with the intention of the fard salat, one's salats will be valid because if a certain salat is performed with the intention of a fard salat although it is in the category of sunnat salats, the sunnat salat thereby performed is acceptable. The one which one has performed first in every salat time becomes the fard salat. The one which one has performed next becomes the sunnat salat" (Fatawa-i Kubra).

"The Messenger of Allah, when performing the sunnat salats of the five fard salats, used to intend only, "I intend to perform salat for the sake of Allah." He did not use to mention the word sunnat. When one performs a salat in addition to a fard salat, one will be considered to have performed the sunnat salat as well" (Halabi al-Kabir).

"When beginning the fard salat of Salat az-Zuhr, if you make two intentions, one for the fard salat and one for the sunnat salat, you will have performed the fard salat only according to Imam-i A'zam and Imam-i Abu Yusuf. But according to Imam-i Muhammad, the salat will not be accepted because the fard and the sunnat are two different types of salat. According to the former, you have performed the fard salat. On the other hand, since any salat you perform after you enter a mosque stands for the salat of Tahiyyat al-Masjid, it is permissible to intend for the salat of Tahiyyat al-Masjid while performing a fard salat. When you intend for the fard only, you will have been deemed to have performed both salats" (Radd-ul-Mukhtar).

"Since a sunnat salat means a salat performed in addition to a fard salat, the similarity between a sunnat salat and a qada salat is identical with the similarity between Tahiyyat al-Masjid and a fard salat. That is, one cannot perform a sunnat salat with the intention of both the sunnat salat and the current fard salat. However, one can perform a sunnat salat with the intention of both a sunnat salat and a qada salat, or another nafila salat" (İslam Ahlakı, Tahtawi).

"A person who performs a qada salat instead of a sunnat salat is not considered to have omitted the sunnat salat. If one performs current fard salat with the intention of both performing current fard salat and performing its sunnat salat, the sunnat salat will not be valid. However, it is valid to perform a qada salat with the intention of both a qada salat and a sunnat salat" (Ashbah).

"A person who wants to perform a nafila salat must first vow to perform a salat and then perform the vowed salat instead of performing the nafila salat. A person who performs sunnat salats after vowing them will have performed the sunnat salats themselves" (Durr-ul-Mukhtar, p. 458).

"As it is wajib to perform a vowed salat, you will be given the reward of a wajib act. When you perform the vowed salat instead of the sunnat salat, you will have performed the sunnat salat, too" (Radd-ul-Mukhtar).

"It is better to vow the sunnat salats in advance and then to perform them as vowed salats" (Halabi, Maraqi al-Falah).

"If one says 'May it be my vow to perform a salat of four rak’ats' before performing the sunnat salat of Salat az-Zuhr and then performs it with the intention of a vowed salat, one will both get the reward of a wajib and will have performed the sunnat salat of Salat az-Zuhr. Since a person will not have omitted the sunnat when he/she performs the salat which he/she has made wajib for himself/herself, then a fortiori he/she will not have omitted the sunnat when he/she performs the salat that is fard. He/she will both have performed the qada salat and have performed the sunnat salat" (Se'adet-i Ebediyye).

Question: When making intention for a sunnat salat, say, for the pre-fard sunnat salat of Salat az-Zuhr, I combine multiple intentions in it. I make these intentions, "I intend to perform the first Salat az-Zuhr that I missed, to perform the sunnat salat of the current Salat az-Zuhr, to perform Tahiyyat al-Wudu' (if I have just done wudu'), to perform Tahiyyat al-Masjid (if I am performing salat in the mosque), and to perform Tahiyyat al-Manzil (if I am going to go on a journey). If I start Salat al-Asr or Salat al-Isha without performing the pre-fard sunnat salat, can I make the same intentions?
ANSWER
Yes, you can. By doing so, you will earn thawab for your intentions. When you make intention for the current fard salat, you cannot intend both to perform the current fard salat and to perform its sunnat salat. For example, if you, before starting the pre-fard sunnat salat of Salat az-Zuhr or the fard salat of it, intend to perform both the sunnat salat and the current fard salat, neither of them will be valid according to Imam-i Muhammad. According to Imam-i A'zam and Imam-i Abu Yusuf, you are considered to have performed only the fard salat. However, according to Imam-i A'zam, Imam-i Muhammad, and Imam-i Abu Yusuf, the fard salat will be valid if one also makes intention for other salats, namely, Tahiyyat al-Wudu', Tahiyyat al-Masjid, and Tahiyyat al-Manzil.

Question: If one who has salats omitted performs sunnat salats with the intention of only qada salats without also intending for sunnat salats, will one be considered to have performed the sunnat salats as well? If the answer is yes, then what is the benefit of making intention for sunnat salats as well?
ANSWER
Our Master the Prophet used to perform nafila salats before or after fard salats. He used to make the intention "I intend to perform salat for the sake of Allah" for them. As our Master the Prophet performed nafila salats before or after fard salats, it became sunnat on us to perform these nafila salats. That is, all sunnat salats offered before or after fard salats are nafila. When making intention for a sunnat salat, one does not have to add that it is a sunnat salat. If one intends, "I intend to perform a nafila salat" or "I intend to perform a salat for the sake of Allah," either is acceptable. If one performs a nafila salat or a qada salat in addition to the fard salat, one will be considered to have performed the sunnat salat. If one performs a two-rak'at salat with the intention of Salat at-Tahajjud at night and then sees that the time for Salat al-Fajr has started, then one cannot perform the sunnat salat of Salat al-Fajr anymore. The two-rak'at nafila salat substitutes for the sunnat salat of Salat al-Fajr. (Ashbah)

If one also intends to perform the sunnat salat, one will earn an extra reward for one's intention. For example, when one has just done wudu' to perform the pre-fard sunnat salat of Salat az-Zuhr, it will be better for one to combine multiple intentions: to perform Tahiyyat al-Wudu', to perform Tahiyyat al-Masjid (if one is in the mosque), to perform a qada salat (if one has salats to make up), and the sunnat salat of current Salat az-Zuhr. Thus, one's rewards will multiply. What is impermissible is to intend simultaneously both to perform the current fard salat and to perform its sunnat salat.

Hadrat Ibn Abidin states the following in the section concerning Tahiyyat al-Masjid:

"When beginning the fard salat of Salat az-Zuhr, if you make two intentions, one for the fard salat and one for the sunnat salat, you will have performed the fard salat only according to Imam-i A'zam and Imam-i Abu Yusuf. But according to Imam-i Muhammad, the salat will not be accepted, for the fard salat and the sunnat salat are two different kinds of salat. Since any salat that you perform after you enter a mosque stands for Tahiyyat al-Masjid, it is permissible, according to Imam-i Muhammad as well, to intend for the salat of Tahiyyat al-Masjid while performing a fard salat. When you intend only for the fard salat, you will have been deemed to have performed both salats, too" (Radd-ul-Mukhtar).

As a qada salat and a sunnat salat is a salat other than the current fard salat, a single salat may be performed with the intention of these two salats.

Question: It is written on a daily calendar, "The intention for both the current fard salat and its sunnat salat cannot be made simultaneously in a single salat." Is it true?
ANSWER
It is written in fiqh books, "One cannot make intention in a single salat simultaneously both to perform the current fard salat and its sunnat salat. If one combines these two intentions, one is considered to have performed only the fard salat. The sunnat salat will not be valid." However, one can combine in a single salat the intention of performing a qada salat and the intention of performing the sunnat salat of the current fard salat. One can even add the intentions of performing Tahiyyat al-Wudu', performing Tahiyyat al-Masjid, performing Salat ad-Duha, performing Salat at-Tahajjud, and performing the other voluntary salats. Then one will have performed both the qada salat and these mentioned voluntary salats. Some ignorant and evil-minded people misinterpret the rule "It is not permissible to combine in a single salat the intention of performing the current fard salat and the intention of performing its sunnat salat" and say that it is not permissible to intend in a single salat both to perform a qada salat and a sunnat salat. There is no such a statement in any fiqh book. In a sunnat salat, one can combine the intentions of performing any nafila salat, performing a qada salat, and performing the sunnat salat of current fard salat.

Question: Suppose that one has just done wudu' and will perform the current fard salat behind the imam in the mosque. Is it permissible for one to make a secondary intention of Tahiyyat al-Wudu'?
ANSWER
Yes, it is permissible. One can make these additional intentions as well: performing Tahiyyat al-Masjid (if one has entered the mosque), performing Tahiyyat al-Manzil (if one is going to set out on a journey). However, one must not intend simultaneously both to perform current fard salat and its sunnat salat. If one combines these two intentions in a single salat, one is considered to have performed the current fard salat only, not its sunnat salat. However, any salat, fard or sunnat, performed when one enters the mosque stands for Tahiyyat al-Masjid as well. If one also intends to perform Tahiyyat al-Masjid, one will earn an extra reward for one's intention. (Radd-ul-Mukhtar)

Question:
If a person who has entered the mosque after doing wudu' intends to perform a qada salat instead of pre-fard sunnat salat of, say, Salat az-Zuhr, will one be considered to have performed the pre-fard sunnat salat of Salat az-Zuhr, Tahiyyat al-Wudu', and Tahiyyat al-Masjid?
ANSWER
Yes, he is considered to have performed all of them even if he does not make a separate intention for each. If he makes separate intention for each, then he will earn an extra reward (thawab) for each intention. For this reason, before starting the pre-fard sunnat salat of Salat az-Zuhr, he should intend, "I intend to perform the first Salat az-Zuhr that I missed, to perform the pre-fard sunnat salat of Salat az-Zuhr, to perform Tahiyyat al-Wudu', and to perform Tahiyyat al-Masjid." One should not miss out on the extra reward given in return for intention.

Question: It is written in the book Endless Bliss, "Because a salat that is fard is different from one which is sunnat, it is not permissible to make intention also to perform a salat that is sunnat as you perform a salat that is fard. The sunnat performed in this way is not valid. Yet, since a qada salat and a sunnat salat are not different from each other, it is valid to add the performance of a salat that is sunnat to your intention as you perform a qada salat." In what aspects is a qada salat the same as a sunnat salat? Why is it impermissible to intend simultaneously both to perform current fard salat and to perform its sunnat salat?
ANSWER
Our Master the Prophet used to perform nafila salats before or after fard salats. As he used to perform salats in addition to fard salats, the performance of them became sunnat on us. That is, what is sunnat here is to perform an extra salat in addition to the fard salat. In a single salat, it is not permissible to combine these two intentions: the intention of current fard salat and the intention of its sunnat salat. They are two different salats, and they must be performed separately.

However, there is no specific time prescribed for the performance of qada and nafila salats. Hence, when one performs a salat, qada or nafila, in addition to a fard salat within the time for the fard salat, for example, if one performs sunnat salats with the intention of both sunnat salats and qada salats, one will be considered to have performed sunnat salats as well.

Question: Is it permissible to do an act of worship by combining two intentions in it?
ANSWER
The more one's good intentions are, the more one's rewards will be. For example, if one who enters the mosque bears the following in mind, one will earn a separate reward (thawab) for each intention:

1.
Going to the mosque with the intention of visiting it because it is a place loved by Allahu ta'ala,

2. Removing pungent odors from one's body and using fragrance because it is sunnat,

3.
Wearing clean and new clothes to show reverence to the mosque,

4.
Wearing clean clothes not to annoy the Muslims sitting by him in the mosque,

5. Wearing clean and proper clothes with the intention that a Muslim must not be shabby-looking, thus protecting the dignity and honor of Islam,

6.
Going to the mosque with the intention of listening to a religious talk,

7.
Going to the mosque with the intention of listening to the recitation of the Qur'an al-karim and thus earning the reward for a fard act,

8.
Going to the mosque wearing clean clothes to maintain good health,

9. Going to the mosque with the intention of earning much more thawab by performing salat in jama'at,

10. Going to the mosque with the intention of earning the reward of sitting in the house of Allah until the performance of salat,

11.
Going to the mosque with the intention of learning something from Muslim brothers,

12. Going to the mosque with the intention of enjoining good,

13.
Going to the mosque with the intention of reflecting on the life to come,

14. Going to the mosque with the intention of giving alms if money is raised for the repairs and maintenance of the mosque,

15. Going to the mosque with the intention of earning the reward for a fard act by performing Salat al-Janaza if there is a funeral,

16. Going to the mosque with the intention of learning from Muslims if there is any patient and visiting him,

17. Going to the mosque with the intention of earning the reward for a fard act by exchanging salam with Muslims.

If one can increase one's good intentions like the abovementioned ones, one will earn a separate reward for each intention.

A man who is going to a faraway place to visit his friend may plan to buy some cheap goods there and to sell them in his city. That is, it is a combination of business and a visit. Thus, he will kill two birds with one stone. Similarly, if one who wants to observe fasts on sacred days has fasts to make up, one will be considered both to have observed one's missed fasts and to have observed fasts on these sacred days if one observes them with the intention of making up one's missed fasts.

Likewise, if one who has got up at night to perform Salat at-Tahajjud has salats to make up, one will earn the reward for getting up for Salat at-Tahajjud and will also be considered to have performed a qada salat if one performs a qada salat at that time. The same thing applies to Salat ad-Duha, Tahiyyat al-Wudu', Tahiyyat al-Manzil, and Tahiyyat al-Masjid, too.

"The exception is that one is not allowed to make these two intentions in a single salat: the intention of current fard salat and the intention of its sunnat salat. That is, one cannot perform the pre-fard sunnat salat of, say, Salat az-Zuhr with the intention of both the sunnat salat and the fard salat of Salat az-Zuhr. Our Master the Prophet stated, 'The nafila salats of a person who has salats to make up will not be accepted.' It is written in fiqh books that the sunnat salats that are tied to fard salats are in the category of nafila salats as well" (Ghunya).

Question:
I heard that one will earn an extra reward if one, when doing an act of worship, thinks that our Master the Prophet did that act of worship, too. Is it true?
ANSWER
Yes, it is true. For example, if one, while performing a salat, thinks that our Master the Prophet performed it too or if one, while observing a fast, thinks that our Master the Prophet observed it too and does that act of worship to follow him, one will earn much more thawab as per one's intention. Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani stated:
"If one, while performing a salat, intends to follow our Master the Prophet because he, too, performed it, one will also earn the reward for following the Messenger of Allah" (Vol. 3, Letter 87).

 
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Date of Update
15 Aralık 2019 Pazar
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