Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:Verily Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your heart and to your deeds.
[Sahih Muslim 2564 c]
This hadees points to what Allah says in the verse:
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.
Man has outer beauty and inner beauty. Outer beauty disappears after a while. If a person is engaged in this outer beauty and thinks that he will be valuable due to it, he is bound to lose it and become valueless. However, if the inner beauty is taken into consideration and the beauty of ethics, knowledge, skill and attitude is given importance, the beauty that increases as one gets old is aimed. The dignity of such a person increases as he gets old and becomes more beautiful.Allah looks at this aspect of man. That is, He looks at his intentions in his heart and mind, his ideas and thoughts: What is the mentality of this man? How does he use his mind? What is his intention? What does he want to do?
Allah does not look at the figures of His servants, if they are big or small, healthy or sick, nor at their looks if they are beautiful or not. He does not look at their lineage, whether it is prestigious or not, nor does He look at their wealth, or any of these factors at all. The only connection between Allah and His servants is through Taqwa (righteousness), so whoever has more Taqwa of Allah is closer and more honourable in the sight of Allah. So do not be proud of your wealth, your beauty and body, your children, your mansions or cars, or with anything of these worldly matters at all. However, if Allah has enabled you to be righteous and have Taqwa, then this is from the blessing of Allah upon you, so thank Allah and praise Him for it.
So the saying of the Prophet ﷺ, “but He looks at your hearts” shows that the matter is all about what is contained within the hearts. For how many people’s deeds appear correct, good and righteous, but when it was built upon what is corrupt, it became corrupt itself. The intention is the basis of everything. You may find two men praying side by side, in the same row, led by one Imam, but the difference between their prayers is like the difference between the east and west, because the hearts differ. The heart of one might be heedless, or he may even be showing off with his prayer – we seek refuge with Allah – seeking with that a worldly matter.Whereas the heart of the other is present and he seeks with his prayer the pleasure of Allah and following the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.So there is a big difference between the two. Hence, the deeds are based on what is in the heart, and on the Day of Judgement the recompense will be based upon that which is in the heart. Allah ta’ala says:
Indeed, Allah , to return him [to life], is Able.The Day when secrets will be put on trial [Quran 86:8-9]
This means on the Day of Judgment, the hidden (intentions) shall be tested along with the outward (deeds).
In this life, people treat each other based on what is apparent.As for the hereafter, the emphasis shall be upon what was hidden (of the intentions). We ask Allah purify our hidden intentions.So if the hidden (intention) is good and proper, then expect good (reward), but if it is otherwise then you have lost all good.If Allah has emphasized in the Qur’an and the Prophet has emphasized in his sunnah the importance of rectifying one’s intention, then it is a duty upon each person to rectify his intention and to rectify his heart, and to look at what doubt is contained within his heart and change that to certainty.
Therefore, purification of the heart is a crucial matter. I ask Allah to purify my heart and yours and to make us sincere to Him and followers of His Messenger.