It is not news that the primary source that guides and shapes our lives is our inclination. On a closer look, our inclination is connected to our intention. From our understanding of our Deen and human behavior, our Intention is the root of all actions; it is the root of why we do anything, and it plays a fundamental role in helping us cultivate a life of happiness or unhappiness. It guides our acts, even our acts of worship.
Using our well-being as an example, if we plan to be more intentional about healthy living and prioritize, we will most likely be guided towards it. Being intentional in our living brings awareness to our life, we connect more to it. We pay attention to our body and emotions and we can connect and be attuned to ourselves. Likewise, if we pay attention to another person, it means we are connecting with and attuning to that person.
Going further with the body, you are connected to it; you observe any slight change ranging from pain to changes in body temperature and any other abnormalities due to intentional healthy living. You will be able to give more attention to the place where it hurts and take care of yourself. However, if you are disconnected, your mind is on autopilot, and you may continue to live in an unhealthy way despite the pains in your body. The truth about our lives is that when we are not AWARE of our INTENTION, we are likely to feel disconnected. When we are disconnected, we get hooked into our past, our unhealthy lifestyles, our detrimental decisions, and our hearts get filled up with unhealthy patterns in our worldly affairs and in our Deen. As Muslims, we should not forget how our body is trust, that Allah has entrusted in us to care for and cleanse it of any toxicity. And in caring for ourselves, we start from our intentions, and what we do with the intentions.
To care for our intentions, we choose patterns that give space for awareness and consider a wiser perspective and response to our body whispers, and how we act regarding these whispers, keeping in mind that being mindful or intentional helps us to connect our actions to worship and then we would consider our accountability for the actions. And when we live in this way, we would not only do things as service to Allah but we would more likely make healthier and wiser choices, and we would be more contented with our living.
Again, our intentions lead to our attention, then to how we connect and balance things out, which in return helps navigate our decisions in life and our contentions.
How to be more intentional:
- Understand what really motivates you
- Be disciplined and easy
- Draw the presence and feel the beauty of our existence.
- Learn to free your mind of worries
- Resolve your past or let go
- Befriend your fear by learning how to cope
- Effectively communicate with people around you
- Learn the art of mindful listening and align it to your decisions regarding others.
- Practice empathy
- Always redirect our mind that our purpose of existence is to worship Allah
As Muslims, we understand our ways require reflections. To be intentional in our actions, we would always need to do lots of reflections, because we are created forgetful, and we need to keep working on ourselves. In this regard, to actively practice intentional living there are things that we need to actively reflect on.
Because our intention is related to our inclinations, we as Muslims need to direct whatever decisions we choose as Worship to Allah. However we choose to be intentional, we shouldn’t deviate from the Commandments of Allah and the teachings of our Prophet: May Allah be pleased with him and his household.
Allah speaks about Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him);
“Indeed, I have turned my face toward He Who created the heavens and the earth, inclining towards truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:79)
And this shows that our choices should be in Worship to Allah first. Reflecting on how we adopt this act would be very helpful. To be more intentional, we need to reflect on:
- Our Choice Point: We need to pay attention to our intentions and get in touch with the sincerity of our hearts and mind.
- Our Hope: when we take time to understand what we hope to learn or change in our lives; how we sense peace, compassion towards ourselves, people around us, and how deeper we can navigate our experiences with wisdom and Allah’s Supremacy in the entire universe.
- Our Intention: we need to keep getting in touch with our intentions, and if we discover that we are not doing what we intend to do, we should always retract our choices and redirect our attention and actions.
- Our Action: the attitude that we deliver our actions is as important as our intentions. As Muslims, it is advisable to start our mindful decisions using the mindfulness of Allah’s awareness as a guide. Allah is more aware of us and what we do.
When we are intentional and paying attention to our intentions, we can be more mindful of Allah, and Allah is Sufficient for those who are mindful of Him, and rely on Him.
May Allah’s guidance and protection be on us all, and may we be blessed with the company of those who are mindful of Allah and The Reckoning.
May we be purified and forgiven.