"Inna mal a'maalu binniya (Wa fir riwaayaa-binniyaat), winnima likulimri'im ma nawa fa man kanat hijratu ila allahhi wa rasoolhi, fa hijratuhu ila allahi wa rasoolih. wa manat hijratuhu ila adunya yuseebuha, auw imra'atin yatazawejuha fa hijratuhu ila ma haajara ilih." (Bukhari, Muslim, Umdah tul ahkam, arbaeen annawawi etc)
Narrated by Umar bin al-Khattab that the Prophet of Alllah (saw) said- verily actions are based upon intention(s), and for every person is what they intend. and whoever makes Hijrah for Allah and his Messenger then his Hijrah will be for Allah and his Messenger, and whosoever makes Hijrah for worldly gain, then they will get it, or for a woman, they will marry her, and Hijrah is for what you make Hijrah for.
This very famous hadith is a hadith which is the first hadith mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Umdah tul Ahkaam and the 40 hadeeth of imam Nawawi. Why do these scholars place this hadith at such a high level in their celebrated books?
The answer is simple: Everything that follow in those books echoes the simple principle laid down by this hadith- "Actions are based upon intentions". These books of hadith then go onto taharah and salah etc...but all of those are worthless if not done for the sole pleasure of Allah (swt).
Now we need to reflect on ourselves and see are we doing things for Allah or are we just showing off? Do we pray salah in Jam'aah or in front of people, differently do when we are on our own? If the answer is yes then this is a form of shirk because our worship is then no longer for Allah (swt).
This is also a form of nifaaq as Allah swt mention in surah Nisa "Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Salat (the prayer), they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little." (V142)
a few questions for us:
1) do we stand lazily
2)do we yawn in Salah
3)do we know what we are reading
4)Do we know what surah we read after we finish the salah?
5) do we remember Allah in the salah and feel spiritually uplifted after Salah?
6) or do we stand thinking about this world, and use the salah as a moment to regroup our thoughts?
If any of those answers were yes then we have the traits of hypocrisy in us and three verse later Allah says: "Verily, the hyprocrites will be in the lowest depths (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them." (V145)
Is that where we want to be?
Lets adhere to Abu Bakr's (ra) to his armies, that they should have khushu (concentration, sincerity and humbleness) in their salah, and pray our salahs with khushu too.