As I was cleaning up my photos, reminiscing the final day of my post-graduate studies at NIE just a year ago, a thought struck me:
Never underestimate the power of a good intention.
My friends and I commemorated our official last day of lessons in the school by giving the female musollah a good scrub and sprucing. What was initially a casual suggestion by a friend soon transpired into a self-proclaimed Musollah Revamp Day. It was a team effort by us girls only since we did not want to burden the guys. (Girl power yawl!)
And it all started with a kind soul with a good intention.
“Don’t you think the carpets need to be changed?”
I agreed. The dark, damp spot that seemed to be growing underneath the carpets was gravely suspicious. I couldn’t stand the unpleasant condition in the female musollah either; the unkempt rack, mouldy prayer garments, grimy carpets. It was clear that it had, over the years, turned into a space – that’s slightly more favourable than a staircase – for students and staff to perform prayers quickly before rushing back to classes with relief. Convenient? Yes. Comfortable? Not the slightest. The stacks of Qur’an were caked with dust, untouched. And how the heavens did we endure that unmistakable ‘drain’ smell that lingered ever so mildly… Someone had to do something about it.
Seeing that this would be a good opportunity to, quite literally, ‘leave the musollah better than we found it’, we pooled our fellow comrades a week before our project. After liaising with necessary authorities and purchasing the cleaning items, we got down and dirty. We were not expecting that much cobwebs, dust bunnies, cockroaches, lizards, and we were certainly not expecting the skeletal remains of a dead rat! (you can at this point picture screaming hijabis running away with broomsticks and insect repellers in hand). Hours of struggling with removing dusty carpets and slathering gum to paste the new ones firmly on the ground later, we could finally see it all coming together.
By the time we were done, the call to the Maghrib prayer rang from our phones. As we took our wudhu’ and prayed in congregation, possibly for the last time together in the brand new musollah, I was filled with gratitude for the blessing of health, of good company, and of time, where I got to spend my last day of teacher school meaningfully. We were tired happy, sitting in the middle of the revamped prayer room, reflecting on how a simple intention, when acted upon and eventually realised, gives an inexplicable feeling of satisfaction, alhamdulillah.
As in the Book of Miscellany, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said that Allah, the Glorious, said:
“Verily, Allah (SWT) has ordered that the good and the bad deeds be written down. Then He explained it clearly how (to write): He who intends to do a good deed but he does not do it, then Allah records it for him as a full good deed, but if he carries out his intention, then Allah the Exalted, writes it down for him as from ten to seven hundred folds, and even more. But if he intends to do an evil act and has not done it, then Allah writes it down with Him as a full good deed, but if he intends it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed”.
– Al-Bukhari & Muslim
Isn’t it beautiful how our Lord rewards deeds so generously and mercifully? A good intention gets the equivalent reward of a good deed done. Even an evil intention which is refrained from being done is recorded as a good deed. What more with having good intentions for all the good deeds we try our utmost best to carry out every day – in our career, in our studies, in a project, in taking care of our family… these good deeds are written down in our books, in multiple folds, as Allah SWT had promised.
So never underestimate the power of a good intention. With the right cause and the right people to make it happen, it will happen, insyaAllah.
May this little space continue to serve as a brief yet comfortable respite for students and staff in their daily conversations with God.
musollah – an open space outside the mosque, used for prayers.
maghrib – the fourth of five obligatory daily prayers performed by Muslims, prayed right after sunset.
insyaAllah – if God wills it.