According to Ibn Rajab's Commentary on Imam Nawawi's Forty Hadith: Hadith #1, actions are judged according to intentions: "'Umar b. al-Khattab narrated that the Prophet said: Deeds are [a result] only of the intentions [of the actor], and an individual is [rewarded] only according to that which he intends."
Correspondingly, one's niyyah or intention is of the utmost importance among the requirements of an act of ritual prayer. There is some debate as to the necessity of an audible utterance of niyyah. Most scholars agree, however, that as niyyah is spoken from the heart, it does not have to be uttered. Additionally, there is no evidence that the Islamic prophet Muhammad or any of his companions ever uttered a niyyah aloud before prayer.
- World Faiths, Teach yourself - Islam by Ruqaiyyah Maqsood. ISBN 0-340-60901-X. Page 51
- Ibn Rajab's Commentary on Imam Nawawi's Forty Hadith - Hadith #1 Actions are but by intentions
- Taken from The Prescribed Prayer Made Simple by Tajuddin B. Shu'aib
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