Niyyah (Arabic: نِيَّةٌ, variously transliterated niyyah, niyya [ˈnij.jah], "intention") is an Islamic concept: the intention in one's heart to do an act for the sake of God (Allah).[1]

Muslims prepare for Salat by spreading a rug.

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."[2]

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.[3]

A Muslim must have niyyah before commencing salat (prayer), and in order to commence the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

See alsoEdit

  • Kavanah, a similar concept in Judaism


  1. ^ Maqsood, Ruqaiyyah Waris (1994). Islam. London: Hodder & Stoughton. p. 51. ISBN 0-340-60901-X. OCLC 32133474.
  2. ^ "Commentary: Hadith "Deeds are by Intentions"". Archived from the original on February 23, 2020. Retrieved 2021-06-11.
  3. ^ Shuʼaib, Tajuddin B. (1983). The prescribed prayer made simple. Los Angeles, Calif.: Daʼawah Enterprises International. ISBN 0-9610618-0-4. OCLC 10299106.