When it comes to a good act it can be valid or invalid, depending if there was ikhlas within the intention. We can be leaders in youth groups and feed our hungry Muslims but the good deed will be abolished if the niyyah was anything other than seeking Allah’s reward. The good deed also loses its value when it is combined with some other purpose, like yearning for wealth, recognition, or status.
Prophet Muhammed (saw) said, “Certainly, Allah does not look at your shapes or wealth. But He only looks at your hearts and deeds.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The purpose and our perseverance for our actions are to please Allah (swt). We shall not eagerly wait for something in return but for our books to be inked with good deeds and blessings from Him. Forget expecting a thank you when we help Muslims move their belongings to a new home, or a beaming smile when we open the door for an elderly woman.
Our hearts should quiver eagerly and fervently waiting for Allah’s rewards to shower on us like raindrops instead of having desire for the pleasures of this life. Let our leaves embrace us with our goodness.