Al-Kāfi - Volume 2 > Purely Sincere
Hadith #4

4ـ عَلِيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنِ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنِ الْمِنْقَرِيِّ عَنْ سُفْيَانَ بْنِ عُيَيْنَةَ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الله (عَلَيهِ السَّلام) فِي قَوْلِ الله عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً قَالَ لَيْسَ يَعْنِي أَكْثَرَ عَمَلاً وَلَكِنْ أَصْوَبَكُمْ عَمَلاً وَإِنَّمَا الإصَابَةُ خَشْيَةُ الله وَالنِّيَّةُ الصَّادِقَةُ وَالْحَسَنَةُ ثُمَّ قَالَ الإبْقَاءُ عَلَى الْعَمَلِ حَتَّى يَخْلُصَ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ وَالْعَمَلُ الْخَالِصُ الَّذِي لا تُرِيدُ أَنْ يَحْمَدَكَ عَلَيْهِ أَحَدٌ إِلا الله عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَالنِّيَّةُ أَفْضَلُ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ أَلا وَإِنَّ النِّيَّةَ هِيَ الْعَمَلُ ثُمَّ تَلا قَوْلَهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قُلْ كُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ عَلى‏ شاكِلَتِهِ يَعْنِي عَلَى نِيَّتِهِ.

4. Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from al-Qasim ibn Muhammad from al-Minqari from Sufyan ibn ‘Uyayna from abu ‘Abd Allah (a.s.) who has said the following: “About the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, ‘So that He may try you to see who among you is best in good deeds. . . .’ (67:2), the Imam said, ‘He has not meant thereby the quantity of deeds. He thereby has meant the most correct ones in deeds. Correctness comes only from overwhelming respect for Allah, true intention and goodness.’ He then said, ‘It comes from continuity of the good deeds. In fact, maintaining continuity until deeds reach purity is more difficult than performing the deed itself. It is the intention that forms the deed.’ The Imam then recited the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, ‘Say (O Muhammad), “Everyone acts according to his way,” (17:84) it (way) means according to his intentions.’”