Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned the following:

When engaging in the various efforts of Deen, then one’s objective and goal should be solely to acquire the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala and reward in the Hereafter.

As for the different blessings that are promised (in the Quraan Majeed and blessed ahaadeeth for those who engage in these efforts), such as enjoying a life of peace and worldly respect, or being blessed with authority and power in the world – then these are not the objective of engaging in Deeni efforts. Rather, they are merely blessings which have been promised (for those who engage in the effort of Deen and uphold Deen in the world).

In other words, when we engage in any Deeni effort, then our intention should be solely to please Allah Ta‘ala and acquire success in the Hereafter. However, we should also have firm conviction that we will definitely receive the blessings which Allah Ta‘ala has promised for those who engage in the effort of Deen (in fact, we should even make du‘aa for Allah Ta‘ala to bless us with them, though we should not make these blessings the main objective of our ‘ibaadaat and the purpose for us fulfilling the commands of Allah Ta‘ala).

Through the following example, you will be able to gain a good understanding of the difference between that which is merely a promised blessing, and that which is the actual goal and objective:

The goal and objective of getting married is to acquire a wife, through which one may acquire the benefit of nikaah. However, when one acquires a wife, then she is the means for the groom acquiring certain gifts which are given to him at the time of marriage by the bride’s family. In this world, which person will be so foolish to perform nikaah merely to acquire the gifts which are received at the time of nikaah? If hypothetically there was any such person, then imagine if his wife later on got to know that he only married her for the sake of receiving those gifts which are given to the groom (by the girl’s party) at the time of nikaah, then we can well imagine whether any regard or love for him will remain in her heart thereafter!

(Malfoozaat Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) pg. 54)

Source: Ihyaauddeen.co.za