From Introduction to Islam by Dr Hamidullah

Adeel Riaz

"It often happens that motives or circumstances can bring about a profound change in the significance of an act which may outwardly seem to resemble one another. For instance, the death occasioned at the hands of a brigand, of a hunter mistaking his victim for game, of a fool, or a minor, in self-defence, by a headsman executing the capital punishment ordered by a tribunal, a soldier defending his country against an aggressive invasion, etc. - in all these cases, the killing is sometimes punished more or less severely, sometimes pardoned, sometimes considered a normal duty which entails neither praise nor condemnation, and sometimes obtains high praise and honour. Almost all human life is composed of acts whose good and evil nature are relative. This is why the Prophet Muhammad has often declared: "Acts will be (judged) only according to intention"