Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said to Kumayl:
يا كُمَيْلُ! لَيْسَ الشَّأْنُ أَنْ تُصَلِّىَ وَ تَصُوْمَ وَ تَتَصَدَّقَ، اَلشَّأْنُ أَنْ تَكُونَ الصَّلاةُ بِقَلْب نَقِىٍّ وَ عَمَل عِنْدَ اللّهِ مَرْضِىٍّ وَ خُشُوع سَوىٍّ
O, Kumayl, it is not sufficient merely to pray and fast and pay alms. It is more important that your prayer (and other deeds) are performed before God with a pure heart and humility.1
The intention and spirit behind the deed, the manner in which it is accomplished and its quality determine its real value, not its appearance and quantity. Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) emphasizes to Kumayl that one should pay attention to the spirit of a deed instead of its appearance and quantity, because the final aim of these good deeds is man’s education, development and improvement which depends on the sincerity with which he performs them .