Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Answering your question, The Fatwa Center at Islamweb, states:
The acts that should be devoted purely for the sake of Allah Alone and of which it is not permissible to intend them for other than Allah are the pure acts of worship that have been legislated only to glorify Allah and to earn His pleasure, such as the prayer, fasting, dhikr (expressions of remembrance of Allah), and the like.
With regard to the acts that are primarily done for getting a livelihood and other worldly benefits and which may become an act of worship depending on the intention of the doer, such as keeping good company with others and being generous to guests, and so on,. When a person does these actions without a good intention, he is not sinful. One can be rewarded for them only if he had done them with a good intention.
Therefore, being polite with seniors and colleagues at work without a valid intention does not incur sin on the person because it is not among the pure acts of worship that one must only devote to Allah.
The reward for being polite to people, however, is not earned except by having a good intention.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.