Intention is the first step in the rational method of developing our innate power of free will, because it is intimately related to our freedom of choice and action and as such forms the very basis of our accountability. Intention is an inner power that abhors imposition of any limitation on its freedom.
One's intention is an integral part of one's life and no other man, however powerful, has any power whatsoever over another person's intention. The last resort of a Muslim when he is overwhelmed by difficulties is to save himself from the displeasure of Allah, the Exalted, by submitting his every intention to Allah.
In a sound hadith we read that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Whoever among you sees an evil should try to change it with his hands. If he is not able to do so, then with his tongue, and if he is unable to do even that, then with his heart, and this is the weakest form of faith." [Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Majah]
By understanding and following this psychological or inner mode of behaviour, a Muslim is able to achieve two things. He can:
1) Hold fast to the strong unbreakable rope of Allah, and
2) Preserve his freedom of choice and abide by his cherished beliefs.
"Freedom and Responsibility in Quranic Perspective" - Hasan Al-Anani, pp, 170, 171