Minor Shirk- Riya!

What is Minor Shirk?

It is narrated that Mahmoud ibn Labeed said: The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ said: “The thing that I fear most for you is minor shirk.” They said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what is minor shirk?” He said: “Showing off, for Allaah will say on the Day when people are recompensed for their actions: ‘Go to those for whom you were showing off with your deeds in the world, and see what reward you find with them.’” (Al-Musnad- classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah)

Deeds tainted by Riya are not accepted by Allah:

Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه said that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ said: “Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, says: ‘I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me.’” (Sahih Muslim)

“(And whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord…) (Surah Al-Kahf V:110). Ibn ‘Abbasرضي الله عنه  said: “This verse was revealed about Jundub ibn Zuhayr al-’Amiri رضي الله عنه  who said: ‘I do the deed seeking Allah but I get happy when other people come to know about it’. The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ said to him: ‘Allah, exalted is He, is pure and does not accept except that which is pure. He does not accept that in which other than Him is associated’. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”. (Tafsir Asbab Al Nuzul)

Narrated Jundubرضي الله عنه: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ said, “He who lets the people hear of his good deeds intentionally, to win their praise, Allah will let the people know his real intention (on the Day of Resurrection), and he who does good things in public to show off and win the praise of the people, Allah will disclose his real intention (and humiliate him).  (Sahih Bukhari)

How can I save myself from showing off?

The most important thing is that we should make our niyah sincerely for Allah, but sometimes riya creeps in unnoticed even when our initial intentions were pure.

Here are three tips to help save ourselves from this sin.

1. Dua:

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “O people, beware of this shirk, for it is more subtle than the footsteps of an ant. The one whom Allaah willed should speak said to him, “How can we beware of it when it is more subtle than the footsteps of an ant, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “Say:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ أَنْ نُشْرِكَ بِكَ شَيْئًا نَعْلَمُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِمَا لَا نَعْلَمُ

Allaahumma innaa na’oodhu bika min an nushrika bika shay’an na’lamuhu wa nastaghfiruka limaa laa na’lam (O Allaah, we seek refuge with You from knowingly associating anything with You, and we seek Your forgiveness for that which we do unknowingly).”(Ahmad- classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’)

2. Remember -Allah is Ever-Watching!

Whenever you do a good deed do it at the level of ‘Ihsaan’ (perfection). What is Ihsan?

Jibreel (peace be upon him) mentioned to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, ‘Ihsaan’ is that “you should worship Allaah as if you can see Him, and even though you cannot see Him, He can see you.” (Sahih  Muslim)

When we remmeber that Allah is Ever-watching of what we do, our intentions will automatically be focused on Him and what other people think of us will become very insignificant.

3. Beware of  the Punishment of Showing-off:

“When the Day of Resurrection comes, Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, will come down to judge between His slaves, and every nation will be kneeling. The first ones to be called forth will be a man who learned the Quran by heart, a man who fought for the sake of Allah, and a man who had a lot of wealth. Allah will say to the Quran-reader, ‘Did I not teach you that which I revealed to My Messenger?’ He will say, ‘Yes, O Lord.’ He will say, ‘What did you do with that which I taught you?’ He will say, ‘I used to read it night and day.’ Allah will say to him, ‘You have lied,’ and the angels will say to him, ‘You have lied.’ Allah will say, ‘Rather you wanted it to be said that So and so is a reader of Quran, and that is what was said.’ Then the wealthy man will be brought forth, and Allaah will say to him, ‘Did I not give you ample provision so that I did not leave you in need of anybody?’ He will say, ‘Yes, O Lord.’ He will say, ‘What did you do with that which I gave you?’ He will say, ‘I used to uphold the ties of kinship and give in charity.’ Allaah will say to him, ‘You have lied,’ and the angels will say to him, ‘You have lied.’ Allah will say, ‘Rather you wanted it to be said that So and so is generous, and that is what was said.’ Then the one who was killed for the sake of Allah will be brought forth and Allah will say to him, ‘Why were you killed?’ He will say, ‘I was commanded to fight in Jihad for Your sake, so I fought until I was killed.’ Allah will say to him, ‘You have lied,’ and the angels will say to him, ‘You have lied.’ Allah will say, ‘You wanted it to be said that So and so was courageous, and that is what was said.’” Then the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم struck my knee and said, “O Abu Hurayrah, these three are the first of the creation of Allah who will be dragged into the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.” (Tirmidhi- classed as saheeh by Ibn Hibbaan and Ibn Khuzaymah).

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