Riyah (to do an action to show other people)

  • Riyah – to do an action to show other people.  Riyah can be in matters of deen (e.g. in Quran recitation, tahajjud, Hajj) and dunya (e.g. at work)
  • The beginning of the disease of vanity is when a person has the zeal that he has honor and respect in the eyes of people.  A person with riyah has vanity

*   To be honored and respected is a good thing, but we should remember that Allah SWT has put that honor and respect in the people’s hearts

*   If Allah did not give us the ability, we would be unable to attain anything praiseworthy and if Allah didn’t conceal our faults, the people would not praise us

*   Dua of the Prophet (ﷺ):  Allahumma’jalni fi ayni sagheeran wa fi a’yonin-naasi kabeeran (Oh Allah, make me small in my eyes and big in eyes of others).  We should make this dua’ and say ‘Alhamdulillah’ when we are being praised (if we can’t say Alhamdullilah verbally, then we should say it in our heart)

  •   أَلَا لِلَّهِ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلۡخَالِصُ‌ۚ    (Behold, for Allah is the deen that is pure from everything Surah 39, Verse 3)
  •   وَمَآ أُمِرُوٓاْ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مُخۡلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ       (And you have not been ordered except that you worship Allah, making the deen solely for Him Surah 98, Verse 5)

*   Allah does not accept deeds that are not done solely for Him

*   Instead of gaining reward, the person will attain sin because the person is no longer doing the action for Allah.  On the Day of Judgment, a mujahid will be asked what did you bring?  He will say, Oh Allah, I gave my life.  Allah will respond, you didn’t give your life for Me.  You gave your life so that people will call you a mujahid and brave.  Allah SWT will not accept his deed

  •   إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلتَّوَّٲبِينَ    (Allah’s love is attached with the person who does tawbah  Surah 2, Verse 222)

*   Doing tawbah is easy, but maintaining it is difficult.  Saying ‘Astaghfirullaha Rabbi min kulli dhambi wa a’toobu ilay’ is the maintenance of tawbah, which is why it is an integral part of our daily routine

*   We are never free from sin, so the only solution is to continuously do tawbah

  • After doing an action, the next step is to keep it pure from any other association.  Those who do good deeds are continuously in fear of acceptance and protection of those good deeds
  • Solution: 

*   To seek forgiveness from the minor shirk (riyah) and correct our intention that we are doing the action solely to please Allah.  The intention should be corrected each time

*   To think that there will come a time when those whom we are seeking praise from will not be around and we will have become dust in our graves.  Nothing is going to benefit us at that time except the happiness of Allah.  If Allah is happy, we are successful.  All that matters is if Allah is happy, so why look for praise from others and destroy our deeds?

*   للّٰهُمَّ اِنِّیْٓ اَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ اَنْ اُشْرِكَ بِكَ شَيْئًا وَّاَنَآ اَعْلَمُ بِهٖ وَ اَسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِمَا لَآ اَعْلَمُ بِهٖ      (Oh Allah, I seek your sanctuary that I associate any partners with you knowingly and I seek Your forgiveness for those things that I do not know of)

  • We should be mindful of what we say because our words can cause us more harm than benefit
  • In Mirkaat, it is written that when Zubaydah, the wife of Haroon Rasheed, passed away, somebody saw her in their dream.  He asked, “What did Allah do you with?  Did Allah forgive you for all the good deeds you did?”  She replied, “No.  All those actions went towards those people to whom they were done for.”  He asked, “What saved you?”  She replied, “My good intentions that had not come to fruit yet that were a secret between me and Allah and had no other attachment to them.  Those pure intentions of mine is the reason that Allah gave me salvation”
  • In Iraq, there was a Mongul king who was hunting.  A shaykh was cutting through the jungle and the king stopped him and mockingly asked, “Are my dogs better or you?”  The Shaykh replied, “I cannot answer the question at this moment, but I will answer it for you one day.”  When the shaykh was on his death bed, he called his son and told him, “After I die, go to the king and say I have the answer to your question.  Tell him that I am better than your dogs and give him an explanation.”  The son goes to the king and tells him the shaykh is better than his dogs.  The king asked how’s that?  The son replies, “Because the shaykh has died on iman, he is better than your dogs.  Had he not died on iman, your dogs would have been better than him.” Hearing this, the king took his shahada and from this Islam came to Iraq again.  All of this because one person didn’t say he was better.  We should be careful with the words we use.