Getting rid of Riyaa’

Question: Someone wants to learn and work according to what they learn and teach others. They fear that this may lead them to Riyaa’ (showing-off ). Thus, they abstain from teaching others. However, they remember the Hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) where he threatens those who conceal knowledge. What should they do? What should a person do in order to differentiate between what is done for the sake of Allaah and what is done for fame and ostentation? How can a person get rid of Riyaa’? What should someone do to be sincere in their deeds?

Answer: You should be sincere to Allaah in seeking, applying, spreading and teaching knowledge. You have to do so for the sake of Allaah Alone and the Hereafter. Do not do so for the sake of praise and commendation… read more here.

Expressing pride in being knowledgeable to others

Question: What is the ruling on expressing pride in being knowledgeable to others?

Answer: It is not permissible to do so. Seeking, publishing and debating about knowledge should be for the sake of Allaah Alone… read more here.

Swearing by other than Allaah

Question: Some Muslims I know jokingly utter some phrases which the monotheistic creed clearly states that they involve Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship), such as saying “By my mother’s head” or “Praise be to Allaah and to master Daawood.” Are they held accountable for the literal meaning of their utterances?

Answer: It is not permissible to swear oaths by other than Allaah such as saying, “By my mother’s head”… read more here.

Striving to follow Allaah’s Orders and abstaining from His Prohibitions

Question: How can a Muslim be sure that their deeds are performed with the required sincerity for Allaah (Exalted be He), to avoid them reproaching themselves too much? Doing this persistently can lead to invoking the evil insinuations that Islaam prohibits. In his treatises, Imaam Ibn Rajab recognized different conditions in relation to this issue. He said: “This is a subtle form of Riyaa’ (showing-off) that is only recognized by those who are protected by Allaah.” Is it then obligatory for us to stop reading about issues that make us upset and confused, and if so, what is the substitute? Is paying careful attention to obedience crucial for preserving sincerity?

Answer: Muslims should do their utmost to comply with Allaah’s Commands and to avoid His Prohibitions, hoping for His Reward and fearing His Punishment. If they are in doubt regarding any of their religious affairs, they should seek the help of knowledgeable scholars, because Allaah (Exalted be He) says… read more here.

Refraining from a deed because of people out of the fear of Riyaa’

Question: Al-Fudayl ibn `Iyyaad (may Allaah be merciful to him) said, “Refraining from doing a deed because of people is Riyaa’ (showing-off) and doing a deed because of them is Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship).” Many of my Muslim brothers and I sometimes feel obliged to refrain from some supererogatory acts of `Ibaadah (worship), fearing Fitnah (trials) to ourselves, being beaten, or being insulted; or that our Muslim brothers in general will be subjected to Fitnah by the government tightening its grip around them. By Allaah! I ask you, have we, as a consequence, fallen into Riyaa’ and if this is the case, what is the way out?

Answer: The second part of the statement of Al-Fudayl, namely, that doing a deed because of people is Shirk, is absolutely true, as the evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah shows the obligation of sincerity in `Ibaadah that should be for Allaah Alone and the prohibition of Riyaa’, called Al-Shirk Al-Asghar (minor form of associating others in worship with Allaah) by the Prophet (peace be upon him). He declared it as being the thing he fears most for his Ummah… read more here.