How can one attain ‘Sincerity’? (Part 2) – 13th Oct. 2011
Bear in mind, that the person who performs good and righteous deeds should fear Riy’a. Therefore, if these deeds are performed with concealment, without the knowledge of people, that would be better.
Az-Zubai bin Al-Awwam (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, ” Whoever among you is able to have a hidden (good) deed, then let him do so.” [Al-Khateb & authenticated by Al-Albani in as-Saheeha no. 2313].
The righteous people strive hard to hide their acts of obedience more than those people who are keen to hide their evil deeds. They hope to purify their good deeds for Allah’s Sake and for Him to accept it from them and recompense tem for it with the best reward. These are the mindful people, who are keen for noone other than Allah to know about their praiseworthy matter.
Abu Haazim bin Deenar used to say, “Conceal your good deeds as you conceal your bad deeds”. [Al Fasawi in al-Marifah wat-Taseelah, Abu Naim in al-Hilya and al-Baitaaqi in ash-Shi’ab.]
The salaf used to be keen to hide their good deeds.
Abdur Rahman bin Abi Laila used to pray the voluntary prayers in his home, if he felt someone entering upon him, then he would cut his salat and lay on his bed, as if he is sleeping, such that whoever entered upon him would say: “This man never stops sleeping? All the time he is in his bed sleeping.”
Imam al- Maawandi compiled many books of Tafseer and Fiqh but he did not show any of his books during his life. When his death was close, he said to a man whom he trusted: “The books which are in such-and-such place are all I wrote. When I am in death agony, put your hand in my hand. If I grasped your hand – know that they are not accepted from me, so throw them all in the river at night. But if I extend my hand – know that they are accepted from me and attained what I hoped from the pure intention. And when he was in his death agony, he extended his hand, so the man showed all the books of the Imam.
Dawood bin Abi hind observed fast for 40 years without the knowledge of his family. He used to come out of his house to work in the morning taking with him his breakfast. His family didn’t think he was fasting. He gave the good to the poor as Sadaqah on his way. When he returned home at the end of the day, he would eat with his family.
Performing the good deed secretly depends on ones interest.
Allah says in Surat al-Baqarah, Verse 271:
إِن تُبْدُوا الصَّدَقَاتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِيَ ۖ وَإِن تُخْفُوهَا وَتُؤْتُوهَا الْفُقَرَاءَ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۚ وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنكُم مِّن سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ
“If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds (thereby). And Allah, with what you do, is (fully) acquainted.”
i.e If you show your charity openly intending to seek the Countenance of Allah, that is good because the goal is achieved. And if you conceal the charity upon the poor person that is better than the open charity. But if the charity is not given to the poor, then the secret charity is not better than the open charity. Accordingly, this depends on the interest; if showing it leads to show the religious rites and following the example and so forth, then it is better than concealing it. [Tafseer al Kareem].
Also another wisdom behind showing the Sadaqah: The needy person might need more than what you have given him, so showing the need of this person in order for the other people to help him, there is good for that person. So showing the Sadaqah (charity) is good for both the person who gave the Sadaqah (charity) and the one who has been given the Sadaqah.
Ibn Rajab said, ” Allah loves that his slaves deal with Him in secret between Him and them. They are those who love Allah and love dealing with Allah in secret such that no one looks at their dealing with Allah except Him.” [Laraa ‘if al-ma’arif]
This includes offering night prayer at the middle of the night, which is better than other times of the night.
Ibn Rajab said, “The best voluntary prayers are the ones which are performed secretly, therefore the night prayer is more virtuous than the other kinds of voluntary prayers and the secret Sadaqah (charity) is performed over the one payed openly. ” [rusaai’d ibn Rajab].