Nullifiers of the deeds (Riya’a) – Sunday 25th Dec. 2011
One of the grievous nullifiers of the sincerity is the Riyaa’.
Allah says about the hypocrites in Surat an-Nisa’ (4:142),
إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ وَإِذَا قَامُوا إِلَى الصَّلاةِ قَامُوا كُسَالَى يُرَاءُونَ النَّاسَ وَلا يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ إِلا قَلِيلا
And when they stand up to pray, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little.
Riyaa’ is one of the characters of the hypocrites who are detached from Allah, the Lord of Alameen. The hypocrites are the ones in the lowest depth of Hell fire as they used to be in the lowest depth of manners. [Al-majmoo’a al-kamilah by sheikh as-sa’dee Rahimahullah]
Riyaa’ nullifies the deed. It contradicts and negates the sincerity, it renders the deed fruitless. It causes the detest of the Most Great and the Most High. It is one of the major destructive sins which runs and has an effect on the deeds of man without him feeling it. It’s danger is great, its evil is widespread, it extinguishes the light of the worship as the water extinguishes fire. There are many good deeds that have been lost by Riyaa’.
Riyaa’ is more dangerous upon Muslims than the anti-Christ.
Allah says in Surat al-Furqan (25:23),
وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاءً مَنْثُورًا
We will approach (i.e regard) what they have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed.
These deeds, were, in this life not in accordance to the Sunnah of His Messengers and their ways, nor they were for His Countenance. Therefore, Allah will make them dust dispersed; the person will not get any benefit and this is the greatest regret for the slave on the Day of Resurrection.
Ibn Qudamah al-maqdis said, “Any deed without intention is a trouble, intention without sincerity is Riyaa’ and sincerity without fulfillment is dust. Allah said “And will regard what they have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed”. [Mukhtasan minhaj al-Qaasideen].
Why do people commit Riyaa’?
- Love of praise. One performs the deed for the sake of getting the praise of the people.
- Fleeing from peoples blame on dispraise. One perfects his Salaat in order to avoid hearing that so-and-so is hasty in performing with his Salaat. In this way, he saves himself from rebuke and defame.
- Covetousness or greediness. (coveting to what the people have).
The evidence for these reasons is the hadeeth narrated by Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu), “A man came to the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and asked, A man fights for fame; another fights for being disdained from being defeated or defamed; and a third fights for showing off. Which of them fights in Allah’s Cause? The Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “He who fights that Allah’s Word be superior, fights in Allah’s Cause.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The Messenger of Allah (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) mentioned the seriousness of Riyaa’ in different situations with different words.
Aby Sa’ied al-Khudri (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “ Shall I not inform you all of what I fear more for you all than the Maseeh ad-Dajjal (the False Messiah)? They said, Of course, O Allah’s Messenger (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). He said, The hidden shirk. The man stands and prays, and he beautifies his prayer because he sees another man look at him.” [Ibn Maajah and authenticated by al-Albaani].
The Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) called it hidden because the person shows that his deed is for Allah but he intended with it for someone else or associated with Allah some one else, accordingly he beautified his Salaat nor him.
This hadeeth indicates that Riyaa’ is hidden shirk. It is hidden because it occurs in the intentions and actions of the heart; and these no one knows about except Allah. No one knows the intentions except Allah.
The hadeeth also indicated the seriousness of Riyaa’, because the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) feared for the best of this Ummah (the Sahabah) from it. He feared the Riyaa’ for his Sahabah more than the False Dajjal because hardly one can be saved from it. Whereas for the False Dajjal, though his trial is great, his harm is particularly for those who will be living at his time. The Riyaa’ is danger upon all and every era and in every time.
The matter of Dajjal is manifest, the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) told us about him, his description, warned his Ummah from him, commanded them to invoke at the end of Salaat to seek refuge from him. Whereas Riyaa’ comes to the heart more often, and the shaytaan comes to the heart, this shirk leads the person little by little to forget the observation of Allah and turns the heart to the observation of the people – therefore , it is the most thing of what the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) feared for his Sahabahs. [At-Tamheed Lishaat Kitab at-Tawheed].