Riya’a: Nullifier of the Deeds – Sunday, 15th Jan 2012
Riya’ is more destructive than a wolf to a flock of sheep.
Narrated Ka’b bin Maalik al-Ansaari (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu) that Allah’s Messenger (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Two hungry wolves sent in the midst of a flock of sheep are not more destructive to them than a man’s greed for wealth and fame is to his religion. (Al-Tirmidhi and authenticated by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tagheeb wat -Taheeb #1710)
1. The sound religion is free of this greediness.
2. This is a great parable which the Prophet (Salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has set forth to indicate the corruption of the religion of such muslim; being keen and covetous to the wealth and nobility in this world. These two matters [i.e wealth and nobility] are the two motives which motivate the Riya’ in the human self; accordingly the religion is corrupted.
The covetousness for wealth and fame will cause the same destruction or even more. Therefore, your Niyyah should always be away from obtaining wealth and fame.
For many people, their sole concern is to get money or fame in order to be “pointed at”.
Ibn Rajab (Rahimahullaah) said: “Pointing to the man with fingers is Fitnah, even if it is for something good.” [Mahmo’ Basaa’il Ibn Rajab].
Except those whom Allah has protected, humans naturally desire leadership and to have a position in the heart of people, to be loved and to be famous .
One may die for the sake of fame and he may not attain it. This matter is sufficient to make the person hated with Allah, and then with the creation.
Narrated Anas (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu): The Prophet (Salla Allaahu’ alaihi wa sallam) had a she-camel called Al-‘Adbaa’ which could not be excelled in a race. Once a bedouin came riding a camel which was six years younger than the Prophet’s camel and surpassed it in the race. The Muslims felt bad about it so much that the Prophet (Salla Allaahu’ alaihi wa sallam) noticed their distress. He then said, “It is incumbent upon Allah (or it is Allah’s law) that he brings down whatever rises high in the world.” [Al-Bukhari].
Ibn Al-Qayyim (Rahimahullah) said: “Allah brings down whatever is raised by the people, but not by Him. He will not bring down whatever He raised or elevated.”
If Allah exalted a slave because of his obedience, He would honour him and never bring him down. [Al-Foroosiyah al-Muhammadiyah].
The Salaf took care of this matter and showed its seriousness upon the deed of man.
However, the shaytan, the self and the people are obstacles in the way of sincerity.
Riya’ is the minor shirk, which the Prophet (Salla Allaahu’ alaihi wa sallam) feared most for his Sahabah – because it renders the deed fruitless.