Riya’a (Part 6) – 1st April 2012
How Can You Fight the Riya’a?
1- Gaining Knowledge
- about Allah (His Names and Attributes.)
- about yourself.
- about the reality of the people.
2- Jihad (Self Struggle)
Riya’a is an affliction that comes to everyone. You would be wrong if you think you are free from Riya’a. The Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) feared Riya’a for his companions, who were perfect in their faith. He feared for them the Riya’a more than the anti-christ (Dajjal.)
This fact should make you strive hard against Riya’a. When the thought of Riya’a passes your mind, repel it by reminding yourself about Allah (and what you know of His Names and Attributes) and remind yourself about the reality of people.
3- Good Companions
Another thing which will help you fight the Riya’a is having good companions.
- If Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) afflicted you with a companion who praises you, it is advised to cut relations with him/her, and if you can’t, then do not believe him/her. This is because the reality of the people is that they praise you when they see good, and as soon as they discover something bad, they will defame (dislike/hate) you. If Allah wills good for you, He will grant you a good companion who will not praise you (or others.) We may say, “But I need encouragement.”
The Prophet (salla Allaau ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “You killed your brother” – this means praising your brother is like killing him.
- If it happens that someone you know accomplishes a good task, you should say: “Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) really opened it for you and made it easy for you, this is a good job out of Allah’s Grace, stay firm, and may Allah increase you in Barakah”, not “wow, this is amazing, your work is undeniably wonderful, etc, etc.” All religious texts indicate that praising a person is destructive.
- Praising the person will cause him/her to be greedy, and this is by itself a sickness. Every time, he/she will be waiting for people to praise him/her upon doing any work or deed. Nothing will satisfy this person.
Why Does Allah Put Us to Test?
Allah answers this question in the Qur’an, Surat Al Anfal, verse 37:
“[This is] so that Allah may distinguish the wicked from the good and place the wicked some of them upon others and heap them all together and put them into Hell. It is those who are the losers.”
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’ala) sends down the afflictions upon the people in order to distinguish the good from the wicked. Many people claim to be such and such. The truthful person is the one whose truthfulness appears after the test. Your reaction after that test will determine how truthful you are.
This life is full of tests. The Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Paradise is surrounded with disliked matters”. Only the truthful will enter paradise. If you intend to do a certain deed for Allah’s sake, then you should also bear/tolerate whatever you will face during that test for the sake of Allah.
In our previous post, we mentioned three characteristics of those who will be able to discover the Riya’a. The fourth characteristic is that this person is heedless while performing the deed. Our problem is that we start our deeds without thinking or pausing on the reason why we are doing it or what are we expecting from doing this deed. Heedlessness in your intention makes you fall into Riya’a.
The Salaf never got up and followed a funeral (being aware of the great reward behind doing so) unless they checked and renewed their intentions.
Remind yourself that you are seeking Allah’s Countenance and accordingly, your reward will increase. If your intention was for something else, accordingly, your reward will also be diminished.