Good Deed: #199 Stop showing off – Riyaa

DON'T BE A SHOW OFF - Vintage Childrens Good Manners Instructional Poster - 1957

107:4 -6(Y. Ali) So woe to the worshipper, Who are neglectful of their prayers, Those who (want but) to be seen (of men.

264 (Y. Ali) O ye who believe! cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,- like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. They are in parable like a hard, barren rock, on which is a little soil: on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (Just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guideth not those who reject faith.


The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: “What I fear for you the most is the minor shirk, that is ar-riyaa. Allaah will say on the Day of Judgement when He is rewarding the people for their actions: Go to those for whom you did riyaa for in the world then see if you find the reward with them.” (Related by Ahmad (5/428, 429))

The Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: “Shall I not inform you of what I fear for you more than the maseeh ud-dajjaal? It is the hidden shirk. It is when a man stands up for prayer, then beautifies his prayer for another to look at.” Ibn Maajah (2604)





Action Plan

Ar-Riyaa. Linguistically, riyaa means showing, displaying something. In the Shariah, riyaa means a good deed done with the intention that people may see it and praise the doer for the action.Riyaa is the intention to enhance one’s dignity in the eyes of the people by means of acts of obedience to Allah Ta’ala. Riyaa is hidden shirk.

Signs of Riyaa

  • When one is lazy regarding acts of worship when alone but when others are around, one finds it easier to perform good deeds.
  • Increasing good deeds when one is praised for them.
  • Fear of criticism regarding religious practises
  • Perform acts of worship because fears and feels that others will look down on him if he doesn’t perform it.

Cure for Riyaa

1) Make good intentions
2) Dua (Supplication)
The Prophet (pbuh) taught the specific dua for riyaa:


“Allahumma inna na-oothu bika an-nushrika bika shay’an na’lamuhu, wa nastagfiruka limaa laa na’lamuh.”
“O Allah, we seek refuge in you from committing shirk knowingly, and ask your forgiveness for (the shirk that we may commit unknowingly)”. 
3) Reflecting upon Heaven and Hell
4) Hiding one’s good deeds
5) Reflection upon oneself’s shortcomings
6) Accompanying the pious
7. Be content with your acts of worship

8. Have humility


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