Tip Of The Week – Guard Yourself From Hidden Shirk

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Author: Pure Matrimony

Everyone knows that Shirk means to associate partners with Allah – a sin so severe that there is nothing but destruction for the one who entertains it…But, did you also know there are many kinds of shirk, one of which is equally as devastating but so subtle, you might not even know you’ve done it?

Hidden shirk is known as ‘Riyaah’ and in its loosest sense, means to show off. However, it is more than this. For a tighter definition, the Shariah considers it as the following: “to perform acts which are pleasing to Allah with the intention of pleasing other than Allah.”

Thus, righteous deeds done for making others think you are good are transformed into evil deeds which Allah will not accept, because you never intended it for HIS pleasure. Riyaah is unfortunately one of those sins that seem outwardly good.

Ibn Katheer (RA) gave a really excellent analogy of Riyaah in his book of tafseer – He said about Riyaah: It is more hidden than a black ant on a black rock on a dark night. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol 1, p62)

Riyaah also ties in with praise. In Saheeh Muslim from Miqdaad (RA) that a man began to praise ‘Uthmaan (RA) so Miqdaad proceeded (towards him) and went down on his knees and began to throw the gravel on his face. So, ‘Uthmaan (RA) said: ‘What’s the matter with you?’ So, he said: Indeed, the Prophet ﷺ said:

“When you see those who praise people (to their faces), then throw dirt in their faces.”

The reality is that when you are praised, you can easily become arrogant; self-conceited and begin to do things not for Allah’s sake, but for the love of others.

So what should you do to protect yourself? Firstly, ALWAYS correct your intention in your HEART when doing well – intention is not through your tongue because the tongue can lie, but the heart knows the truth. Secondly, make a habit of seeking Allah’s forgiveness at all times and ask Allah to guide you. Lastly, stop people excessively praising you and ask them to make dua for you instead.

May Allah SWT protect us all from Riyaah ameen.

Pure Matrimony

….Where Practice Makes Perfect

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