To be ostentatious and “showy” in any action is a sure way of making “enemies” and earning the wrath of Allah Ta’ala. The disease of showing-off is as good as being a habitual and compulsive gambler, addict, etc. All these ugly and derided acts are similar to pressing the “self-destruct-button” in life. “Riyaa” (showing off) is indeed an “arrow of shaitaan” which breeds a sense of pride, egoism and self-centeredness in an individual.
Every single deed of such unfortunate individuals is ascribed to the: “I”, “Me” and “Myself”. The net result is a badly diseased heart!
In one hadith, Nabi (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) expressed his heartfelt worry and concern about his Ummah saying: “I am deeply concerned about you (my Ummah) with regard to “shirk-e-asgar”. Some Sahaba (RA) asked --- ‘What is the meaning of “shirk-e-asgar”?’ Nabi (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: “To show off (i.e. showing off our Deeni and pious acts to the people).” (Musnad-e-Ahmad)
Although this hadith referrers specifically to showing off “Deeni and pious” deeds, one should also refrain from showing off any good act that he/she was/ is or will be connected with. We should simply do it for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala alone. One’s intention is most important and one should constantly check the intention at all times.
Darul Ihsan Centre