Lessons from Hadith Shareef ~ The Harms of Ostentation and Harming the Friend of Allah

Excerpts from ~ Ramadaan 1435 Programmesbismillahh


، عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ، أَنَّهُ خَرَجَ يَوْمًا إِلَى مَسْجِدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ فَوَجَدَ مُعَاذَ بْنَ جَبَلٍ قَاعِدًا عِنْدَ قَبْرِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ يَبْكِي فَقَالَ مَا يُبْكِيكَ قَالَ يُبْكِينِي شَىْءٌ سَمِعْتُهُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ يَسِيرَ الرِّيَاءِ شِرْكٌ وَإِنَّ مَنْ عَادَى لِلَّهِ وَلِيًّا فَقَدْ بَارَزَ اللَّهَ بِالْمُحَارَبَةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الأَبْرَارَ الأَتْقِيَاءَ الأَخْفِيَاءَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا غَابُوا لَمْ يُفْتَقَدُوا وَإِنْ حَضَرُوا لَمْ يُدْعَوْا وَلَمْ يُعْرَفُوا قُلُوبُهُمْ مَصَابِيحُ الْهُدَى يَخْرُجُونَ مِنْ كُلِّ غَبْرَاءَ مُظْلِمَةٍ ‏“‏ ‏.‏ 

Sunan Ibn Majah ~ 3989

It was narrated from Hazrat Umar bin Khattab (RA) that he went out one day to the mosque of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, and he found Hazrat Mu’adh bin Jabal (RA) sitting by the grave of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, weeping.

Hazrat Umar bin Khattab Radiyallahu Anhu asked: “Why are you weeping?”

Hazrat Mu’adh bin Jabal Radiyallahu Anhu said: “I am weeping because of something that I heard from Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam.

I heard Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam say: *(1) A little showing off (Riya) is polytheism (Shirk) and *(2) whoever shows enmity towards a friend of Allah has declared war on Allah. *(3) Allah loves those who are pious, righteous, and keep a low profile (unostentatious);  those who, if they are absent, are not missed, and if they are present, they are not invited or acknowledged. Their hearts are lamps of guidance and they emerge from every dark and remote place’”



*(1) Riya ~ Ostentation

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam mentioned :Verily, a little bit of RIya (show/ostentation) tantamounts to Shirk (polytheism). When ever we do any actions (Salaah, Zakaat, Hajj, fasting, or any good deed) it should be done ‘solely for the pleasure of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala. It should not be done to show people, that we get some praises from them.

In a Hadith of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, Riya has been termed as ‘Ash Shirk-ul-Khafi’.

• Ash Shirk-ul -Jali (Major Shirk) ~ When a person knowingly, deliberately associates partners with Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala … He believes in Allah and believes that Allah has got partners … He does not believe in the “oneness” of Allah.

• Ash Shirk-ul-Khafi (Minor Shirk) : Although not minor in the true sense, it is a very serious offence. It is minor as compared to Ash Shirk Ul Jali.

When a person does believe only in Allah and he is praying to Allah, but he also does these good actions so that others may observe him and think him to be pious and praise him. He is ostentatious.

It is mentioned in a Hadith :

Hazrat Abu Huraira RA reported: Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said: Allah Almighty said:

أَنَا أَغْنَى الشُّرَكَاءِ عَنْ الشِّرْكِ مَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا أَشْرَكَ فِيهِ مَعِي غَيْرِي تَرَكْتُهُ وَشِرْكَهُ

Allah the Exalted said: Verily, I am most independent of any partner. Whoever performs a deed in which he associates someone with me, I will leave it to his partner (I will not accept the deed as done solely for me) ~ Sahih Muslim 2985

Allah Ta’ala says : I am the most independent from any type of partnership. i do not require any partners. If anyone did any action for me and partnered me with somebody else (in any action), (whereas i did not require any partner), then on the day of Qiyamah, Allah will tell the person that in reality he did those actions for others … now he should go and collect his rewards from them … and not from Allah Ta’ala.

In another Hadith it is mentioned :

Hazrat Abu Sa’eed RA reported that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam came to us while we were discussing about Dajjaal and said: “Should I inform you of that which I fear for you even more than the dangers of  Dajjaal? It is “hidden Shirk”: A person stands to pray, and he beautifies his prayer because he sees the people looking at him.” ~( Sunan ibn Maajah)

Some times people go for Umrah and Hajj and want people to know how long they spent in the Haram Shareef, how many Tawaafs they made, and how much of Ibadat they made, and how much of Tilawat they made … all for people to praise them. This tantamounts to Shirk Al Khafi.

A person who fasts for people to praise him … then he too has committed shirk.

These are important things that we should refrain from. We should rather develop in ourselves Ikhlaas (sincerity) … ie : doing something only for the pleasure of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala

Ikhaas : Sincerity

Ikhlaas is the root of all our deeds and actions (A’maal). Ulema give the analogy of the roots of a tree : The roots of a tree are hidden beneath the soil. If the roots are good and they are cared for, then the tree will also grow well and bear good fruit. If the roots are destroyed, the entire tree will decay and become decomposed and will not flourish. Similarly, the roots of the tree represent Ikhlaas … One must conceal one’s deeds (like the roots of a tree) to develop Ikhlaas …

In Deen we require this “Ikhfaa” (concealment) and should hide our deeds, and not do things for show and ostentation. Deeds performed privately and in public done solely for the pleasure of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala ie Ikhlaas (the concealed ‘roots’) brings about the beauty of Islam.

No matter what achievements we may achieve in this world, always think and reflect that whatever achievements we have, whatever bounties we possess, (eg: intelligence or a certain skill) all this is only from Allah.

Ibn Al-Qayyim (Rahimahullaah) said, “Deeds without sincerity are like a traveler who carries ‘sand’ in his leather bag instead of provisions (food and drink). The carrying of it only burdens him and it brings him no benefit whatsoever. ”

Like that, a person may do actions in this world and get praises of people in this world but in the Aakhirah he only gets Azhaab (punishment) for this because he did not do it for the sake of Allah.


*(2) Declaration of War

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam then mentioned : That person who becomes an enemy of any friend of Allah…ie : He opposes a Wali (friend) of Allah, then in reality he is challenging Allah with war. He is waging war against Allah! Can anybody wage war against Allah? Therefore, we should be extremely cautious when dealing with the friends of Allah … We should not harbour malice against them … nor make any blasphemous statements against them,  nor oppose them in any way …because Allah Ta’ala will take revenge on their behalf…and we will be destroyed …


*(3) Allah Loves those who are Righteous and Pious

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam then mentioned : Allah loves the pious and those who are ‘hidden’ and have a low profile. They are not prominent people in society. They are inconspicuous, low profile people. Such people, when they are not present, they are not even asked about, i.e. : No one checks or enquires about this person and his whereabouts. Even if they are in the town, they are not invited for any function or meal. If they are present in any gathering, then they are not called closer or given any special treatment. They are quiet, modest, unnoticeable,  low profile people.

But, their condition is such that Allah loves them! Why? They are pious … They may not be well known and famous in society but, they are ‘well known’ in the eyes of Allah. Their hearts are lanterns and lamps of guidance. They are the true Guides that emerge from every dark place (dwelling). Their homes are dark but their hearts are illuminated … and such people are close to Allah.

Mullah Ali Qari RA has given another explanation (in which he explains) : These people emerge (come out) of every difficulty no matter what they are burdened with or entrusted with. They are able to fulfil all those tasks because they have illuminated hearts …

Others have explained : Even though they are born in an evil environment, they are not affected by that environment because their hearts are full of light and noor and they move out and guide the rest of mankind.