I got a question from one of our readers, while I did some research, I was surprised by such vast of information on this topic, which was very interesting. Before I go ahead, I would deeply like to thank that reader for this question, because of you, I got a chance to learn and teach to many other people In Sha’Allah.
Question: How to deal with Riya and showoff in Islam?
Since this is huge topic, I would like to discuss in depth and into parts.
Part 1: Riya
What is riya? Riya has many levels in Islam, but the broad definition could be considered as arrogance. Riya can come in many forms such as in our hearts, minds, verbal aspects, and actions.
Let us explore these aspects:
Hearts: When we win or do something and get praised, we often forget Allah (swt) helped us, and we believe that we achieved by ourselves. We not only forget our Creator, without His help we cannot achieve anything, but we also discredit our family members and our loved ones and leave them behind. We take all the credit and fame.
Minds: We tend to believe in ourselves after we achieve something. That’s “I tried” or “I did”, it becomes all about me, instead of Allah (swt). When we lose something or something goes bad, we say or blame Allah (swt) or family/friends, but never oneself.
Verbal Aspects: We start comparing ourselves to other people, especially people in Islamic history such as Caliphs, Sahabahs, Prophet (saw)’s wives, and Prophet (saw), and etc.
We should never compare ourselves with anyone, especially anyone from Prophet’s time or to Himself. Allah (swt) is the best in Knowledge, let Him be the judge. We can strive to be like them, but we can never be them or compare ourselves with them.
Actions: When hearts and minds become one thought, then automatically our actions follow that train of thought.