How to deal with Riya and showoff in Islam? Part 1

Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)+

Assalam alaikum,

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.

Importance of Shahada

Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Bismillah e rahmani raheem (In the name of Allah (swt) {God}, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

Ok, in my previous post I described the meaning of Shahada, now it is time to illustrate the importance of Shahada.

Islam is the only religion that solely depends on Shahada

I testify there is no God, but Allah (SWT) ( الله سُبْحَانَهُ وتَعَالَى), He has no partners.

By believing and saying this is you are sincerely acknowledging that Allah (swt) is the sole Creator of all, and the Supreme Authority over everything and everyone in the universe.

You believe with your soul, body, mind, and heart to:

  • Trust Allah (swt) — Everything happens for good by Will of (Allah (swt)
  • Believe in Allah (swt) — He has the Power over everything in the world, between Heaven and Earth, everything Known and Unknown, everything that is Seen and Unseen
  • Obey Allah (swt) — Five Pillars of Islam, Living by the word of Allah (swt) that is written in Qur’an, following Hadiths of Muhammed (SAW), and being part of Ummah
  • Worship Allah (swt) — Praying Qur’an, Salah, Dua, and etc only to Allah (swt) and no one else. Acting/behaving within Islam

I testify Muhammed (SAW) (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ ) is His last Messenger and Prophet. 

You believe with your soul, body, mind, and heart to:

  • Belief in the Prophethood of Muhammad (SAW) (Peace and blessings be upon him)
  • Guidance brought by him and contained in his Sunnah (traditions of his sayings and actions),
  • Intention to follow his guidance faithfully.
  • Acknowledging and accepting Muhammad (SAW) (Peace and blessings be upon him) was also a human being, a man with feelings and emotions, who ate, drank and slept, and was born and died, like other men.
  • He had a pure and upright nature, extraordinary righteousness, and an unwavering faith in Allah (SWT) and commitment to Islam, but he was not divine.
  • Muslims do not pray to him, not even as an intercessor, and Muslims abhor the terms “Mohammedan” and “Mohammedanism”

Muslim’s Duty to Allah (swt)

  • Be an exemplary example of good behavior towards all, Muslims and non Muslims alike
  • Act and dress modestly (all Muslims – men and women)
  • Dawah-Spread good through your positive behavior and example
  • Appreciate- Thank Allah (swt) frequently and help people who are in need, regardless of their beliefs