Sometimes one can have in oneself different things that one does not know enough about, to prevent oneself from. One of these actions is ar-riya or ostentation. Below there will be mentioned different aspects that show the signs of riya and afterwards you can read the cure for such disease also. May Allah help us achieve true ikhlas and be mukhlas in our deeds, in sha Allah, ameen.
Imam Mawlud outlines three signs of riya. The first two are laziness and lack of action for Allah`s sake when one is alone and out of view of others. When alone, a person becomes unable or unwilling to perform acts of devotion, like reading the Quran at home, but in the Mosque, in the presence of others, he finds the drive to recite. (This does not mean that one should not respond to the inspiration one receives when in the company of people who are doing good deeds).
Another sign is riya increases ones action when praised and decreases in the absence of such praise.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “When a believer hears somebody praising him, his faith (iman) increases”, not his pride.
The Imam says: ” The cure of riya is seeking out purification of the heart by removing four things, love of praise, fear of blame, desire for worldly benefits from the people, and fear of harm from the people.This is from nurturing the certainty that only Allah can benefit or harm one.
The Prophet (pbuh) has said:
“Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah. If you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that if the whole nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you. And if (the whole nation) were to gather together to harm you, it would harm only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink had dried”.
The practical treatment is veiling one`s actions from the eyes of the people. This way, one`s own intention are protected from vanity. This does not mean to never to deeds in front of others, but to do them also when others are not watching.
It is recommended to read surah Ikhlas (the 112th surah from the Quran). The surah affirms the oneness of Allah and negates the possibility of there being anything comparable to him. The word ikhlas comes from the arabic root khalusa, which means to be pure, as in pure honey or pure milk. As for one`s piety, it could never be pure unless free from ar-riya. Allah loves the people who are mukhlas, sincere. Imam Abu Hasan shadili once prayed:
“Make my bad actions the bad actions of those whom you love, and do not make my good actions the good actions of those with whom You are displeased”.
It is recommended to read sayyidal-Astagfar.
Excerpt taken out from the book “The Purification Of The Heart”, written by Hamza Yusuf.