What is commonly misunderstood as Riyaa, Shirk and its like
1) The praise of the people regarding a man committing a good deed.
It is reported on the authority of Abu Dhar that it was said to the prophet SAW ‘’What is your opinion regarding an individual who performs a good deed and the people praise him for that?’’. He replied ‘’that is (a sign) of glad tidings for the believer’’ (Sahih Muslim).
2) Speaking about disobedience despite, Allah hating the exposure of sins and loving its veiling of it.
This is because the speaker is not actually promoting his/her OWN SINS, but, rather giving a general warning of the sin itself!
3) The abandonment of good actions out of fear of Riyaa.
This is because this is from the plots of Shaytaan (to make you abandon good deeds). Ibrahim Al-Nakha’i said ‘If Shaytaan comes to you during your Salah and says ‘’You are insincere’’, then lengthen it (your Salah)’.
4) The enthusiasm of a servant for ‘Ibadah in the presence of the righteous.
Al-Maqdisi said ‘’The accompaniment of a person overnight with those who observe Tahajjud and pray a lot during the night despite, his habit being to pray for a portion, he joins them in this. Or he may fast with them. And without them, a person will not regenerate this enthusiasm, he/she may (wrongly) think that this is Riyaa. But, it is not like that. Rather, this requires more explanation. That is because every believer wishes to engage in the worship of Allaah but, he/she may be constrained by obstacles and overtaken by heedlessness. So, perhaps the presence of others may cause this heedlessness to disappear’’.
5) Not speaking about ones sins and witholding it. This does not constitute Riyaa because the prophet SAW said:
“All of my ummah will be forgiven except those who sin openly. It is a part of sinning openly when a man does something at night, then the following morning when Allaah has concealed his sin, he says, ‘O So and so, I did such and such last night,’ when all night his Lord has concealed him and the next morning he uncovers what Allaah had concealed.” (Bukhari) .
6) The servant’s acquisition of fame despite, not seeking it and thus, he abandons good deeds out of fear of Shirk.
Fudayl ibn ‘Iyyaad said: ‘’To leave off an action for the sake of the people is Riyaa’ and (committing) an action for the sake of the people is Shirk. And Ikhlaas is when Allah saves you from both of them’’.
Imam An-Nawawi Rahimahullah commentates on the words of Fudayl: ‘And the meaning of his words, Rahimahullah, is that the one who is resolute upon ‘Ibadah and leaves it out of fear that the people may see him, then he is insincere. That is because he is leaving it for the sake of the people. If he leaves it to offer it in seclusion, then that is recommended unless, it is an obligation, or Zakah which is wajib upon him or if he is an ‘Aalim that is to be followed and speaks about the ‘Ibadah, then that is preponderate (to publicise).’(Sharh Arba’een)
7) That he intends to conceal his worship and to have ikhlaas for Allah but, when the people see him, he knows that Allah has made apparent the good from his circumstances and has covered his sins, so, he expresses delight because of that and NOT because of the praise of the people and their revering of him. As aforementioned, it was said to the prophet SAW:
‘’What is your opinion regarding an individual who performs a good deed and the people praise him for that?’’. He replied ‘’that is (a sign) of glad tidings for the believer’’ (Sahih Muslim).
Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimahullah said ‘And whoever performs a legislated act such as the Duha prayer, Qiyaam Al-Layl or other than that, then he should perform this wherever he is. And it is not befitting for him to leave this legislated act solely for the people when Allah knows that in his heart he is performing it secretly for Allah whilst, striving to achieve safety from Riyaa and corruption of Ikhlaas.
To be continued, InshaAllah