Getting rid of Riya'

Q: Someone wants to learn and work according to what they learn and teach others. They fear that this may lead them to Riya' (showing-off ). Thus, they abstain from teaching others. However, they remember the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) where he threatens those who conceal knowledge. (Part No. 1; Page No. 773) What should they do? What should a person do in order to differentiate between what is done for the sake of Allah and what is done for fame and ostentation? How can a person get rid of Riya'? What should someone do to be sincere in their deeds?


A: You should be sincere to Allah in seeking, applying, spreading and teaching knowledge. You have to do so for the sake of Allah Alone and the Hereafter. Do not do so for the sake of praise and commendation. Do not make worldly affairs, gaining dignity and honorable positions your great concern. Doing so means that you seek worldly affairs through the deeds that should be dedicated for the Hereafter. It also means that religion becomes a means to reach worldly benefits. This is what brings punishment. But if you intend nothing except Allah in your knowledge and your work, and worldly affairs are inevitably achieved, then this will not affect your sincerity to Allah. It is, in this case, the same as booty for those who fight in the cause of Allah. The booty is permitted for the fighters and does not affect their sincerity in fighting in the cause of Allah even if it decreases the reward of their fight.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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