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_Riya refers to doing things that are pleasing to Allah with the intention of seeking admiration from others. The intention in such cases, therefore, is usually to show off one’s good deeds to win praise and admiration of others. It amounts to practicing virtue out of vanity, with the aim of achieving popularity among people._

*Riya makes us focus on earning appreciation from people rather than seeking Allah’s favor and acceptance. It makes us focus on people’s appreciation of our virtuous acts, which means we give importance to them, and not to Allah the Most Benevolent.*

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_The Prophet (SAWS) described Riya’ by giving the example of a person performing prayer for Allah, and improving his rendering of the Salat when he knows that others are watching him. Allah says:_

_So woe unto those performers of Salat (hypocrites), Those who delay their Salat (from their stated fixed times). *Those who do good deeds only to be seen (of men).* And prevent Al-Ma’un (small kindnesses) (Surah Al-Maauun 107: 4 – 7)_

_Performing worship or a (righteous) deed for worldly reasons is minor Shirk. Any good deed performed with the intention of showing off and pleasing people is not acceptable. For example, if one reads the Quran craving for people’s admiration for the beautiful recitation and not as a duty to Allah but to impress people falls under the category of showing off, and is considered minor shirk._

 _We should, therefore, be aware of such shirk and do every good deed for Allah alone, and not to enhance our image or status among people._

 _(Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, may Allah have mercy on him, vol. 9, p. 3)_

*We know that on the Day of Judgment we will be in a desperate need of Allah’s mercy. We can get His mercy on that day by earning it today by focusing to do good deeds only for His sake.*

 _Instead, when we do good deeds to seek others’ admiration, Allah will turn us away. The Messenger of Allah, (SAWS) said,_

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_“Verily, what I fear most for you is the lesser idolatry.” And he elaborated, “It is showing off. Allah the Exalted will say to them (who show off), on the Day of Resurrection when the people are being rewarded for their deeds: Go to those whom you wished to show off in the world and look for your reward with them.” (Musnad Ahmad Hadith 23119)_

*Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah (SAWS), entered upon us while we were discussing the False Messiah. He said,*

 _“Shall I not tell you about what I fear for you more than the presence of the False Messiah?” We said, “Of course!” He said, “Hidden idolatry; that a man stands for prayer and beautifies his prayer because he sees another man looking at him.” (Ibn Majah Hadith 4202)_

_To be continued In Shaa Allah_

_May Allah protect us Riya. Aameeen._

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