Al-Salam ‘Alaykum, this is Syed Ali Imran – and you are listening to the Forties podcast, brought to you by Mizan Institute.
This is episode 33 – A Valley for the Showoffs in Hellfire
وَ قَالَ ص اسْتَعِيذُوا بِاللَّهِ مِنْ جُبِّ الْخِزْيِ قِيلَ وَ مَا هُوَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ وَادٍ فِي جَهَنَّمَ أُعِدَّ لِلْمُرَائِين. إِنَّ الْمُرَائِيَ يُنَادَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَا فَاجِرُ يَا غَادِرُ يَا مُرَائِي ضَلَّ عَمَلُكَ وَ بَطَلَ أَجْرُكَ اذْهَبْ فَخُذْ أَجْرَكَ مِمَّنْ كُنْتَ تَعْمَلُ لَهُ.
Hadith #32: Seek refuge in Allah from the valley of Khizy. It was said to the Prophet (p), what is that valley O messenger of Allah? He (p) replied: It is a valley in hellfire prepared for those who show off. The show-off will be called out on the Day of Judgement, “O immoral one, O treacherous one, O show off! Your deeds have taken you astray and your rewards have been spoiled! Go and take your reward from those who you would do your deeds for.”
In the previous episode we said that Allah (swt) will make the small deeds of a sincere person look great and of more value in the eyes of people, and the many insincere deeds of someone, Allah will make them look very small in the eyes of people. This was in this world.
But this narration tells us that the insincere person will have to face in the hereafter. The fact that there is a separate valley for those who show-off signifies how severe of a sin this is. Not only does showing off in an act of worship ruin the worship, but it also results in the punishment of a person. Its for this reason the Prophet says to seek refuge from this valley.
We will be questioned about abandoning an obligatory act and could be punished for it, but if we perform the obligation while showing off, then we are prone to two separate punishments. One for the crime of not doing our obligation, and second for the crime of Riyā’. Likewise, in the recommended acts, if we perform them while showing off, though we won’t be questioned for the invalidity of our recommended acts, but we will be punished and questioned for why we showed off in them.
Sayyid Zanjānī ends this chapter with some lines of poetry in Persian, which go along the lines of:
شعر ناگفتن به از شعری که گوئی نادرست
بچه نازادن به از ششماهه بفکندن جنین
Not reciting poetry is better than reciting incorrect poetry
Not having children is better than aborting a six-month-old fetus
What this implies is that not performing the worship is better than performing it with riyā’, in which case you invalidate your worship and are guilty of not doing your obligations, and also guilty of showing off which is another severe sin.
In the next episode, we’ll read a narration from the Prophet (p) where he explains how being concerned about people and seeking to please them is essentially tantamount to leaving the boundaries of Allah’s servitude.
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Sayyid Ali studied in the seminary of Qom from 2012 to 2021, while also concurrently obtaining a M.A in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College of London in 2018. In the seminary he engaged in the study of legal theory, jurisprudence and philosophy, eventually attending the advanced kharij of Usul and Fiqh in 2018. He is currently completing his Masters of Education at the University of Toronto and is the head of a private faith-based school in Toronto, as well as an instructor at the Mizan Institute and Mufid Seminary.