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 36 – Showing Off Blocks the Acceptance of Deeds
وقال صلى الله عليه وآله: وقد سئل فيم النجاة؟ قال: أن لا يعمل العبد بطاعة الله يريد بها الناس وَ عَنْهُ ع إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَقْبَلُ عَمَلًا فِيهِ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ مِنْ رِيَاء
Hadith #35: The Prophet (p) was asked, where can salvation be found? He (p) replied: Salvation is when a servant does not seek people in the obedience of Allah. And He (p) said: Allah does not accept a deed in which there is an ounce of riyā’.
As per this narration, the fact that salvation in the hereafter is given when a person does not associate other people with Allah (swt) while in servitude to Him (swt), means that riyā’ and showing off is a cause of one’s destruction in the hereafter. We mentioned in episode 12 that at times we can do an act, and this act is done correctly and it is valid, but Allah can still choose to accept or reject the act for various reasons, although we won’t ultimately be punished for them and their rejection will only lower us in our ranks in the hereafter – that was the hadith were we spoke about how not everyone’s act of worship reachs the 7th level where on each level there is an angel.
But in this situation where one does riyā’, it is not even about a deed being accepted or rejected. That’s because this deed is nothing but destruction itself, and something which is destructive is invalid, corrupt, and polluted to begin with, over here there is no discussion of the deed being correct and Allah possibly accepting it or possibly rejecting it.
The Prophet says that even a small ounce of riyā’ is enough to ruin an act. Riyā’ then is like that small drop of blood that falls into a large jug of water or juice, no matter how clean and pure that water was, no matter how much effort you exerted to find that water, that small ounce of blood is enough to ruin the whole jug of water, and make it impure.
If you have made this this far into this podcast series, Al-ḥamdulillah. There are only 5 more narrations left till we finish this first section, so just hang in there with us, and by the end of it we will have a very thorough grasp and understanding of the importance of sincerity and the problematic nature of riyā’ and insincerity in general in one’s life – all based on the narrations of the Prophet (p) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) themselves.
In the next episode we will read a narration from Imam ‘Alī (a) where he tells us about the signs of a show-off.
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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.