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 40 – Allah Will Expose the Show-Off
عُمَرَ بْنِ يَزِيدَ قَالَ: إِنِّي لَأَتَعَشَّى مَعَ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع إِذْ تَلَا هَذِهِ الْآيَةَ- بَلِ الْإِنْسانُ عَلى نَفْسِهِ بَصِيرَةٌ وَ لَوْ أَلْقى مَعاذِيرَهُ يَا أَبَا حَفْصٍ مَا يَصْنَعُ الْإِنْسَانُ أَنْ يَتَقَرَّبَ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ بِخِلَافِ مَا يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى- إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ص كَانَ يَقُولُ مَنْ أَسَرَّ سَرِيرَةً رَدَّاهُ اللَّهُ رِدَاءَهَا إِنْ خَيْراً فَخَيْرٌ وَ إِنْ شَرّاً فَشَرٌّ.
Hadith #39: ‘Umar b. Yazīd says: I was eating dinner alongside Imam Sadiq (a) when he suddenly read the verse: [75:14-15] Rather, man, against himself, will be a witness, even if he presents his excuses.
The Imam says: O Abā Ḥafṣ! What is it that people engage in an act by which Allah is sought proximity with, but their intention is contrary to that, and Allah is aware of it. The Prophet (p) would say: Anyone who conceals something inside of them, Allah will robe them with a similar robe, if what they conceal is good, then it will be a robe of goodness, and if what they conceal is evil, then it will be a robe of evil.
From this narration we learn that a show-off has an apparent and a hidden aspect. The apparent is what is shown to people, the apparent seems to be for Allah, and the hidden is what Allah (swt) is aware of and that is that the act is being done for people and to seek a position and place in their eyes. Allah knows what we hide inside of us, our intentions specifically. On the apparent it may look like we are doing an act for the sake of Allah (swt), but only He knows our inner motives and intents, people won’t be able to tell necessarily, unless we make it obvious and apparent ourselves. This is why the verse was quoted, saying we are well aware of ourselves, and we are the strongest witness against ourselves, despite all the excuses we may bring forth, we ourselves will know our excuses are invalid and our own body parts will testify against ourselves.
The narration says that if a person conceals their goodness, then Allah (swt) will cover and robe such a person with goodness, and their goodness will become apparent and manifest; but if they conceal their evil and insincere intentions, Allah (swt) will cover such a person with a similar robe and their insincerity will become obvious and manifest for people. If you recall all the way back in episode 28, we had said that even though Allah (swt) is sattār al-‘uyūb – one who hides and conceals our defects – but it is only to a certain point He (swt) will tolerate our transgression. If we continue to cross our limits, we will see the consequences of it in this world as well, and that in this case, He will reveal our true conditions.
In the next episode, which is the final episode of the first set of 40-narrations, we will end with a narration from the Prophet (p) where he speaks about the anger of Allah (swt) against 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.