Abu Muadh Taqweem Aqeedah (Creed) Personal Matters Shirk (Polytheism) Sound Creed

Sound Creed #28: Showing off

Read by our brother Abu Muadh Taqweem


  • Shirk in your Intentions & Goals
  • Showing off is of two types
  • Statement of Ibn Rajab on the sub-types of showing off
  • Doing an act of worship for Worldly Gain
  • Guard your actions from shirk!

The danger of minor shirk

  • Recap of last week
  • How Minor shirk can be difficult to detect
  • Examples of Minor shirk:
    • Swearing by other than Allah
    • Minor shirk in particular statements or phrases

Shirk in your Intentions & Goals

  • From among the types of minor shirk is that which affects 
  • This is known as the “concealed” or “hidden” shirk”
  • An example of this is Ar-Riyaa (Showing off)

Showing off is of two types

  • Type 1 “Ar-Riyaa”:
    • The Arabic term “Ar-Riyaa” is derived from the verb “to see”, “vision” or “sight”, 
    • The meaning behind this is that showing off is done with the intention to be seen by the people so that they may praise you
  • Type 2 “As-Sum’a”:
    • This is related to people hearing your actions or hearing about them
    • A person may do an act of worship privately, no one sees him or hears him, however he may boast about it afterwards so that people hear about his actions
  • The difference between these two types is that in one of them a person wants their actions to be seen and thus praised, the other is the desire for people to hear about your actions so they praise him or her
  • Allah says: “Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.”” [Surah Al-Kahf (The Cave) verse 110]
  • This verse highlights the two pillars which are necessary for righteous actions to be accepted, what are they?
  • Statement of Ibn Qayyim regarding this verse
    • 1. Allah is one and singled out in his Lordship, therefore he should be singled out in our Worship of him
    • 2. The righteous action is therefore the one pure in its sincerity for Allah and it is limited by the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ)
  • Allah says: “So woe be to those (hypocrites) who pray. Those who are neglectful in their prayer, (by delaying it from its time, and not performing it with attention and humility). Those who (wish to be seen and praised by others) by making a display of their deeds. And who withhold (even the smallest acts of) assistance and kindness (to neighbours, the needy and those who ask). 
  • ” [Surah Al-Ma’un (The Small Kindnesses) verse 4-7]
  • What does Allah say in the Qur’an about the Hypocrites?
  • Hadith Qudsi related by Abu Hurairah, what does Allah say about the one who associates others with him and about those who show off?
  • What will be said to those who showed off on the day of Judgement?

Sub-types of Showing off

  • Statement of Ibn Rajab: “Know that doing actions for other than Allah is of different types…”
    • 1. Doing an action purely to show off
    • 2. Doing an action for the sake of Allah, however some element of showing off enters into it. This itself is of two types
      • a) Showing off entered into it from the start
      • b) Showing off entered into it later. Here again there are two possibilities:
        • i) You dispelled it and got rid of it
        • ii) Showing off took root in your mind, you followed it for some part of your action
  • What does Ibn Rajab say about each of the above? Which type of people may fall into them? How do they affect the person’s action? What are the rulings!?

Doing an act of worship for Worldly Gain

  • A person doing an act of worship with a goal of some worldly gain is from among the types of minor shirk
  • This is defined as when a person does an action which is supposed to be done for the sake of Allah, however his objective is to obtain some worldly gain?
  • This is not the same as showing off
  • What does the Allah say about those who show off?
  • Statement of Qataadah (may Allah be pleased with him)
  • If someone does an action for the sake of Allah
  • Statement of Shaykh Abdulwahhaab (may Allah have mercy upon him)


  • If a person does an action purely for the sake of Allah, but then later he talks about it (boasts) then does this invalidate the action?
  • If you did an act of worship (e.g. pray at night), if someone then asks you and you explained in an indirect way without boasting, is this showing off?
  • Can someone fall into showing off without you knowing? Can it be accidental?

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