The Noble Scholar, Muhammad al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
In this life, the description of a person’s actions is based upon what is apparent, so we interact with people based upon what is apparent from their conditions.
However, in order for a person’s actions to be sound, his inner actions must match these outward actions. Also, what is apparent from him must coincide with that which is hidden in him.
If a person’s actions are contradictory to his intentions, and his heart becomes engrossed with corrupt aims -and we seek refuge with Allah from this- then there is no greater loss for him! He tires himself by doing deeds; yet, there is no reward for his effort.
The end result of these sorts of actions are clarified in an authentic hadeeth. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah exalt his mention and grant him safety, said: ‘Allah, the Most High, said: ‘I am not in need of any partners, whoever does an action for me and for other than me, I have abandoned him and his polytheism.’ [Collected by Muslim]
[A Subtle Point]
The devil (shaytaan) may come to you when you want to do a good deed and say, ‘You are only doing this good deed to show-off.’ As a result, he decreases your desire to do an action, and he discourages you.
Do not pay attention to this, and do not obey him; rather, perform deeds, even if he says to you: ‘You’re only performing this action to show-off or to gain a good reputation.’ Ignore him, because if someone were to ask you, ‘Are you performing this action to show-off?,’ you would surely say, ‘No!’
Therefore, these devilish whisperings that the devil entered into your heart, don’t pay attention to them. Do good deeds. And do not say to yourself, ‘I am showing-off’ and the like. (1)
[Benefits from Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen’s Speech] (2): Allah, the Most High, is not in need of any partners. : The Messenger’s clear manner in warning against polytheism : A lofty encouragement to work solely for Allah : We assess and interact with people based on what is apparent. : It is possible for the heart to become engrossed with corrupt intentions. : Doing deeds for other than Allah is a waste of time and effort; furthermore, there is no reward for them. : The devil is underhanded and diligent in misguiding us. : Ignore devilish whisperings and perform as many good deeds as possible.
(1) Muhammad al-‘Uthaymeen, Explanation of Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, 1/15-16
(2) Summary by the translator
Abu Adam Jameel Finch
Umm al-Quraa University, College of Sharee’ah
Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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