(This article was written by Saeed Muhammed Lawan, may Allah reward him)
People guarantee Paradise for some people because they saw the way
they worship Allah, they have dedicated themselves to the mosque and they
gave charity, and did everything good that you expected. But that will
not guarantee you Paradise unless you clarify your intention. Do not judge people, indeed there are some who always committed secret shirk. Unless you clarify your intention, Allah will not accept it.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mentioned in the following hadith:
It is narrated on the authority of Amirul Mu’minin, Abu Hafs ‘Umar bin
al-Khattab (ra) who said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ ) say: “Actions are (judged) by
motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he
whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration
is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some
worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his
migration is to that for which he migrated.” [ Bukhari & Muslim ]
If you show off your good deeds for people to see you and give you
good marks, Allah will not accept it; or if you try to do something more beautifully because of people Allah will not accept it. You did it because of people and not Allah.
Mahmood Ibn Lubayd reported, Allah’s messenger said, “The thing I fear
for you the most is minor shirk. The companions asked, “O messenger of
Allah what is minor shirk?” He replied, “Ar-riya (showing off). For
verily Allah will say on the day of resurrection when people are
receiving their rewards, “Go to those for whom you were showing off in
the material world and see if you can find any reward from them.”
Ar-riya, showing off, is the practice of performing any of the various
act of worship, in order to be seen or praised by people. This sin
destroys your good deeds and is considered as something done not for the
sake of Allah. As I mentioned in the first hadith, clarify your intention
and do everything for the sake of Allah. Doing righteous deeds for
people to see you and appreciate or praise and consider you as someone
who is so religious is a minor shirk. This sin will destroy your good
deeds and bring on the one who committed it a serious punishment.
Sometimes people pray normally the way they are used to, but the moment
they realize that there is someone around, they will try to beautify
the prayer, and sometimes lengthen it.
Mahmood Ibn Lubayd reported that the prophet
Muhammad (pbuh) came out and announced, ‘O people beware of secret shirk.’ The people asked, ‘O messenger of Allah, what is secret shirk?’ He (s) replied that when a man gets up to pray and strives to beautify his prayer
because people are looking at him, that is secret shirk.
Every righteous deed done to impress people is rejected, and you
have no reward in the hereafter. Clarify your intention. Do everything
for the sake of Allah with sincerity, and total obedience to the
Almighty Allah. Allah is the giver of all, why are you doing things
to impress, or gain praise from someone rather than to please Allah?
Humankind has nothing to reward you with. Do it for the sake of
In Surah Az-Zumar verse 2, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) said: “Indeed, We
have sent down to you the Book, [O Muhammad], in truth. So worship
Allah, with absolute sincerity.”