Summary of Letter:

 Bismihi Ta’ala

Respected Mufti Saheb

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh

 Kindly explain what is “Riya” and “Ujub.”

Summary of Reply:

 Bismihi Ta’ala

Respected Brother / Sister

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh

Riya (ostentation) means to perform any act of worship for anyone other than Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala detests riya since it tantamounts to shirk (ascribing partners with Allah Ta’ala). On the day of Qiyamah Allah Ta’ala will announce: I detest shirk. Therefore the one who has ascribed any partner with me in any ibadah, he should seek the reward for the same from the partner that he ascribed to me. Therefore one should reflect that, for instance, one performs salaah to obtain the grace of Allah Ta’ala. He adopts full humility and devotion so that Allah Ta’ala may be pleased. However, if riya creeps into this action and he begins to perform it for somebody else, all his efforts are gone in vain. Besides, on the day of qiyamah it will be announced regarding him that he was involved in riya. Then he will face great humiliation and disgrace and he will find his book of good deeds to be empty.

Ujub (vanity) refers to the condition where a person thinks good of his actions or his opinions (i.e. he regards himself to be a very worthy and capable person in thought and deeds). When such thoughts come to mind, one should reflect upon one’s sins and think thus: “I have committed so many sins hence how can I be elated about myself. If my sins had to be exposed, how despised and disgraced I will be among the people.” Sit in solitude and ponder over this. Insha Allah one will be freed from riya and ujub. May Allah Ta’ala cleanse us from these maladies. Aameen.