Forbiddance of Showing Off
Allah the Most Exalted said: “Say (O Muhammad (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) ): I am only a man
like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God -i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (18:110)
Muslim reported the following Marfu` Hadith from Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) that Allah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “I am most independent and free from needing associates. Whoever performs a deed while associating partners with Me (doing so for others along with Me) I will leave him, along with his setting up of associates to Me (Shirk).”
Ahmad reported the following Marfu’ Hadith from Abu Sa’id (Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him)) that the Prophet (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said: “Shall I not tell you what I fear for you more than the false Messiah?” The Companions (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “Indeed, O Messenger of Allah,” He said, “Inconspicuous Shirk, as, when a .person improves his rendering of the Salat when he knows that others are watching.”
Important issues of the Chapter
1) Explanation of the verse in Sural Al-Kahf (18: 110).
2) The great issue that good deed, if it was joined other with Allah in any way, is fully rejected.
3) Allah’s absolute self-sufficiency is the reason (of the rejection of the good deed, if it is not done purely for Him).
4) Another reason is that He is the Best than those who are given share in worship (i.e. false deities of disbelievers).
5) The fear, the Prophet (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) had of Riya’, for his Companions (May Allah be pleased with him)
6) He explained Riya’ by expressing the state of a person performing prayer for Allah, but he improves his rendering of the Salat when he knows that others are looking at him.