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Riyaa : The Hidden Shirk

Author : Abu Ammar Yasir Qadhi , Editor: Dr. Bilal Philips

Publisher: AS Noordeen - Malaysia
  • Rs.730.00

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One of the ways that Shaytaan comes to us to destroy our deeds is by changing our intentions when we attempt to worship Allah alone; when we try to fulfill the very purpose of our creation! He does this by whispering false promises to us which cause us to change our intentions for worship and lead us to strive for the praise of other created beings instead of the praise and pleasure of the Creator! This is what is known in the Shari'ah as Riyaa' , which linguistically means ostentation, eyeservice, dissimulation, dissemblance.

Riyaa'  is of many types and forms. Riyaa' renders good deeds void and unacceptable, turning them into sins and making the person who has this Riyaa' liable for Hellfire.

The sin and danger of Riyaa' , therein is so great that it has been described as hidden shirk (polytheism) by the Prophet (Sallalahu 'Alayhe Wassalam) in the following Hadeeth:

"What I fear for you the most is the minor shirk, that is Ar-Riyaa'. Allah will say on the Day of Judgement when He is rewarding the people for their actions: Go to those for whom you did Riyaa' for in the world then see if you find the reward with them."
[Narrated from Mahmud bin Lubayd, radiallahu 'anhu with an authentic chain. Recorded in Musnad Ahmad (5/428, 429) and al-Baghawi in Sharh as-Sunnah (4135)]

Furthermore, some people, in their scrupulousness to avoid Riyaa', abstain from performing good deeds, especially in front of others. This is incorrect and an attitude that surrenders to Shaytaan. Abstaining from an action out of fear that someone might call one 'ostentatious' is no more than a form of ostentation. This is because this fear comes from a love of other people's praise and fear of their condemnation that one is seen to be either sincere or ostentatious. It is more serious that one abstain from doing good actions as this is one of Shaytaan's traps against the unaware worshipper.

Therefore, it is imperative for us to acquire a sound understanding of the concept of Riyaa'.

The book Riyaa : The Hidden Shirk, authored by Yasir Qadhi in 1995 and edited by Dr. Bilal Philips, is a study on the spiritual disease of Riyaa'.

The book is a very comprehensive, yet concise, treatise on the subject of Riyaa'. It is based on the works of early scholars, such as Ibn al-Jawzee and Ibn Rajab, as well as contemporary scholars, such as Saleem al-Hilaalee and 'Abdul 'Azeez 'Abdul Lateef.

This book has been highly recommended by the Al-Kauthar Institute instructor, Abu Abdissalam to his students for further study of the concept of Riyaa' explained in the Al-Kauthar course, Heart Therapy : The Purification Of The Soul

It is, without a doubt, a very important addition to the English Islamic library, which presently lacks any specialized works on the topic. Its importance cannot be over-stressed, because the character which Islam seeks to build would be incomplete without a clear understanding of this subject.

Table Of Contents

Introduction 9
Chapter 1: The Definition of Riyaa 13
Chapter 2: Actions are by Intensions 15
Chapter 3: The Dangers of Riyaa 25
1) Weakens Eemaan and Tawheed 28
2) Minor Form of Shirk 30
3) Increases Misguidance 32
4) Deprives Deeds of Blessings 34
5) Humiliation by Allah 38
6) The First Reason for Entering the Hellfire 39
7) Inability to Prostrate to Allah 41
8) Prohibits Entrance to Heaven 41
9) Actions Cursed 43
10) Destruction of the Ummah 43
Chapter 4: The Causes of Riyaa 45
1) The Love of Praise 45
2) The Fear of Criticism 47
3) Greed for People's Possessions 48
Chapter 5: Warning Signs of Riyaa 51
1) Delaying Obligatory Acts of Worship 51
2) Lack of Enthusiasm About Worship 52
3) Public Performance of Good Deeds 52
Chapter 6: The Categories of Riyaa 55
1) The Time of Riyaa 55
2) The Method of Riyaa 61
Chapter 7: Acts that do not Constitute Riyaa 67
1) Unintended praise 67
2) Having a good appearance 70
3) Giving advice to others 70
4) Hiding one's sins 71
5) Increased good deeds when accompanying the pious 73
6) Religious worship and worldly benefit 74
Chapter 8: The Ways to Avoid Riyaa 77
1) Increasing knowledge 77
2) Dua 78
3) Reflecting upon heaven and hell 80
4) Hiding good deeds 80
5) Reflecting on shortcomings 82
6) Accompanying the pious 82
7) Knowing the dangers and types of Riyaa 82
Chapter 9: Related Aspects 83
1) Avoiding Good Deeds Out of Fear of Riyaa 83
2) Showing Off In Worldly Affairs 85
3) Other Forms Of Minor Shirk 87
Conclusion 91
Index of Quranic Verses 93
Index of Hadeeths 97
References 102

Title: Riyaa' : The Hidden Shirk
Author: Abu Ammar Yasir Qadhi
Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
AS Noordeen - Malaysia
Pages: 103
Volumes: 1
Size:  15.1 cm x 21.6 cm - A5 Size
Binding: Paperback
Edition Number: 3rd
Year Of Publication: 
Weight:  0.2 kg


Abu Ammaar Yasir Qathi was born in Houston, TX, but completed his primary and secondary education in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston, after which he was accepted as a student at the Islamic University of Madinah. After completing a diploma in Arabic, he graduated with a B.A. from the College of Hadith and Islamic Sciences. He has obtained an M.A. in Islamic Theology (Aqidah) with the College of Da'wah at the University.

In addition to the formal studies of the University, he has also studied in the traditional manner under scholars, and has been conferred ijazahs in various recitations of the Qur'an, and in the books of Hadith. Of his published works are Riyaa: Hidden Shirk; An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'aan; Du`a: The Weapon of the Believer; and others.


Dr Bilal Philips - Founder and Dean Islamic Online University

Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips is a Jamaican Canadian Islamic Scholar who converted to Islam in the early seventies after journeying politically and intellectually from Christianity to Communism. Shortly after his reversion to Islam, he embarked on a spiritual academic journey to the other side of the world seeking Islamic knowledge. This journey took him to Saudi Arabia where he completed a BA in Islamic studies in Madeenah, and an MA in Islamic Theology in Riyadh, then to the University of Wales, UK, where he completed a PhD in Islamic Theology in the early nineties.

After graduation from Madeenah, Dr Bilal became a teacher of Islamic studies for 10 years in an Islamic High School, Manaret Riyadh, and a lecturer of Arabic and Islamic studies in the American University in Dubai, UAE, for another 10 years. During his 10 years in the UAE, he founded and taught at the Islamic Information Center in Dubai, and during his subsequent 7 years in Qatar he has been an Islamic consultant and lecturer for the Islamic Information wing of Sh. Eed Charity.
Dr Bilal Philips has written, translated and commented on over 50 published books on various Islamic topics. He has also edited and published the 56 book Eemaan Reading Series for children and presented Islamic programs for a number of years on Riyadh Channel 2TV, Sharjah TV for ten years, as well as Peace TV, Huda TV, Islam Channel, UK, and the Deen Show, Chicago, USA.

In 2002, Dr Bilal Philips founded and headed the Islamic studies department of Preston University, Ajman, UAE, and in 2007 he founded and headed the Islamic Studies Academy, Doha, Qatar, while simultaneously launching the Islamic Online University which is currently offering free Islamic courses to over 100,000 registered students from over 207 different countries world wide, and for which he was included in the Jordanian publication, The 500 Most Influential Muslims (latest edition).

Dr Bilal subsequently founded and headed, in 2008, the English medium Islamic studies department of Knowledge International University, who’s Chancellor is Shaikh Dr. ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Abdil-Azeez Al Sudais and who’s President of the board of trustees is Shaikh ‘Abdul-Azeez ibn ‘Abdullah Al Shaikh, Mufti of Saudi Arabia. More recently, in 2009, Dr Bilal Philips founded and headed the College of Da’wah and Islamic Culture (English Section), Omdurman Islamic University, Sudan, and established and directed Preston International College in Chennai, India.

In March 2010, Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips launched, for the first time in history, an accredited tuition-free BA in Islamic Studies degree course at the Islamic Online University


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