A Warning to the Son of Adam About the Origins of Evil
By Shaykh Abu Nasr Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Al-Imam
Riya', "showing off," occurs when a person says or does something for a reason other than the pleasure of Allah. If pious people - except for those protected by Allah's mercy - are capable of yielding to riya', then what about the common folk? How will they fare in the face of their greatest test ?
The Prophet Muhammad said:
"Actions are like a vessel. If the vessel's bottom is good, its top is good. But if the vessel's bottom is polluted, then its top is polluted. ''
The Messenger of Allah cautioned Muslims against slacking in their practice of Islam and obeying their Lord. The Prophet of Allah said:
"Every deed has its (period) of enthusiasm. And every (period) of enthusiasm (is followed by) a period of tiredness (or slacking off). Thus, the one whose period of enthusiasm is followed by tiredness due to my Sunnah has been guided. But the one, whose period of enthusiasm is followed by tiredness because of something else, has gone astray."