Since the matter reaches the level of danger and seriousness that it has there is no doubt that being rescued from riya' and those things which nullify actions will make the truthful Muslim concerned. The first thing which requires caution and alertness is knowing the causes of this very dangerous disease.
Know that your enemy, the Shaytan and his troops will not stop at trying to bring about the cause of the destruction of your actions and seducing you into riya'. Look at the warning about the plan of Shaytan which has come in the Book and the Sunnah as it is the best healing for the worst disease.
Allah the Exalted said:
"Indeed Shaytan is to you an enemy, so take him as an enemy." [Al-Qur'an 35:6]
He the Sublime also said:
"Shaytan threatens you with poverty and commands you with evil and obscene deeds." [Al-Qur'an 2:267]
The Sublime also said:
"Indeed, Shaytan is an open and manifest enemy to mankind." [Al-Qur'an 12:5]
The Exalted also said:
"If any does follow the footsteps of Shaytan he will but command the evil and obscene." [Al-Qur'an 24:21]
The Exalted also said:
"Shaytan has made their actions alluring to them and has prevented them from the path." [Al-Qur'an 27:24]
The Messenger of Allah said: "Shaytan is present with one of you in all of his affairs until he is present with him while he takes his food. When one of you drops a morsel let him pick it up, remove whatever remains on it and then eat it. Let him not leave it for the Shaytan and when he he departs (from his food) let him lick his fingers as he does not know in which part of his food the blessing lies." [Reported by Muslim]
In this is evidence that Shaytan is present with you in all of your affairs. He is present in order to corrupt the intention, speech or action. If your intention is good he will direct you to an action which has not been legislated so that you engage upon it with this good intention. If your action is good he will spoil and ruin your intention. If your intention is good he will corrupt the way you speak with others so that enmity and hatred develops between you and them. He will try to achieve that with whatever ability he has over it.
The Messenger, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said: "There is none amongst you except that there has been appointed to him a qarin (companion) from among the jinn and a qarin from the angels." They said: "And you also?" He said: "And me also except that Allah has aided me against him and so he has submitted. He does not command me except with good." [Shaykh al-Albani declared it sahih in Sahih al-Jami', no 5676]
He, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, also said: "There is none amongst you except that with him is a shaytan." They said: "And you also O Messenger?" He said: "Yes, except that Allah has aided me against him so he has submitted." [Shaykh al-Albani declared it sahih in Sahih al-Jami', no.5677]
He, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, also said: "Iblis has placed his throne above the water and then he sends his detachments. The closest of them to him are those who cause the greatest trial. One of them comes back to him and says: 'I did such and such.' Shaytan replies: 'You have not done anything.' Then another comes to him and says: 'I did not leave him alone until I caused division between him and his wife.' So Shaytan brings him closer to himself and says: 'You did well.' " [Reported by Muslim]
He, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, also said: "Indeed Shaytan flows in the son of 'Adam like blood." [Reported by Bukhari, Muslim and others]
Be cautious, therefore, of this despised and accursed enemy and know that he does not take a rest as the Messenger, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, has said: "Take a nap / siesta as Shaytan does not take a rest." [Reported by at-Tabarani in al-Awsat and Abu Na'im in at-Tibb. Shaykh al-Albani declared it hasan in Sahih al-Jami', no. 4307]
Shaytan is not able to get to you if you seek help from Allah against him and carefully observe Allah in all your actions whether small or large.
(s) The Book of Sincerity
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