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The Love for Secrecy in Islam

Usually when we fall in love, we try to keep it as concealed as possible, afraid of the world, and what people might think or say about it.  Surprisingly in Islam it is encouraged to keep our love hidden.  Before the major criticism comes in about what I’ve just written above let me explain.  I meant that in Islam, it is encouraged to keep our love for Allah(Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala) hidden or rather, to keep our beautiful deeds done for the sake of Allah (Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala) more in secrecy.

Somewhere during the tussle for piety we all tumble into the darkness of satanic deceit which may cause us to deviate in some way and make us commit sins we may not even be aware of. One such major hoax of Satan in this generation is Facebook, where even the most pious people might flip into the area of committing sins unknowingly.

It happened just recently, when I was browsing through my Facebook and checking through some remarkable posts.  I came across three statuses.  It wasn’t that I hadn’t come across such status messages before, but these really caught my attention and entered my consciousness.  This is what they said:

1. “The blessed feeling after praying Tahajjud- feeling blessed”

2. “What a day! Had a great time with the orphanage girls – in Muslim orphanage – the   wonderland

3. ” Had a wonderful conference, everyone loved my talk!”

Now these three status messages might have been written with the most earnest of intentions and actions, but there was something about them which didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t know what concerned me so much about them, until I came to a verse in the Quran that night:

 So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of who fears Him.”(Qur’an- 53:32)

So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of who fears Him.”(Qur’an- 53:32)

In an authentic narration, the Prophet (SAW) said,

 “Whoever among you can afford to have good deeds stored in secret, let him do it.”- (Sahihal-Jami’)

Doing righteous good deeds in your own private moment and space without interference is actually a Sunnah. Worship performed in this way often boosts one’s love, sincerity and proficiency of that act of worship. Although each serves its purpose, doing good deeds on your own and away from the eyes of onlookers is starkly different as it feels different, and you know the outcome is also different.

Imam al-Shafi’i once said:

“The scholar/knowledgeable one should have good deeds stored in secret between him and Allah the Most High.  Indeed, all that he manifests of knowledge or deeds to the people will be of little benefit in the Hereafter.”(See: Tanbih al-Mughtarin)

Also, Al-Hasan al-Basri said,

“A man would be sitting in a gathering and a drop of tear comes to his eyes, he tries to keep it back until when he fears that it will overpower him, he gets up and leaves.”

Meaning that, they didn’t wish to come off as being any more pious or soft-hearted than those around them. And if something did affect them or draw them closer to Allah (Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala), they kept that love between Him and them.  An act of worship is between you and the One you worship, so it has little to do with others and hence there’s no reason for them to know about it.  One of the Salaf once said, “Don’t do deeds so that you can be mentioned, rather hide your deeds just as you hide your sins.”

One of the special things about doing good deeds secretly is that the outcome is often great. Just as the Salaf used to say,

“The one who humbles himself for Allah (Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala), will be raised by Allah (Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala).”

They also recognised that doing good deeds away from the eyes of others often brought greatness.

My dear brothers and sisters, I will end here with a quote from Al-Hasan al-Basri who said,

“These people hid their deeds, so Allah (Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala) the Most High hid for them that which no eye has seen and no ear has heard.”

So, let’s make it this way.  From now on we make an imaginary exquisite gigantic gift box, fill it with all our astounding and superfluously sincere secret good deeds, gift wrap it in the most attractive style and present it directly to Allah (Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala) alone.

In the end, all I would like to say is to keep doing your good deeds whether hidden or public, doing any good deeds publicly wouldn’t demolish your rewards or isn’t haram, but as our Salaf As Saliheen had been with their deeds we should try to keep it mostly between us and Allah, as He is the Only One who rewards us and we do not fall in the err of Riya if at all Shaytan plays with our intentions. As narrated by Ibn Abbas  (MALE radi-allahu-anhu):

“It is more inconspicuous than the crawling of an ant on a black rock in the middle of a moonless night!” [Tafseer ibn Katheer vol 1 page 62].
There should never be a comfort zone when it comes to purifying ourselves. We must always be on guard against the Shaytan regarding his ways to divert us from true worship of Allah.

May Allah (Allah Subhanahu-wa-Taala) help us in attaining and retaining good intentions and deeds of great sincerity. Ameen!

 

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7 Responses

  1. Crcquattro@gmail.com'
    Crc

    Anonymity online can be a good tool for minimizing the possibility that we will write things for the admiration of people, rather than solely for seeking Allah’s pleasure. However, some people might be pleased even at their anonymous postings being admired. How weak are we human beings that our vanity can be stroked so easily, while we are so far feom even nearing the level of goodness that we should strive for. Therefore, we should always seek Allah’s help in purifying our intentions and at the same time, avoid the limelight as much as possiible.

  2. Crcquattro@gmail.com'
    Crc

    We should try to help our brothers and sisters in Islam avoid falling into the trap of false pride. Dawah workers cannot help being out there and having some of their good deeds exposed to the world. Let’s refrain, then, from publicly praising them! There is a hadith about this–I dont recall it exactly–but someone was admonished against having praised someone else, and told that it is as if they had tossed dust on the praised-one’s face. People often heap praise on Dr. Bilal, for example. Let’s be careful and if we must praise, then praise the message and not the speaker or writer.

  3. ibnumbwana@gmail.com'
    Abdallah Mbwana

    The best post I have ever read on secrecy!
    May the Almighty Allah help us to do our all deeds only for his sake and help us observe secrecy in our all deeds- AMIN.

  4. smithk781@gmail.com'

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that Thanks for lunch! fdbdgkccedcdkfkd

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