I have a problem with my intention in that every time I want to do some good I become fearful that I might be doing it for show. What do you advise, may Allāh bless you?
Shaykh Muḥammad Bāzmūl:
I advise you by reminding you of the words of al-Fuḍayl ibn `Iyāḍ. Al-Fuḍayl ibn `Iyāḍ said, ‘doing a deed for peoples’ sake is shirk (polytheism) and giving a deed up for peoples’ sake is Riyā‘ (eye-service).’ So, do not let the Shayṭān be a master over you. You should, whenever you want to do an act of obedience, hurry to perform it and avoid any sense of pretence and false show, and remember this expression: ‘doing a deed for peoples’ sake is polytheism and giving up a deed for peoples’ sake is eye-service.’
So, you go ahead and perform acts of obedience and pay no attention to the people. Do not give the Shayṭān access to yourself for this is no doubt one of the Shayṭān’s devices. Sometimes, the Shayṭān will open ninety-nine doors of good just to get a person to go through one door of evil. How is that? Like the present scenario for example. He says to him, ‘If you do this act of obedience you would only be doing it as eye-service, doing it just to please the people,’ as a result of which he gives up doing the act.
Thus, we say, whenever the situation comes down to this, perform the act of obedience and seek refuge with Allāh from the accursed Shayṭān, and combat any urge to do eye-service. Do not give up acts of obedience because of others. We ask Allāh to help us and help you with that and deliver us and deliver you and the all the Muslims from evil.