intentions

Knowing what Spoils Your Deeds

It is reported that Al-Ḥasan Al-Baṣrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

A man remains upon good as long as he knows what things spoil his deeds.

Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, Al-Zuhd p339.

From the Fruits of Sincerely Seeking Knowledge

It is reported that Ibrāhīm b. Adham – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Whoever seeks knowledge sincerely, for the servants of Allāh to benefit by and to benefit himself, then being hidden (from fame) is more beloved to him than seeking loftiness. He is the one who becomes more lowly to himself, strives more in worship, fears Allāh more, yearns for Allāh more, and becomes more humble amongst people. He cares not what he has of this dunyā night or day.

Al-Bayhaqī, Shuʿab Al-Īmān article 1653.

Boasting and Pretending to Have Sinned

It is reported that Al-ʿAwwām b. Ḥawshab – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Boasting that you did a sin (when you did not) is worse than committing the sin.

Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-ʿIlm, article 3073.

Ibn Qutaybah, explaining what is meant by boasting here, said:

It is when a person says, ‘I fornicated’, when he did not, or to say, ‘I killed a man’, when he did not, boasting and showing off. This is worse upon a man than committing the sin because he did not avoid the sin except that he would have done it if able. He is therefore like the one who does it, by intention. He goes even further by removing the cover (of reputation) from himself, and by the depravity of his audacity to commit sin and his lack of concern.

Seeking Reputation

It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar – Allāh be pleased with them – said:

Whoever tries to make people hear of his deeds, Allāh will make [some] of His creation hear of him (expose him), and belittle him. Ibn ʿUmar then began to cry.

Wakīʿ b. Al-Jarrāḥ, Al-Zuhd #308.

Hiding Righteous Tears

It is reported from Ḥammād b. Zayd that he said, I never saw a man who used to smile more at people than ʾAyyūb.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar ʾAʿlām Al-Nubalāʾ 5:17

It is reported from Ḥammād b. Zayd that ʾAyyūb [Al-Sakhtiyānī] was once in a gathering when he was effected (moved to tears) by an exhortation, so he began wiping his nose saying, How severe a cold can be!

Op. cit. 5:20

It is also reported from Ḥammād that ʾAyyūb was once overcome with weeping, so he said, A shaykh, when he gets very old, dribbles.

Op. cit. 5:22