BlogInspirations & Reflections

Followers and following

Followers and following. The Da’wah hour show.This blog accompanied the live show that took place 23rd July 2020.

Firstly well done to those who are making amazing content. The ones that are Giving dawah online and not at all bothered about popularity. Continue guiding people, removing misconceptions and so on. Saying that, there are certain observations I have made. Lately I’ve been getting these messages:Brother, subscribe to my channel
Bro, share my video please!I am a motivational speaker, I’m an inspiring speaker! I believe I have a talent and people need to hear me!I want to be a speaker!I want to become a Vlogger!I want to become a YouTuber! So if you give this some thought you’ll realise after some time that Without you knowing and thinking, if you get popular these may happen to you: You’ll become arrogant You start feeling special You want more and more praiseBecome Envious of others channels. Thoughts like for example “they have 3k I only have..1k..” 😡and other such diseases may develop if you are not careful.Call it delusional or call it deep heedlessness but some of us are thinking, I’m doing this to promote Islam, I’m doing for the Ummah, so the more I do.. the better.
In a way that’s true.. but why are you sacrificing your heart for the sake of helping others? Surely find a middle ground, where you help yourself and others. This may mean a video now and again. This means don’t watch your ratings, make the video, publish it online and then forget about it.

  • Because have you ever thought about The fact that What if what you’re doing is counter productive? You making All these videos to become famous and if that happens, if that’s your intention then these videos will lose that divine Baraka.
  • Some of my bros from YC. And I say this without any hasad! are getting constant messages from ‘fans’. Messages like I’m your biggest fan, I love you! I wanna be like you.. regularly. If we are not careful, where will this lead? Heading towards minor shirk perhaps? On top of that, what about the content? We forgot the content and the message and have totally begun to focus on the person.

Here are some extended quotes to really drive the point home. The salaf spoke in such a way and did unique actions to ensure they didn’t become famous. Ironically.. a thousand or so years later they are famous! A lesson for us all in this?

Humble Moves

It is reported that Hammād b. Zayd said:

Ayyūb [Al-Sakhtiyānī] used to have a red shawl which he wore in ihrām, and which he had kept for his shroud. I used to walk with him sometimes; he would take different paths and I would be amazed at how he knew of them. He would do this fleeing from people in case they recognized him and said, “There’s Ayyūb.”

And it is reported that Shu’bah said:

I would sometimes go with Ayyūb for some need, but he would not let me walk with him; he would move here and there in case people noticed him.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` 6:22

Secret Tears

Muhammad b. Wāsi’ said: 

I have lived amongst men who were such that one of them would lie with his wife on the same pillow and his side of the pillow would be soaked with his tears under his cheek without his wife even noticing

Ibn Abī Al-DunyāAl-Ikhlās wa Al-Nīyah(Sincerity and Intentions) p34.

It is reported that Sufyān Al-Thawrī – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

Safety lies in not wanting to be known.

Seeking Reputation

When ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Mahdi rose from a gathering, he was followed by the people. (Upon this) he said: O people! Do not follow me. (Siyar: 9/207)

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad said:
“Whosoever is saddened by loneliness and feels tranquil around the people, is not safe from Riyaa. (As-Siyar: 8/436)

Abdullaah ibn Al-Mubaarak said: Sufyaan Ath-Thawri said to me: Beware of fame. Everyone I met warned me about fame. (As-Siyar: 7/260)

Abdus Samad ibn Abdil Waarith said:
Hawshab would cry and say: My name has reached the Masjid Al-Jaami’.

It is reported upon Abul Aaliyah that if more than three people were to gather and sit around him, he would get up. (At-Tawaadu’:47)

  1. It is reported from Ibn Mas’ud (radhiallahu ‘anhu) that he said: “Do not learn knowledge for three (things): To amaze and confound the foolish, to argue with the learned and to make peoples faces turn towards you. (But) seek what is with Allah with your hearts and actions, since only that will remain and whatever is besides it will go.”

t is reported from ‘Ali (radhiallahu ‘anhu) that he said: “The one who shows off has three characteristics: He is lazy when by himself, he is lively and energetic when with others and he increases in his actions when he is praised and decreases in them when he is criticised.”
It is reported about Hawshab that he used to cry and say: “My name has reached the large mosque.” i.e. he disliked to be known out of humility and that people should mention him for fear of fame and repute

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.

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!

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

Abū Nu’aym, Ḥilyatu Al-Awliyā` Vol. 2 p217.

It is reported that when Ibn Abī Laylā prayed [at night], if someone entered [his house], he would lie down on his bed [as if he was sleeping].

It is reported that Ayyūb Al-Sakhtiyānī used to pray all night and hide it. In the morning, he would raise his voice as if he had just woken up.

Al-Dhahabī, op. cit. Vol. 6 p17.

It is reported that Dāwūd b. Abī Hind fasted for forty years without his family knowing, he would take his lunch out with him and donate it in the street.

Imām Ibrāhīm Al-Nakha’ī said

 about the Salaf: 

When in a gathering, they used to dislike a person showing the best of what he has. 

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Al-Ikhlās wa Al-Nīyah

‘Abd Al-‘Azīz said:

The fear of showing off and vying with others prevents me from saying much of what could be said.

Abdullah b. Mubārak in Al-Zuhd wa Al-

Some practical SOLUTIONS

  • Take a break now and again, you are not bound to continuously making videos or post on social media. You won’t get arrested or get killed if you don’t produce and publish videos for a few weekS and months.
  • Promote and share other work/ content. Other channels and other videos. This humbles you.
  • Do a lot of private good deeds. No one on earth needs to know about these deeds.
  • Mix up your videos. Some for public and some for private groups.
  • Beseech to Allah, cry in front of him for acceptance and keep asking if you should continue on this path of producing content. Is this good for your soul or will this wreck your soul?
  • Publish and then log out. This means don’t watch your ratings, get the video done and forget about it. Forget you made it!

-Have a scholar or an elderly mentor, to give you advice and feedback. Critical feedback. Always ask for Q’s or points like what did you get from this, take home point instead of asking for likes/ shares and praise. Tips on niyyah : 

  • have a little think before publishing content.
  • go for a walk and think about the why.
  • do nawafil before issuing your content.
  • Always think about the journey: The journey from publishing this video/ blog/ live/ page post to all the steps in between how it will get you into Jannah.
  • Have a kunya instead of using your real name.

Saving yourself is always more important than saving others in the akhirah. May Allah swt save us from the delusions of grandeur & addiction to gaining followers And becoming famous. Work hard.. but try and remain unknown.If you couldn’t understand Some of the above mentioned quotes then please ask in the comments.

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6 Comments

  1. This blog was much needed and so was a show on this topic. Jazakumullah Khayr to all who put valuable efforts in this.
    There is a constant danger of becoming arrogant when you are famous, and it is a consultant/never ending struggle to keep ourselves from becoming arrogant, but we got to do it day in and day out

  2. What a powerful reminder for all of us. Great blog indeed & much needed. Jzk
    All hadiths👌🏻👌🏻

  3. This blog is very powerful!
    The concept of niyah is very important. May Allah allow us to work for his sake only.

  4. I am really afraid of what if i fall for shaytan’s trap and start riya kaari i missed the video but after reading this blog i m really motivated and really very practical tips and easily adoptable

  5. Much needed reminder for all of us in the world where a child is born with all social media accounts and when they grow up they become obsessed with number of followers they have.
    We might say that we are doing it for sake of Allah but unkowlingly we might fall into riya so very important to keep checking our intentions.
    May Allah safeguard us from riya and help us do work only for the sake of Allah.

    If we try to follow all the points you have mentioned In Sha Allah we can be safe from Riya.

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