Download PDF: [S] False Pretence
Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – has mentioned that, “There are three symbols of false pretence. When a person is alone, he is lazy (in doing good). When he is with people, he is a busy body. When someone praises him, he will perform a lot of deeds and when someone insults him, he will perform very little.” (Ihya ul Ulum)
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Sa’eed Khudri – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that they were once discussing the issue of the Dajjal among themselves when the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – declared, “Shall I not inform you of something which makes me more concerned?” We replied, “Why not, O Prophet of Allah.” He declared, “It was Shikr-Khafi. This is when a person stands to read Salaah and when he realises that someone is watching him, he prolongs his Salaah.” (Sunan ibn Majah)
This is not false pretence.
If a person wishes his good deeds are mentioned then there is no harm in this when at the beginning his intention was to please Allah Almighty and when he performs good deeds he does with the intention of pleasing Allah Almighty.
If a person’s good deeds become famous and well-known and people begin to praise him, there is no harm in this. He should also remember that this is also something which comes for Allah Almighty. However, he should not go out of his way to propagate his good deeds or actions. If he does this, then this would be considered as false pretence.
Hafiz ibn Katheer has mentioned that if a person performs good actions with true sincerity and people do find out about these good deeds and the heart of the person becomes joyous, then too, this is not considered as false pretence. (Tafseer ibn Katheer)
An incident is mentioned about Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him – that someone came to his house and saw him reading Salaah. He mentions that he was pleased with the fact that the person had seen him doing something noble as reading Salaah. He then inquired from the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – whether there was any part of false pretence in this thought of his so that he could make Istighfaar. However, the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him –a ssured him that this was not false pretence. He was informed that he will get rewarded for making Ibadah in private and in public. (Ma’aarif Al Hadith, Tafseer ibn Katheer)
Hadrat Sayyiduna Fudail bin Ayyaz – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that, “In the beginning, people used to display those actions which they actually performed while in the present day, people endeavour to show those actions to others which they do not actually perform.” (Ihya ul Ulum)
Advice of Hakeem Luqman to his son.
Abdullah bin Abdur Rahman bin Abi Husain – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that news reached him that Luqman Hakeem once gave advice to his son which was, “O my son! Do not acquire knowledge so that you can boast among the ‘Ulama or that you can argue with the Jaahil or that you display self-pretence in public.” (Musnad Imam Ahmed)