Showing off, turns the world into the wrong side
So, woe to the worshippers (Quran 107:4)
Who are neglectful of their prayers, (Quran 107:5)
True worship does not consist in the mere form of prayer, without the heart and mind being earnestly applied to seek the realization of the presence of Allah, and to understand and do His Holy Will.
Those who (want but) to be seen (of men), (Quran 107:6)
But refuse (to supply) (even) neighbourly needs. (Quran 107:6)
Hypocrites make a great show of hollow acts of goodness, devotion, and charity. But they fail signally if you test them by little acts of neighbourly help or charity, the thousand little courtesies and kindnesses of daily life, the supply of needs which cost little but mean much.
One day the companions of the prophet (peace be upon him) were talking among themselves and were terrified about the coming of Dajjal, the Anti-Christ. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
„Amitől jobban féltelek titeket az a kis politeizmus, az „al-riya”. Allah a Végítélet Napján, amikor az emberek elnyerik részüket tetteik alapján, így fog szólni: Menjetek azokhoz, akik riya-t követtek el, akik magukat más színben tüntették fel a világnak és látni fogjátok mi az ő büntetésük. [Ahmed (5/428, 429) és Baghawi Kis Szunnája (4135) nyomán, Mahmud bin Lubayd-ra hivatkozva, autentikus hivatkozási lánccal Muszlim által megfeleltetve]
"What I fear for you the most is the minor shirk, that is ar-riya. Allah will say on the Day of Judgement when He is rewarding the people for their actions: Go to those for whom you did riya for in the world then see if you find the reward with them."
[Related by Ahmad (5/428, 429) and al-Baghawi in Sharh as-Sunnah (4135) from the hadith of Mahmud bin Lubayd, radiallahu 'anhu, with an authentic chain upon the conditions of Muslim]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Shall I not inform you of what I fear for you more than the Masih ad-Dajjal? It is the hidden shirk. It is when a man stands up for prayer, then beautifies his prayer for another to look at." [Related by Ibn Majah (2604) from the hadith of Abu Sa'id al-Khudri, radiallahu 'anhu. The hadith is hasan]
Riya’ is when one intends to gain the people’s pleasure when drawing close to Allah (SWT). It is action of the heart and not the action of the tongue.
For example: One can draw closer to Allah (SWT) in worships (‘Ibadaat) or many other things. So, the one who prolongs his prostration so that people can see him is showing off.
The one who writes an article so that people say he is a scholar is showing off.
The one who gives a lecture to impress the people is showing off.
The one who gives a khutbah so people say he is a good khateeb is showing off.
The one who wears rags so people say he is simple is showing off.
The one who grows a beard and wears jalbiyya so people say he is following sunah is showing off.
The one who walks with head down so people think he is pious is showing off.
The one who carries a small copy of the Quran and reads it in public to show people is showing off.
We live in a reality where there is no shame in showing off, rather the great majority of Muslims are naive and unaware of its reality and rules. Riya is not discovered by anyone except Allah (SWT), even the one who is doing it at times is not aware of it unless he enjoys Khalis Ikhlaas. Riya (showing off) is absolutely forbidden.
Abu Huraira reported:
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the first people to be judged on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who was martyred. He will be brought; the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I fought in your cause until I was martyred. Allah will say: You have lied, for you fought only that it would be said you were brave, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire. Another man studied religious knowledge, taught others, and recited the Quran. He will be brought; the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I learned religious knowledge, taught others, and I recited the Quran for your sake. Allah will say: You have lied, for you studied only that it would be said you are a scholar and you recited the Quran only that it would be said you are a reciter, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire. Another man was given an abundance of blessings from Allah and every kind of wealth. He will be brought; the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I did not leave any good cause beloved to you but that I spent on it for your sake. Allah will say: You have lied, for you spent only that it would be said you are generous, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire.”
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1905.
I have a lot of questions why am I not happy when new trend enters in the Islam where spectacle and show elements attract masses of reverts and converts. The reason is given above in the Ahadith and Quran. To be persecuted is better than to be in fashion. When Muslims are persecuted the teachings remain profound. Please don't misunderstand! Under the terminology persecuted I don't mean that sins are committed in the name of Islam what are persecuted. That is ok of course. With searching popularity, "show off", small shirk dominates what is small polytheism, where all problems begin. Small shirk is the basement of hypocrisy and hypocrisy is the basement for the advent of Dajjal.