The story of Abu Firas

The story of Abu Firas Abdullah bin Ghalib confirms the example of this tahadduts bin Ni’mah. Syahdan one morning he said, “Last night God gave me His gift. I read (the Koran), prayed several cycles of prayer, dhikr of Allah for a certain time, and I did this and that.”

Hearing that, a friend of his said, “O Abu Firas, people like you should not say that.” Abu Firas replied, “Allah orders people to perform tahadduts bin-ni’mah, while you forbid it.” (Tafsir al-Qurtubi, 20/102).


Outwardly what Abu Firas did was like showing off. But apparently his intention was tahadduts bin-ni’mah. Again, the key is the heart. Besides the difference is very thin, to control the heart is also difficult. If the intention is not for Allah and not for tahadduts bin-ni’mah, then it is possible that stories about ourselves are showing off or riya’, nau’udzu billah. Therefore, be careful when updating status.


Why? Because something that is not done because of Allah, aka showing off, will not be accepted by Allah. It is reported that someone dreamed of seeing al-Junaid al-Baghdadi – after the death of the Sufi leader. The man asked, “What has God done to you?” al-Junaid replied, “I do not get a reward from the advice I give to people. I also do not get the reward of the sentences that I convey to my students. I do not get the reward of the knowledge that I teach to others. I did not get the reward from the writings that I taught. All that’s left are two light cycles that I do at the time of sahur (before Fajr).”


Shaykh Abu Bakar Syatha explained, “The meaning of al-Junaid’s words is that he did not get the reward for the actions he mentioned, because in general all of them were accompanied by riya or showing off. Except for two light cycles which are done sincerely at night.” (I’anah al-Thalibin ‘ala Hall Alfazh Fath al-Mu’in, 1/308).

Shaykh Abu Bakar Syatha said, al-Junaid said this was to encourage people to perform the midnight prayer and explain its virtues. It is impossible for someone like him to do the practices he mentioned because he is showing off or something else, because he is the head of the Shufi people.


The question is, what about us? (*)

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