بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
And (also) those who spend of their substance to be seen of men, and believe not in Allâh and the Last Day [they are the friends of Shaitân (Satan)], and whoever takes Shaitân (Satan) as an intimate; then what a dreadful intimate he has!
And what [harm would come] upon them
if they (only) believed in Allah and the Last Day and spent out of what Allah provided for them? And Allah is ever, about them, Knowing.
[Surat An-Nisaa, 4:38-39]
Notice how doing Riyaa’ (showing off) is linked to a person’s weakness (if not lack) of belief in Allah SWT and the Last Day. Allah SWT points it as the root of the problem. The main cause. Allah SWT could’ve said ‘if only they had not done Riyaa’ but in both ayahs weakness/problem in belief in Allah SWT and the Last Day connected to Riyaa/lack of Ikhlaas. Whenever you feel that you are about to fall into Ar-Riyaa’, you can try to remind yourself who you’re doing it for and the horrors of Last Day. Sounds simple but it is not always. This can be done especially when you are about to do a good deed in front of people, just right before it. The deed could be anything small as picking up a banana peel from the path in front of people, talking on the phone for the right cause, blogging or something huge as giving a talk/Naseeha to others. Prevention is better than cure. Ensuring that good deeds remain pure and are accepted by Allah SWT is much easier than realizing all your good deeds you did are lost and then having to make it all up in frustration that is if we detect our Riyaa’ before death. SubhanAllah the part of the ayah, ‘And what [harm would come] upon them…’ is quite powerful as an admonition! Makes one stall in one’s position and makes one realize how ridiculous is the act of Riyaa’. May Allah SWT protect us and those around us from such a deadly disease. Ameen! And Allah SWT knows best.