Salam Dear Sister,
Thank you so much for this very important question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
This question shows that you are sincere and that you are seeking the reward of Allah and you are worried if something else gets in your heart other than the pure desire of pleasing Him (Glorified and Exalted).
This is very important and it shows that, alhamdulillah, you are striving for the best and purest actions.
Allah Almighty says:
And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.(Quran 29: 69)
Now, it is important to remember a few things:
Actions are Judged By Their Intentions
The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) taught us that:
Verily actions are by intentions, and for every person is what he intended. [Sahih al Bukhari]
So one thing you can do to strive for more sincere activities on social media is to take a moment before you post anything and ask yourself honestly: “Why am I doing this? What’s my real intention? What do I really want to achieve out of this?”
Then remind yourself that pleasing people is never something that is sustainable, but pleasing Allah Almighty is our ultimate goal.
He can grant eternal reward for sincere actions even if they had no ‘likes’ among the people.
Allah is The True Judge, the Everlasting and His Pleasure should be our ultimate goal.
Stop The “Likes” Treadmill
When you remember that and fix your intention, then you can post things that you think are beneficial to people. You can also try turning off the notifications and comments on the posts.
You don’t have to post something then keep waiting in front of the screen expecting people’s feedback. After posting, you can log out and go do something more useful instead.
Also make dua asking Allah to put barakah (blessings) and acceptance in what you do and that He makes your deeds pure for His own sake, not for the sake of showing off.
Lesser Shirk: Showing Off
Mahmud bin Labid narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
The thing I fear most for you is the lesser shirk (polytheism), showing-off (of good deeds). [Related by Ahmad with a good chain of narrators.]
This is something to remember also before you post something.
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
Allah says, ‘I am the Most Self-Sufficient and I have no need for an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me.’ [Sunan Ibn Majah]
This is alarming. We do not want our deeds to not be accepted by Allah eventually because we already got what we wanted from them: i.e. the pleasure of people and impressing them!
This shall help us remember that impressing others has no real durable benefit.
We Will Be Witnesses Against Our Own Selves
Also, remember those verses:
“Man will be informed that Day [of Resurrection] of what he sent ahead and kept back. Rather, man, against himself, will be a witness, even if he presents his excuses.” (Quran 75: 13-15)
Each one of us knows why he/she is doing something, even if we make excuses. You are the one who knows, for example, if you want to impress someone through your posts, even if you say “I’m only posting this for dawah and good advice.”
So we need to always check and re-check our intentions, remind ourselves that the admiration of people- even if we appreciate it and are encouraged by it—but it isn’t our goal or the reason why we do or don’t do something.
Ask Allah To Protect Your Heart
You can recite these duas to ask Allah for the purity of your heart, actions and pursuits:
Allaahumma ‘innee ‘a’oothubika ‘an ‘ushrikabikawa ‘anaa ‘a’lamu, wa’astaghfirukalimaalaa ‘a’lamu
(O Allah, I seek refuge in You lest I associate anything with You knowingly, and I seek Your forgiveness for what I know not.) [Reference: Ahmad 4/403. See also Al-Albani, Sahihul-Jami’ As-Saghir 3/233 and Sahihut-Targhib wat- Tarhib 1/19.]
O Allah! Grant me the sense of piety and purify my soul as You are the Best to purify it. You are its Guardian and its Protecting Friend.
Lastly, we shall always remember to ask Allah to help us as we say every day in prayer in Surat Al Fatiha:
It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help.
We hope we shared some information that helped you a little bit.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(This is from AboutIslam’s archives and was originally published in August 2016.)
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