Should the person practice Sunnah in appearance if other people condemn him?
Question: Young man tries to wear clothes according to Sunnah (to let grow a beard, to shorten trousers, to wear long shirts). But in district where he lives it isn't accepted, people condemn him; they say that he wants to attract attention, that it’s an action of ar-riyaa (showing of). Is it correct to do so? Or it really would be an action of riyaa (showing of)?
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
This person should be commended for his courage to practice on the Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is indeed an act of great virtue to practice on the Sunnah and the reward is even more in such situations where the Ummah has lost its sense of loyalty to western lifestyle.
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
المتمسك بسنتي عند فساد أمتي له أجر شهيد
“The person who adheres to my Sunnah at the time of the religious degeneration of my Ummah will get the same rewards as that of the martyr”
(al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, Hadith #: 5414)
He should not leave out the Sunnah merely because of the ignorance of some people. The Sunnah is far greater and far more important than the negative attitudes of the ignorant. When Sayyiduna Ma’qal bin Yasar was invited by the leaders of Syria for a meal, a morsel had slipped from his hand and fell onto the ground whilst he was eating. Without hesitation, he picked it up from the floor, dusted it and ate it. His companions whispered to him that the Syrians were scoffing at him picking up the morsel whereas there is ample food in the dish in front of him. Sayyiduna Ma’qal (Radiyallahu Anhu) responded to them saying: “I will not abandon the teachings of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for these imbeciles! We were taught to pick up a morsel if it has fallen and clean it and then eat it so it is not left for Shaitaan to eat”. (al-Mu’jam al-Kabir, Hadith #: 450)
بينما معقل بن يسار يتغدى إذ سقطت منه لقمة، فأخذها فأماط ما كان فيها من الأذى وأكلها، فقيل له: أصلح الله الأمير، إن هؤلاء الأعلاج يتغامزون من أكلك اللقمة، وبين يديك هذا الطعام، قال: «إني لم أكن لأدع ما سمعت لهؤلاء الأعلاج، إنا كنا نؤمر إن أحدنا سقطت لقمته أن يأخذها فيميط ما كان بها من الأذى ويأكلها ولا يدعها للشيطان
This brother should be like this great companion of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) who did not feel ashamed or discouraged in any way to practice on the Sunnah despite negative remarks. Allah will definitely reward him for his patience.
He should also not succumb to the whisperings of Shaitaan that his practicing on the Sunnah is Riya (showing off). This is a ploy of Shaitaan to get him to abandon the Sunnah. He should remind himself that he is practicing on the Sunnah solely for the pleasure of Allah and continue without paying attention to these doubts.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed