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The Dangers of Seeking Recognition from the Creation of Allāh

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Saʿdī

A discussion on whether to seek recognition from others when doing something for them and how the believer should behave in this regard.

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Saʿdī (d. 1376 AH) said:

“From among the most beneficial ways of staving off stress and worry is to build the habit of never seeking any sort of praise or recognition except from Allāh. If you behave in servitude and goodness to an individual who has rights over you or even one who does not, know that in actuality this is a service you have put forth before Allāh. So pay no attention to whether gratitude is expressed by those individuals you showed goodness towards. As Allāh says concerning the choicest of His creation:

 إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا ‎﴿٩﴾‏

‘[Saying], We feed you only for the countenance of Allāh. We wish not from you reward or gratitude.’
[Al-Insān, 76:9]

This matter is even more pertinent when it concerns the treatment of one’s family and children because of the strength of the bonds [you share] with them. So if you were to completely prepare yourself for the reception of some evil from them [in the form of ungratefulness and lack of recognition], you would find yourself in a state of comfort while also putting them at ease.”

Source: Al-Wasāʾil al-Mufīdah li-al-Ḥayāt al-Saʿīdah: 47
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: May 15, 2022
Edited: April 13, 2023

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