Virtuous shaykh, how does a believer stay far away from showing off in his actions, and does the praise of the people upon him become a cause of his worship harming him?
The actions are with intentions. Therefore, that in which is on him from praise of the people, with the good actions, and he doesn’t do the actions except seeking the pleasure of Allaah; the praise of the people upon him and their compliment for him witnessed from them doesn’t harm him.
So if he feels something (of showing off) with the praise of the people for him or their compliment on him or he hears those who make praises on him, if he feels something in his heart from (self) amazement or showing off; upon him is that he turns to Allaah and that he make the du’a reported from the prophet ﷺ:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أُشْرِكَ بِكَ وَأَنَا أَعْلَمُ، وَأَسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِمَا لاَ أَعْلَمُ
O Allaah I seek refuge in you that I commit shirk with you (in anything) knowingly and I ask your forgiveness for what I am unaware of.1
Therefore, what’s in his heart will leave by the permission of Allaah from weakness, or from (self) amazement, and with Allaah is power and strength.
1 (1) أخرجه البخاري في الأدب المفرد، ص 250، برقم 716، والضياء المقدسي، 1/ 45، وهو في عمل اليوم والليلة لابن السني، برقم 258، وهناد في الزهد، 2/434، برقم 849، والحكيم الترمذي، 4/142، وأبو يعلى 1/60، برقم 58، وصححه الألباني في صحيح الأدب المفرد، ص 266، برقم 55