What Is Riya (Ostentation)?

Do These Statements Entail Disbelief?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is it disbelief if I mistakenly thought someone had left Islam although she hadn’t?

Is it disbelief if someone said they love their spouse more than anything (or anyone) else?

A child asks in childplay who is the boss of the universe, and an adult replied jokingly ‘you are’. Is that disbelief?

I once said I “hate” correcting things (forbidding the wrong) but what I meant was I don’t enjoy correcting or confronting others. Did I disbelieve?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, I pray you’re well.

None of the aforementioned statements entail disbelief. Please ignore the whispering of the shaytan which you experience as your own thoughts. Do not despair. Trust in the Mercy of Allah and work on increasing your faith.


I suggest the following:

1. Read Qur’an regularly

2. Have a daily wird, one which contains ‘La illaha illa Allah’

2. Keep the company of the righteous

4. Learn Sunni Creed (see our course page here)

5. Pray the obligatory prayers at the masjid whenever possible

6. Keep busy with work, social life, hobbies, and community work

7. Ignore thinking through any of the thoughts that come to you

8. Please also refer to these archives of related answers: Disbelief Archives

9. If the thoughts persist and trouble you, it may be worth considering counselling.

I wish you the very best.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.