The Shaykh, ‘Allaamah Zayd Ibn Muhammad Ibn Haadee Al-Madkhalee was asked:
Noble Shaykh, how does the believer distance himself from showing off in his actions? And does the people’s praise of him on account of his worship harm him?
Actions are judged in accordance to the intentions.
As for the person who the people praise due to him performing good deeds and he did not do these acts except seeking the pleasure of Allah, then the people’s praise of him and their commendation is a testimony for what he is upon and this does not harm him.
However, if he notices something (i.e. in his heart) when the people praise and commend him or when he hears that someone praises him, if he notices something in his heart like amazement or showing off then he should turn to Allah; and he should say the supplication that has been reported upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):
“O Allah, I seek refuge with you from knowingly committing Shirk and I seek your forgiveness for what I have no knowledge of.”
[In the book there appears to be a typing error towards the latter part of the hadeeth, and Allah knows best. So I have affirmed that which is found in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad of Imam Al-Bukhari and other hadeeth collections.]
Verily, this – by the Will of Allah – will remove what is in his heart from weakness or showing off, by the Might and Power of Allah.
Al-‘Iqd Al-Munaddad Al-Jadded (1/28)