Could you kindly give a reference for this?

It is narrated that Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said: “There are four qualities of a show-off; He is lazy when alone, he is [only] active when among people, he [only] increases in deeds if he is praised and he decreases actions when admonished.”



This statement of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) has been cited in non primary sources like Tambihul Ghafilin. A shorter version appears in Ihya ‘Ulumid Din as well. I have not come across the complete chain.

(Tambihul Ghafilin, pg. 30. Ihya ‘Ulumid Din, vol. 6 pg. 332)


Imam Abu Nu’aym (rahimahullah) has recorded a similar narration as the statement of Wahb ibn Munabbih, a Tabi’i.

Wahb ibn Munabbih (rahimahullah) said: “…And there are three signs of a hypocrite: He is lazy when alone, he is active [in carrying out good deeds] when joined by someone, he eagerly carries out all actions based on the amount of praise he receives…”

(Hilyatul Awliya, vol. 4 pg. 47)


And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.


Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala


Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar