Is the following authentic and if so what is meant by it?
Imam Ibrahim An Nakha’i (rahimahullah) said about the Salaf:
“When in a gathering, they used to dislike a person showing the best of what he has”
This narration has been recorded in several Hadith collections with variations in the wording. Among them, Az Zuhd of Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Mubarak and Az Zuhd of Imam Waki’ with an authentic chain.
(Az Zuhd War Raqaiq, Hadith: 139, Az Zuhd of Imam Waki’, pg. 117, Al Ikhlas Wan Niyyah of Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abid Dunya, Hadith: 53, Hilyatul Awliya, vol. 4 pg. 229)
Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Al Mubarak (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration under the chapter ‘Chapter on practice and and remembering Allah Ta’ala secretly/quietly.’ Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abid Dunya has recorded this narration in his book ‘Sincerity and Intentions’.
The narration in question, with this particular wording, would therefore mean, ‘When in a gathering, they would dislike people showing off with ‘ibadah/showing off their best acts of worship [as this may affect their sincerity].’
(Refer: Footnotes of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah on Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 26804)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar