In the tribe of Bani Isra`il, there lived a worshipper who after years of worship, requested Allah to manifest to him his rank and status, and prayed: 'O' Lord! If my deeds are to Your liking, I would strive further in performing good deeds, but if not, then I would want to make amends for it before death overtakes me, and engage myself (more) in acts of worship.'
In his dreams he was informed: 'In the eyes of Allah, you do not possess any good deed.' Perturbed, he exclaimed: 'O' Allah! Where then have my deeds gone?' It was said to him: 'You do not possess any deed, for whenever you performed a good deed, you informed the people of it. Therefore, the pleasure that you derived out of informing them of your acts is your reward for those acts.' This disturbed him immensely and left him greatly saddened.
For the second time, he was informed in his dreams: 'Now purchase your life from Us. Give charity equivalent to the number of veins in your body, every day!'
He pleaded: 'O' Lord! How can I give such a large amount in charity when I do not possess anything?'
He heard: 'We do not impose any duty on a soul except in the measure of its ability. Recite the following three hundred and sixty times daily; every word of it is charity for a vein of your body:
Subhan Allahi, Wal Hamdu Lillahi, Wa La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar, Wa La Haul Wa La Quwwata Illa Billah.' (Arabic in attachment)
The worshipper, who was overjoyed to hear these words, said: 'Grant me more than this', whereupon it was said to him: 'The more you recite the more reward you shall earn. 'Reference: Anecdotes for Reflection, vol 3, Showing off, Pg 57.
Explanation of above anecdote
Showing off is a tree that comes into existence as a result of hypocrisy and whose fruit is nothing but concealed polytheism. It is exhibited before entities that neither have the ability to grant life and death, nor the authority to fulfil the needs of any person.On the Day of Judgment, at the time of reckoning, it will be said to a person who showed off: "Collect the rewards of your deeds from those, whom you had made partners to Me and for whom you had performed your deeds!!"Showing off usually occurs in gatherings and with respect to clothes and acts of worship. Thus, it is essential to remain attentive towards and heedful of Allah in order to purge our interiors of this satanic vice.