By my brother, Muhammad Tim, 4th year student at Madinah University:

Assalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

All praise is due to Allah, and may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, and upon his family and his companions.

With regard to the matter of sincere intention, it seems that some people are confused with regard to certain aspects. Therefore, I wished to make the following points, and all success is from Allah:-

1. Firstly, the correct intention is one of two conditions for every act of worship to be accepted, along with the action being in accordance to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The proof for this is the statement of Allah, the Exalted, The proof for this principle can be found in Allah’s statement: “So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord.” [Al-Kahf 18:110].

2. Secondly, the essence of the correct intention is for an action to be sincerely for the sake of Allah, and not to contain any form of shirk, or giving some of Allah’s rights to someone or something else. Fadl bin Ziyaad said, “I asked Abu Abdullah (i.e., Imaam Ahmad) about the intention in action, how should it be? He said, ‘One should treat his self when he intends to do an action, not desiring by it the people (i.e. showing off).’”

3. Thirdly, intention is something that needs to be constantly reviewed and worked upon. Sufyaan ath-Thawree said, “I have not battled with anything more difficult than my intention.”

4. Fourthly, the fact that another person is the cause for some of your good deeds, or that they call you to guidance, or that they encourage you to do something which you were not intending to do, does not affect your intention. This is part of the foundation of da’wah and calling people to guidance. The Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – used to encourage some of the companions to do actions that they were not intending to do, and he encouraged others to do the same. The Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said, “Whoever calls to guidance has the reward of it and the reward of everyone who acts upon it, until the Day of Resurrection, without their reward being decreased in any way.” So if a brother comes to you and says, ‘come to the masjid’, and you were not intending to come, but because of him calling you to guidance, you decide to come, and you make your worship for the sake of Allah alone, then your intention is correct, if Allah wills, and the fact that another brother called you to do something that you had not planned to do does not affect your intention.

Similarly, if your intention was not pure, and then you realise that you have been showing off in some of your deeds, then you correct them and seek Allah’s forgiveness, then your intention returns to being correct, and if you do so before you complete the action (such as before you finish praying), then you do not lose the reward of the entire prayer.

5. Fifthly, showing off is a form of minor shirk and is extremely serious, but it is equally serious to not perform good deeds out of fear of showing off. Al Fudayl bin ‘Iyaad considered it another form of riyaa’. Rather you should say, ‘O Allah, I seek refuge with you from making partners with you while I realise, and I ask your forgiveness for what I do not realise.’ Leaving that which Allah has ordered you out of fear of what people may say can even reach the level of major shirk, so do not allow the shaytaan to open a door to your destruction!

To answer the question, “if a person became Muslim because of worldly reasons but later changed their intention sincerely for the sake of Allah and repented, then that is okay?”

To answer this question, my point was that it may happen, and that a person may correct themselves. A person’s Islam is not accepted by Allah until it is sincere – this is one of the conditions of laa ilaaha ill Allah, but as Muslims we are commanded to treat them as normal Muslims, since the matter of intention is left to Allah. In general, we shouldn’t rush to encourage a person who is not sincere. This does not benefit Islam and the Muslims, and the person themselves may be harmed.

However, we may see someone who has some fault in their intention, and we believe that there is a good chance that the person will be corrected, based on their environment and their character. First of all we should try to correct their intention before they become Muslim. In the example of marriage, we try to make the marriage secondary to pleasing Allah. If we believe that they will change, then we may accept their Islam. However, if the person who they are marrying is not even practising Islam, then it is unlikely that they will see the beauty of Islam, when the person they are marrying does not even see it. So, I think that we should be very careful in some of these cases. More information here: http://islamqa.com/en/ref/26758

6. Sixthly, a person may enter Islam for the sake of the dunyaa, or with a fault in their intention and then correct his or her intention, as Imaan enters their hearts, and so become from the true Muslims. This was the case of some of the companions, especially those who became Muslim after the conquest of Makkah. Some of them became Muslim for worldly reasons, but the sun did not set before Allah and His Messenger were more beloved to them than the earth and whatever was in it. This does not mean that we should encourage people to become Muslim who do not want to, however, we have not been asked to rule based on the hearts of the people, and it is possible for people to change once they see the beauty of Islam.

7. Finally, do not succumb to the whispers of shaytaan, that when a person calls you to do something good you say, ‘my intention is not right’ – this is nothing but the whisperings of the shayaateen, may Allah protect me and you from them. Rather embrace this good deed and make it sincere for Allah without showing off. This way you will get the reward for your action, as will the person who called you to do good. At the very least be honest and say, ‘I am too lazy to do it’, rather than inventing a religious excuse that Allah has given you no authority for; perhaps Allah will open your heart to the truth because of your honesty.

Don’t forget that intention alone is not enough for your deeds to be accepted. They must also be in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. ‘Aa’ishah – may Allah be pleased with her – narrated that the Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said, “Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with my affair [i.e., my sunnah] then it is rejected.”

May Allah grant us all beneficial knowledge and the ability to act upon it, and save us from the whisperings of the shaytaan,

Wassalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,
Muhammad Humble.

How is it possible that some people can call themselves Muslim yet they don’t pray?  Prayer is the second pillar in Islam after the declaration of faith.

If a Muslim is an alcoholic or a fornicator, scholars agree that these sins do not take that person outside the fold of Islam.  However, in regards to the prayer, the scholars disagree on this issue as the difference between a Muslim and kufr is the prayer.

Furthermore, often times, people think they are fulfilling their duty of prayer by praying five times a day.  However, we are not told to just pray, rather we are told to pray properly.  The Quran states, “So woe to the praying ones, who are unmindful of their prayers” (Translation of the Meaning of the Quran, 107:4-5).  Subhan’Allah, the one who prays yet is heedless in his prayer is condemned, then what about the one that doesn’t pray?!  Many of the scholars of the past held the opinion that if you miss one prayer during its time slot on purpose ONCE, then this is kufr (this is apparently the opinion of the Hanbali madhab).  Missing just one prayer outside of its time slot, if it is not kufr, is a major sin (other major sins include the likes of murder, adultery, etc).

The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer.  If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound.  And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” [at Tabarani]

Next time you want to delay the prayer out of its time slot because of an exam or a meeting, take a step-back and think what’s more worthy of your time, the purpose for which you were created or anything else?  There is no excuse for praying “kaza,” period.

Allah (SWT) states in the Quran, “I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me” (Translation of the Meaning of the Quran, 51:56).

Here are ten Statements from the Salaf On Love and Hate for Allah (SWT)’s Sake
These are collected in al-Ghazzali’s ‘Ihya’ ‘Ulum ad-Din’ (2/195 onwards):

1 – ‘Umar bin al-Khattab said:

“If one of you is blessed with affection from his brother, he should hold onto that as tightly as possible, as it is quite rare for one to be blessed with this.”

2 – ‘Umar also said:

“Nobody is given anything besides his Islam better than a righteous friend.”

3 – ‘Ali bin Abi Talib said:

“Tend to your brothers, as they are your sustenance in this world and the next. Do you not hear the saying of the people of Hell: {“Now, we have neither intercessors nor close friends to help us!”} [ash-Shu’ara’; 100-1]?”

4 – ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said:

“By Allah, if I fasted all day without eating, prayed all night without sleeping, spent all of my wealth in the Path of Allah, died the day I died, but had no love in my heart for those who obey Allah, and no hatred in my heart for those who disobey Allah, none of this would benefit me in the least.”

5 – ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud said:

“If a man were to stand for seventy years worshipping Allah between the Yemeni Corner and the Maqam of Ibrahim (at the Ka’bah), he would still be resurrected on the Day of Judgement with those whom he loved.”

6 – Ibn as-Sammak said, on his deathbed:

“O Allah! You Know that, even if I had disobeyed You, I loved those who obeyed You! So, make this for me a means of nearness to You!”

7 – Mujahid said:

“Those who love each other for Allah’s Sake, when they smile at each other, their sins fall from each other, just as the leaves fall from a tree before the winter.”

8 – al-Ghazzali said, commenting on the saying of the Prophet: “The strongest bond of faith is to love for Allah and to hate for Allah”:

“Because of this, it is a must that a person have those that he hates for Allah’s Sake, just as he has friends and brothers that he loves for Allah’s Sake.”

9 – Abu Hurayrah said:

“The slave will be brought between the Hands of Allah – the Exalted – on the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will Say to him: ‘Did you love one of my awliya’, so that I can join you with him?’“

10 – al-Hasan al-Basri said:

“Being harsh against a fasiq brings you closer to Allah – the Exalted.”

Source: www.islamictube.net
Related: Pitying the Kuffar?

Pitying the Kuffar?

March 22, 2009

Ibn Abbas held the opinion that touching the kafir breaks your wudhu.  I believe I read the above statement in the work of an orientalist and it had no evidence to support it so I am not sure if this truly is the opinion of Ibn Abbas.  However, the statement got me thinking about the issue of the kuffar and the Muslims approach to them.  Indeed, al wala wal bara is a part of the Muslim aqeeda and it is something that Muslims must adhere to very strictly.  The topic seems to be the current hot-topic amongst many Muslim bloggers after the article posted by Shaykh Tawfique Chawdhury on MuslimMatters and Imam Anwar al-Awlaki’s response to it on his own blog about working with the kuffar. 

However, one thing I wanted to point out and emphasize while all this debating is going on is the blessing, we, as Muslims, truly have been blessed with.  I mean, subhan’Allah, can you imagine life without Islam?  We have been blessed with guidance from the Lord of the Worlds.  In addition to al wala’ wal bara’, I feel great remorse towards the non-Muslim and I feel great pity towards them.  I was at a restaurant less than a week ago and they were playing a music-video of some MTV rapper.  The MTV rapper had women and money and the dunya in his music video, yet you could tell he wasn’t happy.  If you look at people in the Western society today, you notice that they go through ups and downs like it’s nobody’s business.  Depression is extremely common in the USA and UK nowadays.  When I look at the non-Muslim, I realize they have been deprived of so many things.  Just think about the following, the non-Muslim:

  1. Does not realize who is His Lord nor does he have a relationship with His Lord
  2. Does not understand the purpose of life
  3. Is in a continuous state of najis (impurity), hence why the first thing someone does after converting to Islam is take a bath (ghusl)
  4. Has never tasted the sweetness and khushoo of the prayer
  5. Has no comprehension of tawakkul and relying on God, therefore causing stress and depression
  6. Will never be truly happy for we know happiness is not with wealth but in the heart
  7. Has never experienced true brotherhood (not the one where you pay money to have friends in a fraternity)
  8. Does not have a proper relationship with society (where it’s with the parents, the masjid, or the community)
  9. Does not have the beauty of the greeting of the salam
  10. Does not experience the sweetness of faith (emaan)
  11. Solves problems with alcohol instead of with dua or the Quran
  12. Does not know what true fun/pleasure is (compare going to the club with brotherhood)
  13. Has nothing to look forward to it (everyday is a blessing for us and we look forward to meeting our Lord, insh’Allah)
  14. Money is their Lord and the lack of it depresses them and they will never have their fill (b/c of greed)
  15. Their women are completely degraded and slaves to a sexual society

Number ten really hits the nail on the head.  We need to be thankful everyday for the Islam that has bestowed upon us.  We need to make dua to Allah (SWT) that He allows us to die in a state of emaan.

Therefore, O Muslim, be thankful for the blessing that is Islam and feel extreme gratitude to have been excluded from those that have been deprived of it.

Related Article

Excerpts taken from Imam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah’s book Ighaathah al-Luhfaan min Masayid al-Shaytaan.
 
Signs of an impure, diseased, and a dead heart: 

  • The person does not feel any hurt or pain when he commits evil deeds and sins.
  • The person finds both pleasure in committing acts of disobedience to Allah and a take it easy attitude after performing them.
  • The person looks after the less important matters and does not care about the more important ones.
  • The person dislikes the Truth and has difficulty accepting or submitting to it.
  • The person does not find comfort in being among the righteous people but finds a great deal of peace while among the evil and sinful.
  • The person is susceptible to be affected by misconceptions and doubts. He is attracted to discussions, debates and arguments that surround such misconceptions rather than trying to understand the Qur’an, follow the Sunnah and other such beneficial acts. [This aspect can truly be seen nowadays among Muslims, especially over the Internet. Today, a Muslim may spend hours discussing, for example whether or not Hijaab is part of Islam or if Riba [Usury, Interest] is forbidden and so forth. Many times, such discussions begin by quoting non-Muslim authors, hours are wasted and no one learns any aspect of the Deen].
  • The person may not be affected by any kind of admonition whatsoever. [Some people, for example, have the capacity of listening to many Khutbahs [Islamic lectures], but still it does not bring any change in them. Or when someone is given repeated advices and warnings from those who are knowledgeable in Deen, it doesn’t affect them. They arrogantly insist upon sticking with the falsehood].

Imam Hasan al-Basree [rahimahullah] once said to a man, “Cure your heart for Allah desires that His slaves should purify their hearts.  You should know that you never truly love Allah until you love obeying Him.” (Jaami’ al-‘Uloom v.1 by Ibn Rajab)
 
The heart cannot become purified until a person knows Allah, loves Him, fears Him, has hope in Him and trusts Him. This is the true realization of the statement Laa ilaaha ill-Allah.  The heart will never be pure until it loves, deifies [worships, exalts], fears, and submits to no one except Allah, eventually ending up of the limbs by following and making the actions pure.

Sufyaan ath-Thawree [rahimahullah] said:

  • Improve your secret and private life, and Allah will improve your public and social life. 
  • Make matters well between you and Allah, and Allah will make matters well between you and people. 
  • Work for the Hereafter, and Allah will be enough for you in your worldly concerns.
  • Purchase the Hereafter, and use this worldly life as a method of payment for your purchase, and as a result you will gain profit both in this world and in the hereafter. But do not purchase this world at the cost of the Hereafter, for if you do so you will lose out on both the worlds.

Sayings which have been reported from the Salaf us-Saalih regarding Intention, Ikhlaas and Riyaa'[1] From the Book of Sincerity (Al-Irshaad 1997) Translation by Abu ‘Iyad as-Salafi

1. It is reported about Bishr al-Haafee that he said: That I seek the world with a wind instrument is more loved by me than that I seek it with the deen.

2. It is reported from Ibraheem an-Nakha’ee that he said: When Shaytaan comes to you whilst you are engaged in prayer and says: You are showing off, increase it in length.

3. One of the Salaf said: Direct me to an action by which I will never cease to be performing for Allaah the Exalted. It was said to him: (Always) intend good because you will never cease to be performing even if you do not do any actions. The intention performs even in the absence of any actions. Whoever intended to pray at night and then slept, the reward for what he intended will be written for him.

4. One of them said: I love that I have an intention for every single thing until my food, drink and sleep.

5. It was said to Sahl: What is the hardest thing for the soul (to achieve)? He said: Sincerity, when there is no other desire in it.

6. It is reported from Ya’qoob al-Makfoof that he said: The sincere person is the one who hides his good deeds just like he hides his evil deeds.

7. One of them wrote to his brother: Make your intention sincere in all of your actions and little action will suffice you.

8. It is reported from Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee that he said: Purifying the intention is harder than all other actions for those who act.

9. It is reported from Yahyaa bin Mu’aadh that he said: Ikhlaas separates (good) actions from faults like the separation of milk from dung and blood.

10. It is reported from as-Soosee that he said: What Allaah desires from the actions of His creation is Ikhlaas and nothing else.

11. It is reported from al-Junaid that he said: To Allaah belong servants who understand, and when they understand they act and when they act they make (their action) sincere. Their recalling of Ikhlaas at the time of doing righteousness is what accumulates the greatest (good for them).

12. It is reported about Hawshab that he used to cry and say: My name has reached the large mosque. [i.e. he disliked to be known out of humility and that people should mention him for fear of fame and repute]

13. It is reported from as-Soosee that he said: Ikhlaas is to lose the vision of Ikhlaas (in oneself).

14. One of them said: Whoever sees sincerity in his sincerity, his sincerity is itself in need of sincerity. The destruction of every sincere person lies in his sincerity, (he is destroyed) to the extent that he sees sincerity in himself. When he abandons seeing sincerity in himself he will be sincere and purified.

15. It is reported from Abu Uthmaan that he said: Ikhlaas is to forget the vision of creation by constantly looking at the Creator.

16. It is reported from Ibraheem bin Adham that he said: He is not truthful to Allaah who loves fame.

17. It is reported from ath-Thawree that he said: They used to hate fame and reputation due to wearing nice garments so that eyes would stretch towards them.

18. Ibn al-Jawzee reports from al-Hasan that he said: I was with Ibn al-Mubaarak one day and we came to a watering place. The people were drinking from it and Ibn al-Mubaarak came closer in order to get a drink. The people did not know him and shoved and pushed him. When he came out he said: Life is but this, meaning we are not known nor are we respected.

19. It is reported from Na’eem bin Hammaad that he said: Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak frequently used to sit in his house for long periods of time so it was said to him: Do you not feel lonely and isolated? He said: How can I feel isolated while I am with the Prophet (sas).

20. It is reported from Ibn al-Mubaarak that he said: I heard Ja’far bin Hayyaan say: The foundations of these actions are the intentions. Indeed a man reaches with his intentions a position he does not reach with his actions.

21. One of the people of wisdom used to say: When a man is speaking in a gathering and his speech amazes him let be silent and when he keeps silent and his silence amazes him let him speak.

22. It is reported from Mutraf bin Abdullaah ash-Shakheer that he said: That I spend the night sleeping and wake up remorseful is more loved to me than that I spend the night standing (in prayer) and wake up in admiration.

23. It is reported from an-Nu’maan bin Qais that he said: I never saw Abeedah (rh) performing any voluntary prayers in the mosque of al-Hayy.

24. It is reported from Alee (ra) that he said: The one who shows off has three characteristics: He is lazy when by himself, he is lively and energetic when with others and he in creases in his actions when he is praised and decreases in them when he is criticised.

25. It is reported from Al-Hasan (rh) that he said: The one who shows off desires to overcome what Allaah has decreed for him. He is an evil person who desires to inform the people that he is righteous in order to hear what they would say. He has obtained a position of vileness and wickedness from his Lord. It is therefore essential for the hearts of the believers to recognise him.

26. It is reported from Sahl bin Abdullaah (rh) that he said: There is nothing which is tougher upon the soul than (achieving) Ikhlaas. How many times have I tried to remove riyaa’ from my heart except that it sprouted in a different colour (i.e. in a different form).

27. It is reported from Ibn Mas’ood (ra) that he said: Do not learn knowledge for three (things): To amaze and confound the foolish, to argue with the learned and to make peoples faces turn towards you. (But) seek what is with Allaah with your hearts and actions, since only that will remain and whatever is besides it will go.

28. It is reported from Abu Sulaimaan ad-Daarinee (rh) that he said: Toobaa (the tree in Paradise) for the one who took a single step desiring nothing but the face of Allaah by it.

29. Some of the salaf said: Whoever had a single instance in his lifetime which was purely and sincerely for the sake of Allaah the Exalted will be saved, and this is due to the greatness of Ikhlaas.

30. It is reported from Abu Sulaimaan ad-Daarinee (rh) that he said: When the servant is sincere, riyaa’ and the many whisperings (of the shayaateen) are cut off from him.

31. It has also been said: Ikhlaas is that the servants inward and outward actions are equal. Riyaa’ is when the outward appearance is better than the inner self and truthfulness in one’s sincerity is when the inner self is better cultivated and more flourishing than the outward appearance.

32. Some of the salaf have said: Ikhlaas is that you do not seek a witness over your action besides Allaah and nor one who gives reward besides Him.

33. It is reported from Makhool (rh) that he said: Never does a servant maintain sincerity for forty days in succession except that the streams of wisdom from his heart appear on his tongue.

33. It is reported from Adiyy ibn Haatim that he said: The people destined for the Fire will be ordered (to come) towards Paradise until they come close to it and smell its fragrance, see its palaces and what Allaah has prepared in it for its people. Then an announcement will be made (to the angels) that they be turned away from it. There will be no portion for them in it. They will return in loss and ruin just like the ones before them (who were also commanded likewise). Then they will say: O our Lord. If you had entered us into the Fire before You showed us what You have shown us from Your reward and what You have prepared for you friends and allies it would have been easier upon us. Then the Exalted will say: “This is what I intended with you. When you used to be alone you would combat me (or show boldness to Me) with grave sins and when you used to meet people you would meet them with humility. You would show to the people other than that which you used to give Me from your hearts. You feared people but you did not fear Me. You honoured the people but you did not honour Me, you abandoned (actions) for the people but you did not abandon for Me. This day (therefore), will I make you taste a tormenting punishment along with your prevention from receiving that reward.”

34. It has been said: The damage (caused) to every servant lies in his being pleased with himself. Whoever looks at his soul and sees something in it which he deems to be good has caused its destruction. And whoever does not suspect his soul at every single moment is one who is deceived.

35. Ibn al-Qayyim (rh) said: Ikhlaas is the Tawheed of one’s wish/intent.

Notes

[1] The sayings have been taken from Ihyaa Uloom id-Deen of al-Ghazaalee, Mukhtasir Minhaaj il-Qaasideen of Ibn Qudaamah and Kitaab uz-Zuhd of Ibn al-Mubaarak. [TN] The author said, “I have quoted these statements without knowing their authenticity and it is allowable for a Muslim to take from what has been narrated from the Salaf without verification if the particular statement is in agreement with the Book and the Sunnah.  (I found this list on the AlMaghrib Forums).

Riyaa – Defined

Riyaa is showing off and can include the desire to seek praise or a reputation. It includes worrying what people think of one. Showing-off includes performing one’s deeds for someone else’s sake when they should be done for the sake of Allah (SWT). Does this not sound hypocritical?

Mahmood ibn Lubayd reported that Rasoolullah (SAW) said: “For you, my greatest fear is minor shirk.” The companions said: “O Messenger of Allah, what is minor shirk?” He replied: “Showing off (ar-riyaa), for verily Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection when people are receiving their rewards: ‘Go to those whom you were showing off to in the world and see if you can find any reward from them.'” (Ahmad, at-Tabaraanee, al-Bayhaqee)

Ibn ‘Abbas said: “Riyaa is more hidden than a black ant on a black stone in a dark night.”

Types of Riyaa

Riyaa’ of the body – This occurs by appearing to be emaciated and pale so that others may see the intensity of his striving and the abundant fear of the Hereafter. Also included in this is lowering the voice and sinking of the eyes, showing that one has a weak and feeble body in order to show others that he is diligent in observing fast.

Riyaa’ of the outward appearance – Such as the effects of prostration on the face or wearing a specific type of clothing which only a few people wear and whom people consider to be scholars. So he wears this apparel so that it may be said: “He is a scholar.”

Riyaa’ by one’s speech – This occurs mostly by admonishing others, reminding them, memorising details and narrations for the sake of argumentation, making it open and know that one has copious and abundant knowledge, moving one’s lips for the remembrance of Allaah in the presence of others, becoming angry when evil occurs between people, lowering the voice and making it soft and tender when reciting the Qur’aan so as to show otehrs his fear, sadness and other such things.

Riyaa’ with one’s actions – Like the showing off of the worshipper by lengthening the standing and prolonging the bowing and prostration during prayer. Outwardly displaying humility and showing off with fasting, going on military expeditions, pilgrimage, giving charity and other such things.

Riyaa’ on account of one’s friends and visitors – Like the one who burdens himself in order to visit a scholar or a pious worshipper so that it may be said: “So and so visited so and so”. This also occurs by inviting people to one’s house so that it may be said: “The people of the deen frequently visit him.”

Remedy to Avoid Riyaa:

1. Increasing knowledge of Islam
2. Du`a – The prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa salam) taught the specific Du`a for Riyaa: “Allahumma innaa na`oothu bika an-nushrika bika shay`an na`lamuhu, wa nastagfiruka limaa laa na`lamuh. [O Allah, we seek refuge in you from committing shirk knowingly, and ask your forgiveness for (the shirk that we may commit unknowingly”]
3. Reflecting upon Heaven and Hell and having complete dependence on Allah (SWT)
4. Hiding one’s good deeds as some scholars advise: “Remove the causes of Riyaa` from yourself by considering the opinion of people as important to you as animals and small children. Do not differentiate in your worship between the presence of people or their absence, or between their knowledge of your actions and their ignorance. Rather be conscious of the infinite knowledge of Allah alone.”
5. Reflection upon one self’s shortcomings
6. Accompanying the Pious
7. Knowledge of Riyaa
8. Always renewing one’s intentions (!) and continuously making istighfar

Related: https://mustaqeem.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/intention-check/

Sources include http://www.islamicawakening.com, http://forums.almaghrib.org, Riyaa: The Hidden Shirk by Yasir Qadhi and Bilal Philips