The Messenger of Allah, the Salutations and Peace of Allah be upon him, named this ‘the small polytheism’ [al-shirk al-asghar]- that is, mild polytheism. Ostentation means to seek people’s respect, reverence and patronage through the performance of religious devotions such as praying, fasting, charity, Ḥajj, Jihād, the recitation of the Qur’ān and so forth. An ostentatious person’s deeds are rejected and his religious exertions are useless in the sight of Allah – even if he does not receive what he hopes for from other people.
Shaykh Muhammad b. `Alawī al-Mālikī al-Hasanī