Jihad is one of the fields during which showing off can take place, because not everyone who carries a weapon and fights with the Muslims is sincere. We have already mentioned the Prophetic narration of those who would be thrown in Hell first, and one of whom was a person who fought Jihad but was not sincere.
Our Salaf used to hide themselves in Jihad because they recognized the importance of sincerity in it; one of them would hide himself and no one would recognize him. The
following is one such story exemplifying this:
The Muslim army surrounded one of the fortresses of the enemy, and the enemy army started showering the Muslims with arrows and things became difficult for the Muslim army. Suddenly, one of the Muslims got up and dug a tunnel and was able to enter through it to the enemy fortress. He killed the man guarding the gate of the fortress and opened the gate for the Muslims to enter. The Muslims entered the fortress and won the battle, but they did not know who the man was (who dug the tunnel).
Maslamah (rahimahullah) who was the leader of the Muslim army, wanted to know who the man was so that he could reward him. He was unable to discover his identity, so he made an announcement, adjuring this man in the Name of Allah to come to him.
The man went to him at night and placed a condition on the leader that he would not look for him after that. Maslamah (rahimahullah) agreed to the condition, and so the man uncovered his face and allowed him to recognize him.
Maslamah (rahimahullah) always used to say after that:
“O Allah, join me with the man of the tunnel in the Hereafter.”
[Bustaan Al-Khateeb (24)]