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PRIDE! (A KILLER DISEASE!)

 

What is pride? Hadrat Abdullah bin Masood raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) states that Rasulullah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is reported to have said, “A person that possesses an atom of pride in his heart will not enter Jannat.” A person (that was present in the gathering) said, “Verily a man likes good clothing and shoes?” Rasulullah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) replied, “Verily Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) is beautiful and loves beauty, Pride is to reject or disregard the truth and belittle people” (Muslim Sharif).

Pride generally exists in Deeni matters and worldly matters. A person has pride over material possessions (such as cars, homes, furniture etc.) that one has acquired. An Alim that is serving the Deen of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) can also be a victim of pride due to the flowery lectures that he delivers and the beautiful manner in which he recites the Quraan-e-Kareem. If an Alim does not attach any value to himself in spite of being a great personality, it is a great achievement. Similarly a person that worships Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He), obeys the commands of Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) yet he regards himself as nothing then such a person is also treading the correct path. The moment a person develops pride, he stoops to the lowest level to such an extent that he will be deprived of the fragrance of Jannat which can be sensed from a distance of five hundred years. The worse form of pride is when a person does not have any reason to have pride, yet he is a proud and boastful.

INCEPTION OF THE HUMAN BEING!

Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) states in the Quraan sharif,

Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) was best aware of you when he created you from the earth and when you were foetuses in the wombs of your mother.

Whilst the child is in the womb of the mother, its nourishment is the mother’s monthly menstruation cycles. When the child is born it is unable to eat, drink, walk, talk, etc. In another verse of the Quraan Sharif Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) states,

Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) had removed you from the wombs of your mother when you knew nothing (as little babies), he blessed you with ears, eyes and hearts so that you may be grateful.

When this was the condition of man prior to his existence and immediately after coming into the world, how can a person ever have pride?

THE INCIDENT OF AYAAZ

Ayaaz was the favourite minister of the mighty king Mahmood Ghaznawi (R.A) as a result of the special qualities that he had possessed. Due to the special affection which Mahmmod Ghaznawi had shown towards Ayaaz, the ministers and courtiers had developed jealously towards Ayaaz. On one occasion the ministers came to the king and informed him that Ayaaz was stealing from the royal treasury. The king immediately responded by saying that it is not possible. The ministers then explained that he opens the safe at two o’ clock in the morning which indicates that he was stealing. The ministers had set a trap and in the latter portion of the night as per routine, Ayaaz opened the safe which contained the royal treasury. The ministers then decided to observe Ayaaz whilst he was in the volts. He had a set of old clothing kept in the volts which he used to wear previously. He would remove the robe that he was wearing, adorn his old clothing and address himself by saying, “Oh Ayaaz! Don’t forget your past.” (Your current position should not cause pride to develop in your heart)

THE ADVICE OF A DOG

A pious person was once proceeding for the Juma Salaah and he had come to a narrow bridge which he had to cross. On the opposite side of the bridge was a dog which had also intended to cross the bridge. The pious person was wearing a clean kurta as he had prepared for the Juma Salaah. He indicated to the dog that it should take an alternate route to reach the opposite side as he is unable to take that route as it was muddy and feared that his clothing will be messed. Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) had blessed the dog with speech. He addressed the pious person and said, “You should use the alternate route and I will cross over the bridge. By taking the alternate route your clothing may be soiled, which may be washed and cleansed. On the other hand if you cross over the bridge pride will enter your heart which the waters of the seven oceans will be unable to purify and cleanse.” Thereafter the dog told the pious person “I have advised you in this regard as you had shown kindness to my puppies a few days ago when they were shivering in the cold.” From the above incident, it is quite clear that one should not even look down upon a dog.

Problems in society

Hadrat Maulana Abdul Hamid Saheb (D.B) explains that various social problems, domestic problems that exist in our communities are as a result of pride. Due to pride people mock at others, jeer at others look down upon others etc. which result in various problems. In the Hadith Rasulullah r is reported to have said, “Whosoever humbles himself for the pleasure of Allah then Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will elevate the status of such a person.” (This means that people will respect and honour such person that has humility). On the contrary Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will humiliate a person that has pride. The Mashaaikh of Tasawwuf have stated that a person should totally annihilate himself. A person should address himself daily by saying, “Currently you are the worst amongst all the Muslims and in regards to future you are worse than the Kuffar and animals as well.” It is possible that a Kaafir may be blessed with Imaan before leaving the world and enters Jannat whereas we could be deprived of Imaan. If one is deprived of Imaan then such a person will be in Jahannam forever yet an animal will be protected from such a punishment, as animals will be turned into dust therefore one should regard himself worse than an animal. Hadrat Maulana Abdul Hamid Saheb (D.B) advices that every person should repeat these words daily even though the reality of these words have not yet entered the heart.

A KAAFIR COULD DIE UPON IMAAN

Sheikhul-Hind (R.A) narrates an incident that a Hindu had passed away. He had dreamt of the Hindu in Jannat so he asked him, “How did you enter Jannat as you were a Hindu?” The Hindu replied, “I was made to recite that which was previously impermissible for me to recite” (i.e. the Kalimah).

Hadrat Thanwi (R.A) used to say, “If Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) grants me such a place in Jannat where the dwellers of Jannat place their shoes, I will regard this as a great treasure. Further, Hadrat Thanwi (R.A) used to say that I’m not even worthy of this position but may Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) shower his mercy upon me! This was the humility of a great personality who had many Mureeds (disciples), an author of many Kitaabs and a saint of his time. This should serve an example for us to emulate. All our pious predecessors were constantly concerned about themselves that pride should not creep into them.

SHEIKH AHMAD RIFAA’EE (R.A)

The respected Sheikh went to the blessed grave of Rasulullah  and made Salaam to Rasulullah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Rasulullah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) replied to his greeting audibly and thereafter the blessed hands of Rasulullah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) merged. Thus the Sheikh had the honour of touching the blessed hands of Rasulullah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). This incident was witnessed by approximately seven thousand people. Immediately thereafter the Sheikh lay flat on the ground allowing all the observers to trample over him, indicating that he was no great person but a humble servant.

Hadrat Maulana Abdul Hamid Saheb (D.B) explains that if we are given an opportunity to see Rasulullah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in our dream, then pride will immediately creep into us and we regard ourselves as people that have reached lofty ranks. If someone has to praise us, we forget all our faults and consider ourselves worthy of such praises.

Hadrat Maulana Abdul Hamid Saheb (D.B) explains this by means of an example. A person had a horse which had caused inconvenience to its owner for twenty years. The owner was extremely frustrated, so he took the animal to the auctioneer. When the auctioneer began praising the animal the owner requested the auctioneer to return his horse as he no longer wished to sell the horse. The auctioneer asked the owner, “Have you forgotten the twenty years of inconvenience due to a few praises?” Similarly, we forget our history and regard ourselves as saints when praised by people.

Hadrat Maulana explains that if the praises and criticism of people have an effect on us, then this is a clear indication that we are flag bearers of pride. However, if praises and criticism do not affect us then we are treading the correct path. May Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) purify us from all spiritual maladies, specifically the killer disease of pride. Ameen!

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