Obstacles in the Way to Jannah
Allah Ta’ala says:
“Verily, Allah does not love the proud ones.”
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
“He who has a grain of pride in his heart will not enter Jannat.”
Takabbur is to consider oneself superior to others in attributes of excellence. There are many kinds of takabbur. Most kinds are subtle, concealed and difficult to detect. It is only the thorough gaze of the Shaikh-e-Kaamil which can discern such hidden forms of takabbur. In this matter even the Ulama-e-Zaahir (those Ulama who concern themselves with only the external Law of the Shariah) are constrained to follow an expert in the Path of Tasawwuf. In a nutshell takabbur is to voluntarily and consciously regard oneself superior to others in religious or mundane excellence in a way which engenders contempt in the heart for others. This is the reality of takabbur and this is haraam. Takabbur consists of two ingredients, viz.,
- The feeling of superiority–considering oneself to be greater.
- Contempt for others.
Takabbur not induced voluntarily, but entering the heart involuntarily is not sinful. Such non-volitional pride is merely the external dimension or form of takabbur. Up to this stage takabbur is not sinful. But when one voluntarily entertains the feeling of pride which had initially crept in involuntarily, then it will be sinful takabbur. In this case the mere form of takabbur is transformed into the reality of takabbur.
Where the condition of contempt for others is non-existent, takabbur– will not be applicable. Mere belief in superiority and inferiority greatness and smallness– is not takabbur. For example: an old man regarding an infant to be small without the notion of contempt for it. But, the one who intentionally considers himself better than others, becomes arrogant. His nafs swells up with pride, the consequences of which then manifest themselves. Examples of pride are: to regard others with contempt; to take offense when others do not greet one first; to be offended if others do not offer you respect; to be annoyed when someone admonishes you; refusal to concede the truth even after having realized it. May Allah Ta’ala keep us under His Protection and save us from takabbur, for indeed, it is the severest of maladies. It is the root of all spiritual ailments.
It was takabbur which made shaitaan a deviate. The Hadith Shareef therefore sounds dire warnings in regard to takabbur. Allah Ta’ala has warned that the abode of the proud ones will indeed be vile. Pride is the exclusive prerogative of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala will destroy all those who desire to participate in this exclusive Attribute of greatness. Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said that the mutakabbireen (he proud ones) will be encased in trunks of fire of Jahannam.
This malady is remedied by reflecting on the Splendour, Glory and Majesty of Allah Ta’ala. This reflection will produce in one a realization of one’s own lowly position. Your own excellence will then recede into nothingness. Also, humble yourself in the presence of those whom you regard as your inferior. Be respectful to them so that you become imbued with humility.