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Cleaning Your Inner-Self of Pride (Arrogance, Ego, Vanity)

Pride is like Shaytan’s Bride.

Let it not take you for a ride!

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says in Qur’an Kareem: When We told the angels, “Prostrate to Adam,” they all prostrated, except Iblees. He refused, was arrogant and was from among those who rejected. Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 34

He (Allah) said, “What stopped you that you could not make Sajdah when I commanded you?” He replied, “I am better than him (Adam ‘AlaihisSalaam)! You have created me from fire and created him from clay.” Surah A’raaf Ayat 12

What made Iblees disobey Allah’s command?

Obviously it was his pride! His arrogance! His haughtiness!

Arrogance or pride is when an individual thinks too highly about himself and considers others as inferior to him.

It is yet another filth that is witnessed in today’s society. This filth is really very, very toxic.

It is such a filth that even though many of us have it, we are not even aware of its presence.

Some of us may be aware but we try to conceal it by displaying false humility.

Its negativity can be compared to that of the termites. Just like the termites can ruin our homes by eating wood without being seen, pride can ruin our Eeman and we would not even realise it.

We human beings are strictly forbidden to follow Shaytan’s footsteps. In other words we are told never to display pride in our nature and to always have modesty and humility, whatever the circumstances may be. Allah loves those who possess these great qualities and dislikes those who have pride or arrogance in them. In fact, these two qualities (modesty and humility) should be the integral traits of every Muslim. It is important that we always try our best to avoid feeling proud and conceited.

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says, “Ar Rahman’s bondsmen are those who walk on earth in humility (without pride) and, when the ignorant talk to themthey (excuse themselves) saying, ‘Salaam’” (Leave us in peace). (By saying this, they avoid useless talk and senseless arguments). Surah Furqaan Ayat 63.

Nabi (Sallallahu ‘alaihi Wasallam) said, “No one who has an atom’s weight of Pride in his heart will enter Jannah.” A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, what if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good?” He (sallallahu ‘alaihi Wasallam) said, “Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” [Sahih Muslim]

Do not let Arrogance go to your Head

Do not let arrogance go to your head and despair to your heart. When pride finds its way into the heart of a Muslim, it quickly affects the way he talks, walks, acts and treats others. He likes that when he comes to a gathering, people should stand up for him. When you meet him anywhere he waits for you to make ‘salaam’, he never takes the initiative. He talks harshly to people and does not respect elders.

In short an arrogant person lives in a constant state of discomfort due to which he never finds peace in life.

Displaying Pride to our Parents

It is clear that after Allah our parents are the ones who give us innumerable favours. Isn’t it our obligation to repay them? It is of vital importance to obey them, to speak softly to them, to avoid harsh words or harsh tones, to give them company when they are lonely, to care for their physical and psychological needs (especially during their old age) and to pray to Allah that He may Bless them, grant them good health and have Mercy on them.

Failing to do all that can be regarded as clear signs of our pride and we all know that according to the Holy Qur’an arrogance (pride) is the sin that will be severely punished by Allah Almighty. He might punish us here in this world as well as in the hereafter for displaying pride to our parents.

How Pride can destroy a Marriage

Few things can be as toxic to a relationship as pride. Pride can create a wedge between two people, especially between the husband and the wife. It can kill relationship, destroy intimacy, erode trust, and deny peace in the couple’s lives.

When pride is present, intimacy is absent. A couple can be full of pride or they can have a healthy marriage, but they cannot have both.

Showing Pride and Arrogance to our Relatives

At times because of our pride and arrogance we are not ready to make up with our relatives who not on talking terms with us. This is a grave mistake because breaking family ties is vehemently discouraged in Islam. A Muslim is required to be kind even to his non-Muslim relatives. Similarly he is required to be kind to even those relatives who are harsh to him. Nabi (Sallallahu ‘alaihi Wasallam) has greatly reprimanded the one who severs family ties.

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the bonds of kinship” [As Saheeh Al Bukhari]

“Allah’s mercy will not descend on people among whom there is one who severs ties of kinship. [Baihaqi, Shuab Al-Iman]

Boasting about Allah’s Bounties

Allah has gifted human beings with many bounties. We can never count Allah’s Blessings. We should ever be grateful to Allah for everything that we possess including our wealthhealthphysical attractivenessstatusintellectual abilities, etc.

However we should never be boastful to others about what we possess. Allah hates those who are boastful and proud and think highly of themselves.

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says in Qur’an Kareem,”…Verily Allah does not like the one who is proud and boastful.” Surah Nisaa Ayat 36

Keeping away from certain Individuals

There are people who develop secret hatred for some individuals for one reason or the other. They avoid talking to them as much as possible. We Muslims are not supposed to behave in that manner. It constitutes yet another kind of pride.

Arrogance of You Tube Graduated ‘Aalims & Muftis’ (?)

Some of the Muslims these days are so addicted to watching videos of religious lectures on YouTube that gradually they start developing a false impression that they themselves have become ‘Aalims’ or ‘Muftis’. Some of them have even started issuing Fatwas. When someone tries to correct them or point out to them their faults or shortcomings, they at once lose their temper. ‘Who are you to teach me?’‘Do you think you know more than me?’ are the common statements you hear from them. This is yet another form of pride!

The most Severe Arrogance

The most severe arrogance is being arrogant against Allah Almighty by rejecting to submit to Him and also to worship Him. Allah Almighty says about these arrogant people in Holy Qur’an, “Verily, those who are too proud to worship Me shall soon enter Jahannam in (great) humiliation” (Surah Mu’min Ayat 60).

How Humility can bring Allah’s Proximity

Whenever people adopt humility with the intention of coming closer to Allah, He opens ways for them from where they never expect.

  • Nabi Yunus (‘AlaihisSalaam)was sent to Nineveh to call the people to worship one Allah. However, the people refused to listen, and tried to ignore him and his words of admonishment. They found Nabi Yunus (‘AlaihisSalaam) irritating.

The conduct of his people exasperated Nabi Yunus (‘AlaihisSalaam) and he decided to leave.  Before going he gave them a final warning that Allah would punish their arrogant behavior, but the people jeered and claimed that they were not afraid.

Ibn Kathir describes the scene in Nineveh immediately after Nabi Yunus (‘AlaihisSalaam) left.  The sky began to change colour, it turned as red as fire. The people were filled with fear and understood that they were only moments away from destruction.  The entire population of Nineveh gathered on a mountaintop and begged for Allah’s forgiveness.  Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala accepted their repentance and removed the wrath that was hanging ominously over their heads.  The sky returned to normal, and the people returned to their homes.  They prayed that Nabi Yunus (‘AlaihisSalaam) would come back to them and guide them to the straight path.

  • Queen Bilqis:She was a very prosperous Queen of Sheba. She and her people worshipped the sun. However, when she adopted humility and went to see Nabi Sulaiman ‘AlaihisSalaam to learn the truth, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala guided her on the right path and she submitted to Allah and to Islam. She said, “o my Rabb! I have surely oppressed my soul, I submit with Sulaiman to Allah, the Rabb of the universe” (Surah Naml Ayat 44). 
  • Sayyiduna Omar (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu): Umar came out with full fury with the intention of killing Nabi Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi Wasallam), nauzubillah. However, when he slapped his sister and she started bleeding, he was overcome by a feeling of regret. That regret turned into humility and Allah brought in his heart love for the part of the Qur’an that he had overheard. Ultimately Umar (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu) went to Nabi (Sallallahu ‘alaihi Wasallam) with the same sword he intended to kill him with and accepted Islam in front of his companions. Over the years his piety level reached such a level that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala elevated him to a very a lofty position. ‘Uqbah bin’Amir (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) has narrated that Nabi (Sallallahu ‘alaihi Wasallam) said: “If there was to have a Nabi after me, it would have been ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab”.  

On the other hand we have examples of Nimrood, Firaun and Abraha and what fate they faced because of their pride and arrogance.

Three admonitions of Hassan Al-Basri (Rahmatullah ‘alayhi)

Hassan Al-Basree (Rahmatullahi ‘alayhi) advised some of his students admonishing them about avoiding the state of being proud. He said:

1) Do not deceive yourself into becoming too proud because you are in a good or righteous environment, for there is no place better than Paradise, and our father, Adam ‘alayhi salaam, experienced there what is known to all.

2) Do not become proud merely because you worship often, for consider what happened to Iblees after he spent a great deal of time worshipping.

3) Do not think yourself great because you have met with righteous people, for there is no man more righteous than Nabī (Sallallahu ‘alayhi Wasallam), yet the disbelievers and hypocrites did not benefit by simply knowing him.

Given below are some poetic verses on Kibr.

Tujhe kya khabar hai o bekhabar,

kitna kareeb hai tera qabar ka safar?

Phir kyun hai tujhme itna takabbur?

Kyun chalta hai tun akr, akr ker?

Tun jo dil se chaahta hai Allah ka Qurb

To qabar me dafan kar de tera yeh kibr!

(What do you know, oh you, who are unaware?

How close is your journey to the grave?

Why then do you have so much pride?

Why are you walking so arrogantly?

If you heartily wish Allah’s proximity

Then bury your pride in a grave)

May Allah Almighty keep us all free of this ailment of Arrogance and Pride! Ameen

…and Allah Ta’ala knows best.

By: M. B. Ahmed

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