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> Pride by Imam Kalamazad
Articles Section > Pride by Imam Kalamazad Mohammed
And when We said to the angels, Be submissive to Adam, they submitted, but Iblis (did not). He refused and was proud, and he was one of the disbelievers (2:34).
In the above verses we read why Satan was rejected by Allah (istakbara) and also of his avowed intention to mislead whomsoever he can from the progeny of Adam.
[Istakbara comes from kabara which means he or it was or became great (big or large) in body and in years and in estimation or rank or dignity and takabbara and istakbara signify he magnified himself, behaved proudly or insolently. In some places in the Holy Quran, e.g., I shall turn away from My messages those who are unjustly proud in the earth. And if they see every sign, they will not believe in it; and if they see the way of rectitude, they take it not for a way; and if they see the way of error, they take it for a way. This is because they reject Our messages and are heedless of them (7:146), there are several connotations to the above words: "he endeavoured and sought to become great; he boasted of qualities he did not possess and feigned such qualities; he considered himself as the most excellent of the creation, and as having rights which others do not have" (Lanes Lexicon).]
Part of Satans technique lies in his appeal to the vanity, self-conceit and pride of man in exciting egotistic desires in him and holding out promises of greatness and majesty in this worlds life things which, according to the whisperings of Satan, can be achieved by mans efforts alone and without any reference to the will or power or permission of Allah, Most High, as the following verses testify:
But the devil made an evil suggestion to them that he might make manifest to them that which had been hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord has forbidden you this tree, lest you become angels or become of the immortals (7:20).
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has warned us of the sin of pride, the worst evil that man can commit, for it eventually leads to rebellion against Allah and disbelief in and rejection of Him.
"He who has in his heart as much faith as a grain of mustard-seed will not enter hell, and he who has in his heart as much pride as a grain of mustard-seed will not enter paradise" (Sahih Muslim).
He has also given us a clear definition of what constitutes pride:
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: "He in whose heart there is as much as a grain of pride will not enter paradise," and a man remarked: "A man likes his garment to be beautiful and his sandals to be beautiful." The Holy Prophet (pbuh) replied: "God, Most High, is beautiful and likes beauty; pride is disdaining what is true and despising people" (Sahih Muslim).
In his translation of Mishkat-ul-Masabih, Maulana Fazlul Karim gives a description of the three kinds of pride:
He also lists seven objects in which pride is taken:
He also gives us some of the causes of pride self-conceit, malice, enmity and show.
Throughout his writings, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Mujaddid of the 14th Century Hijrah, has blessed us with much enlightenment on this subject, and in the following extract he places before us some practical examples and gives us special words of advice.
"So I advise my Jamaat that they should avoid pride, for in the eyes of God, the Lord of Glory and Honour, pride is a most abominable thing. But perhaps you may not know what constitutes arrogance, so take a lesson from me, for I speak through the spirit of God.
We must not believe that arrogance is the affliction of only the unbelievers and outright sinners. This is such an insidious evil that not even the saints of Allah are spared the subtle laser-like infiltration of Satan into the innermost recesses of their hearts. The following two incidents in the life of Hazrat Hasan Basri will serve to illustrate this point.
"Hasan was so humble that he considered himself inferior to all. One day on the bank of the River Dajla he found a man seated with a young lady and a bottle of wine in front of him. The thought crossed his mind: How depraved is this man! Would that he were like me. Just then a boat appeared in the river at a distance from him, and gradually began to sink in deep water. The man immediately jumped into the water and of the seven men in the boat who were drowning, he saved six, and then looking towards Hasan said: If you are superior to me, then in Gods name save the seventh man. You save only one man, whilst I have saved six. Hasan could not do so. The man then addressing Hasan said: Sir, this woman seated by my side is my mother, and that bottle yonder contains water. This scene was enacted to put you to test. Hasan fell on his feet and said: Just as you have saved six people, save me also from drowning in the waters of pride and vanity. He replied: May God fulfil thy desire! Hasan felt as if his desire was fulfilled. Since then he became so humble that seeing a dog one day he remarked: O Lord! For the sake of this virtuous dog, accept me as Thy slave" (Tadhkiratul Auliya, pp. 12-13).
What can we do to prevent this disease from overpowering us? The Holy Quran is filled with advice for us and so, too, is the Hadith, and a practical elaboration of one of these techniques is given to us by Imam Ghazali as he teaches us the correct attitude to adopt if we are to guard against this deadly malady.
"Every one who considers himself better than one of the creatures of God, Most High, is arrogant. Indeed, you ought to realise that the good man is he who is good in Gods sight in the mansion of eternity; and that is something unknown to man, postponed to the end. Your belief that you are better than others is sheer ignorance rather you ought not to look at anyone without considering that he is better than you and superior to you. Thus, if you see a child, you say: This person has never sinned against God, but I have sinned, and so he is better than I; and if you see an older person, you say: This man was a servant of God before me, and is certainly better than I; if he is a scholar, you say: This man has been given what I have not been given and reached what I did not reach, and knows what I am ignorant of; then how shall I be like him? If he is ignorant, you say: This man has sinned against God in ignorance, and I have sinned against Him knowingly, so Gods case against me is stronger, and I do not know what end He will give to me and what end to him. If he is an infidel, you say: I do not know; perhaps he will become a Muslim and his life will end in doing good, and because of his acceptance of Islam something of his sins will be taken away, as a hair is taken from dough; but as for me God is our refuge perhaps God will lead me astray so that I become an infidel and my life ends in doing evil, and then tomorrow he will be among those brought near to God and I shall be among the punished" (The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazali, p. 146).
May Allah help us to heed the invaluable advice and teachings given to us above so that our hearts may be fortified with the love of the Almighty in order that we will be able to face and triumph over whatever may befall us in life, and yet be of use to mankind something that pride naturally obviates. And may we never become like those unfortunate ones who reject religion and go so far as to oppose it and of whom it is mentioned in the Holy Quran:
Hastening forward, their heads upraised, their gaze not returning to them, and their hearts vacant (14:43).
Instead, let us all strive to be like those described in this verse of the Holy Quran:
But Allah has endeared the faith to you and has made it seemly in your hearts, and He has made hateful to you disbelief and transgression and disobedience. Such are those who are rightly guided a grace from Allah and a favour. And Allah is Knowing, Wise (49:7).