REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS IMAM GHAZZALI'S
CONTENTS OF BOOK III
THE BOOK OF DESTRUCTIVE EVILS
Evils of pride and self-praise 249
THE REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
The Book of Destructive Evils
PRIDE AND SELF-PRAISE
The Prophet said: Pride is My shirt and greatness is My garment. I destroy one who takes something out of them. He also said: There are three destructive things - miserliness which is obeyed, passion which is followed and self-praise. So pride and satisfaction owing to self-praise are bad and destructive diseases of mind and such a mind is greatly diseased and object of hatred to God.
CONDEMNATION OF PRIDE
QURAN - God says: Soon I shall turn away from My signs those who take pride unjustly in this world - 7: 16 Q. God says: Thus God seals the hearts of each proud and oppressive person - 50: 35 Q. God says: they prayed to be victorious and every proud and boastful man was destroyed -14 :15 Q. God says: God does not love those who are proud. God says: Those who turn away from My service out of pride will soon enter Hell being disgraced. There are many verses of pride in the Qiiran.
HADIS: The Holy Prophet said: He who has got in. his mind pride to the weight of a mustard seed will not enter Pardise and he who has got in his mind faith to the. weight of a mustard seed will not enter Hell. The Prophet said: God will throw Hell over the face of one in whose mind there is the slightest pride. Once Hazrat Solaiman addressed the birds, beasts, animals, and men: Go out in procession. Two lac men and two lac beasts joined the procession. The wind was taking them upwards. He rose to such a height that he heard the sound of Tasbih of angels in the sky. Then he got down to the bottom of the sea. Then he heard advice from heaven: If the least sign of pride was found within the mind of your friend Solaiman, he would have been destroyed in the bottom of sea before he rose upto sky.
The Prophet said: A long neck will have two ears to hear, two eyes to see and a tongue to speak. It will say: I have been entrusted with three persons - every proud and insolent man, every man who worships others along with God and every maker of pictures. The Prophet said: Paradise and Hell once
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quarrelled with each other. Hell said: I have been entrusted with
the proud and oppressors. Paradise said: The weak, the destitute
and the helpless will enter in me. God said to Paradise: You are
God's mercy. I will give you out of My mercy those whom I wish.
He said to Hell: You are My punishment. I will punish those
whom I wish by you. I will fill you up both. The Prophet said: He
who is an oppressor and exceeds limit being forgetful of the
Almighty is hated. He who is engaged in fruitless talks and lives being forgetful of grace and destruction is hated. He who is disobedient and lives being forgetful of the First and the Last is hated. Once the Prophet was informed that a certain man was very proud. He said: Has he got no death after this? When the death of Prophet Noah, came near, he called his two sons and said: I am giving you two injunctions and two prohibitions. I prohibit you to take pride and Shirk and I order you to recite "There is no deity but God" and Tasbih and Tahmid. If the heaven and earth are placed in one scale and La Ilaha Illallah is placed in another scale, the latter scale will be heavy. Jesus Christ sAid: He is good whom God taught the revealed Book and who does not die being an oppressor. The Prophet said: Every passion-loving man, every proud man, every boarder and every hypocrite are dwellers of Hell and every poor and weak man is a dweller of Paradise. The Prophet said: He who is best among you in conduct will be dearest and nearest to me in the next world. The most distant of me among you and the object of most hatred are those persons who are talkative, the trouble-givers and the mutafihequns. The companions asked: Who are mutafaihequns? He said: The Proud. The Prophet said: The Proud will be raised up on the Resurrection Day as dwarfs. The people will go on treading with feet these dwarfs. The figure of everything will be higher than their figures. They will then be driven to a Hell name Bulas. Their food will be the fire of Hell and their drink will be Khobal or bloods and pusses of the dwellers of Hell. The Prophet said: On the Resurrection Day, the proud and the oppresses will be presented in Hell as dwarfs. The people will be treading upon them as toys of God. The Prophet said: There is a palace in Hell where the proud will be admitted and then it will be shut up. The Prophet used to pray: 0 God, I seek refuge to you from the pride of the proud. He also said: He from whose body life has gone out and is saved from three matters - pride, debt and deceit, will enter Paradise.
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Wise saying. Hazrat Abu Bakr said: No Muslim shall hold in contempt another Muslim as he who is small among the Muslims is great near God. The sage Wahab said: When God created Adam, He looked to him and said: You are unlawful for every proud man. Mohammad-b-Hussain said: Whenever something of pride enters into the mind of a man, small or great, his wisdom to that proportion is reduced. Solaiman wasonce asked: Is there any sinner whose virtues do not do him any benefit? He said: A proud man.
DEMERITS OF PRIDE AND SIGNS. The Prophet said: God will not look towards him who walks with garment out of pride. He also said: Once a man was feeling delight looking at his dress. God ordered him to be drowned underneath the earth upto the Resurrection Day.' The Prophet said: When my followers will walk with pride and their servants will be the inhabitants of Persia and Byzantium, God will place some of them to rule over others. The Prophet said: He who thinks himself great and discloses pride in his behaviour will meet with God in His enraged condition. God says: Don't walk upon the earth with pride. You can neither pierce through the earth, nor reach the height of a mountain-10:37 Quran.
MERITS OF MODESTY AND HUMILITY. The Prophet said: God increases the honour of a man by virtue of his pardon. God raises him up who takes to modesty for pleasure of God. The Prophet said: There is no such man with whom there are not two angels. They fix reign to his mouth. When he raises up his head, they lower it. When he is modest, they say: 0 God, raise up his head. The Prophet said: He who shows modesty being powerful, spends what he earns lawfully, shows kindness to the helpless and the destitute and keeps company with the wise and the learned is blessed. The Prophet said: God humiliates him who takes pride. God makes him solvent who takes middle course in spending. God makes him poor who is extravagant. God loves him who remembers him most.
Once the Prophet was taking meal with some of his companions. At that time, a beggar came and stood at his door. he was crippled being attacked with paralysis and the people began to hate him. The Prophet gave him permission to come in and kept him seated on his thigh and said: Take food. A man of the Quraish saw this and prohibited him being greatly hateful of
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him. It was seen that he died afterwards of this disease. The
Prophet said: My Lord gave me option of either of the two things
- slavery with the office of prophethood or reign with the office of
prophethood. I could not determine as to which of these two I
should choose and therefore I raised my head towards my friend
Gebriel who said: Be humble to your lord. I said: I choose slavery
with prophethood. God sent revelation to Moses I accept the prayer of one who humbles himself before My glory, who does not boast over My servants, keeps My fear attached to his heart, spends the day in My remembrance and deprives himself from passions and desires for My sake, The Prophet said: There is honour in God-fear, pedigree in humility and real wealth in faith. Jesus Christ said: those who are humble in this world are blessed. They will gain'high rank on the resurrection Day in the highest heaven. Those who keep their minds pure in this world are blessed. They will gain the sight of God on the Resurrection day. The Prophet said: When God gives a servant guidance of Islam, fine figure, does not put him to any place of dishonour and gives him the quality of humility, he becomes dear to God. He said; Modesty does not increase but progress. So be modest, God will bestow mercy on you. Once the Prophet was taking his meal. At that time a black man being attacked with small pox came and was trembling before him. The neighbouring men were going away from him. The prophet kept him seated by his side: The Prophet said: God gives four qualities to a man whom He loves - (1) silence n divine service. (2) reliance on God, (3) modesty and (4) renunciation of the world.
The Prophet said: God raises him to seventh heaven who takes recourse to modesty. He said: He who carries himself the necessary things of his family, destroys his pride. The Prophet once said to his companions: Why do I not get from you the pleasure of divine service? They asked: What is the pleasure of divine service? He said: Modesty. He said: When you find the humble among my followers, be humble to them. When you find the proud, treat them with pride, because they will then feel humiliated and humble.
Wise sayings. Hazrat Omar said: When a man takes recourse to modesty for God, He raises his wisdom. When he takes to pride and enmity. He drowns him underneath the earth. It is then ordered: Be off, God has removed you. He is great to himself, but
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small to the people, even he is worse to them than a pig. Eusof-b-Asbat said: God-fear is sufficient for more divine services. A little modesty is sufficient for great labour. Ibnul Mobarak said: To treat with modesty with a person who is inferior to you in wealth is the root of modesty. The latter will then understand that superiority is insignificant to you. Treat with superiority with one who is superior to you in worldly riches, he will then understand that worldly superiority is insignificant to you. God revealed to Jesus Christ: When I give you wealth, I will give you in full if you accept it humbly. Ka'ab said: If God gives a man worldly wealth and if he expresses gratefulness for it to please God and becomes humble. He will give him its benefit in the world and will increase his rank in the Hereafter. Hazrat Abdul Malek was asked; Who is good? He said: that person who is modest inspite of his power, who gives up his low desires and who pardons inspite of his strength. The sage Ibnus Samak went to Caliph Harunur Rashid and said: 0 Commander of the Faithful, the modesty which you show inspite of your unsullied power is more honourable than the honour of your lordship, He said: What a good word you have uttered? Ibnus Samak said: 0 Commander of the Faithful: If one who has been given by God the beauty of physique, the quality of modesty and wealth and prosperity acquires the quality of God fear, removes the wants of others by his wealth and earns the attributes of modesty, his name is enrolled along with the friends of God in the special record of God. Then the Caliph kept these instructions written with his own hand. It was the habit of Hazrat Solaiman that at dawn he received the rich and the honourable persons and then he took seats with the poor and said to them: He who is poor sits with the poor.
A certain sage said: The more one is humble to himself, the more he is raised up to God. The more one is great to himself, the more he is mean to God. Jayad Noman said: A worldly renunciated man without humility is like a tree without fruits. The sage Fazil said: He who loves power will never be successful. The sage Shibli said: My humility has made the humility of the Jews void. A certain sage said: He who considers himself an asset has got nothing of humility in. him. The saint Abu Yezid said: So long as there is this thought in one;s mind that others are worse than him, he cam be called a proud man. He was asked: When will he be modest? He said: When he will not find,for himself any
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rank or honour. Hazrat Urwah said: Modesty is a means of earning pedigree. For every gift, there is a person of envy except for modesty. A certain sage said: It is good for every man to take to modesty but it is better for a rich man. To take pride is bad for everyone but it is worse for a poor man. A certain sage said: He who thinks himself modest for pleasure of God, there is honour for him. There is progress for one who is modest for pleasure of God. There is safety for one who fears the Almighty God. There is gain for him who sells himself for God. The sage Abu Ali Jayad said: Nature is filled up with pride, greed and envy. God deprives one of modesty, admonition and contentment whom He wishes to destroy. God gives those qualities to one for whom He wishes good. The sage Junaid said that the Prophet said: The worst men will be leaders in latter days. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq said: We have found honour in God fear, contentment in firm faith and pedigree in modesty. We pray for God's mercy.
WHAT IS PRIDE?
Pride is of two kinds, open and secret. Secret pride is the name of feeling of a superiority. When it is expressed in actions, it is called open pride. Feeling of superiority in mind is called self conceit (kibr). When it is expressed in actions, it is called pride (Takabbar). So self-conceit is the root of pride. Self-conceit is self-contentment in thinking that one is superior to others. There are three elements in it - (1) one who is proud, (2) one on whom it is shown, (3) and the object for which it is felt. Self-praise (Uzab) has got only one element, namely the persons who takes pride, while self-conceit has got these three elements. Appreciation of one's own quality is not by itself self-conceit but with its appreciation if he believes it firmly, feels joy for it and thinks himself superior to others, it is to be understood that there are elements of self-conceit in him. For this reason, the,Prophet said: I seek refuge to Thee from the breath of the proud. Hazrat Omar said to that person who sought his permission to deliver lecture: I fear for you blow of pride. This feeling of superiority is called self-conceit. Hazrat Ibn Abbas explained it by saying that it is a feeling of superiority over others. If it is expressed in words or behaviour, it is called takabbar or pride which is the outward expression of self-conceit.
HARMS OF PRIDE: The Prophet said: He who has a atom of pride in him will not enter Paradise. A proud man cannot love for
others what he loves for himself as there is pride in him. He cannot give up hatred as there is pride in him. He cannot stand on truth as there is pride in him. He cannot control anger as he has got pride in him. He cannot accept admonitions as there is pride in him. He is not safe from the accusations of the people as there is pride in him. The worst thing in self-conceit is to receive no benefit from learning, not to recognize truth and not to follow it. God says: Enter the door of Hell and live therein. How bad is the place of the proud-37: 72 Q.
God say: He who will receive the greatest punishment among the dwellers of Hell is one who is the most rebellious of them to God. God says: Then I will take out from each people such men as are more enemies of the Merciful God says: The hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter deny truth and they are proud. God says: Those who turn away out of pride from My service will enter Hell disgraced. God say: I will keep away those persons from Me who roam in the earth proudly - 7 146 Q. It has been explained that the understanding of the Quran will be taken out of their hearts. It has also been said that God will throw screen upon their hearts. The sage Jarir said in the explanation of the above verse that God will keep them away from thoughts of the unseen worldly and from acceptance of sermons. For this reason Jesus Christ said: Crop grows in soft earth. It does not grow in hard ground. Similarly wisdom arises in modest or soft mind. It does not arise in hard heart. Don't you see that the head of one who lifts it up to the roof is crushed and the head of one who keeps low is saved. These are illustrations of the proud. The Prophet said: He who is heedless of truth and a back-biter is proud.
OBJECTS ON WHOM PRIDE IS SHOWN
Such objects are of several classes - the Creator, then His Prophets, then the people in general. Man has been created an oppressor and ignorant, because sometimes he takes pride over His creatures and sometimes even over the Creator. So there are three classes of objects over whom pride is shown.
(1) First class - It is pride on God which is worst. Its cause is utter ignorance and infidelity, as the infidelity of Namrud and Pharaoh. It occurred in the mind of Namrud that he would fight ' with God. pharaoh and others claimed also godhood. Pharaoh
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said: I am the highest lord. For this reason God says: Those who turn away from My worship will soon enter Hell humiliated. God says: Jesus Christ and the near angels do not deny to become servants of God. God says: When they are asked to make obeisance to the Merciful, they say: Who is the Merciful?
(2) Second class-Pride upon the apostles. The reason is that one thinks himself greater than apostles and therefore does not follow them. Out of ignorance he thinks that his words are true. A certain man said to the Prophet of God: Shall we have faith in' peoples like us? They used to say: You are a man like us. Had there come down to them an angel! God says about Pharaoh: He and his soldiers wandered proudly in the earth. He expressed haughtiness over God and over all His apostles. Moses told Pharaoh said: I will consult Haman in this matter. He consulted with Haman who aid: You are our Lord. People worship you. If you bring faith in God, you will be a slave and worship another. Then Pharaoh denied to worship God and to follow Moses.
God gave news of the Quraish who said: Had this Quran been revealed to two great men of the two cities. Qatadha said that the great men were Olid-b-Mugirha and Abu Masud Saqafih? They said: How has God sent an orphan over us? Then God revealed: Do they divide mercy of your Lord. The Quraish said to the Prophet: How can we sit near you when these mean people are sitting round you? They meant by this word the poor Muslims. Then God revealed this verse: Don't drive those who call their Lord morning and evening. God says: Bear patience with those who worship their Lord morning and evening for His pleasure and don't turn your eyes from them to the worldly grandeurs. God says of their punishment in the following verse: They say: Why do we not find out those whom we considered mean? By this word, Hazrat Bilal, Ammer, Sohaib, Meqdad and other companions of the Prophet were meant.
(3) Third class - Pride on the general people. To think oneself greater in comparison with other people and to look upon them with contempt mean a sense of pride over them. Thus he keeps himself away from following the people. It is bad for two reasons. The first reason is that pride and superiority are due only to the Highest Lord. Man, being naturally helpless, is not able to do anything. How can he claim pride under the circumstances? Whenever a man wants to take pride, he wants to
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set up partnership with the attribute of God which he cannot do. If any slave wears the crown of a king and sits on the throne, he becomes an object of wrath and hatred of the king. How is he punished for this treason? For this reason, God said: Pride is my garment and glory is my shirt. Whoever quarrels with me about these two matters, I destroy him. In another: He who claims to be vested with an attribute which is solely Mine, is ruined. He who takes pride over the servants of God, commits sin to God. If an officer of the king is humiliated by anybody, he is said to oppose the order of the king. He who wears the crown of the king and sits in his throne, becomes an object of utmost hatred and extreme anger of the king for which he gets the highest punishment for
The second cause is that pride calls one to disobey the injunctions of God, as a proud man declines to hear sermons from anybody, God says: the unbelievers say: "Don't hear the verses of the Quran, but make noise when they are read out, then you will become victorious over the Muslims". It is the habit of the unbelievers and the hypocrites not to accept truth as God says: When they are said: "Fear God", their pride leads them to transgression - 2 : 206Q. Hazrat Omar said that when he had recited this verse - "We are for God and to Him we shall return", a man stood up and began to deliver sermon but he was soon killed. Another man then got up and said: Do you kill those who tell the people to establish justice? He who opposed the proud man was killed by him. The Prophet once said to a man: Take meal with your right hand. He said: I can't do it. The Prophet said: Can't you do it? His pride prevented him to take meal with his right hand. It was reported that after this his right hand became paralysed.
The devil is the best instance of this pride. He was driven out of paradise by God as he took pride and did not prostrate before Adam in obedience to God's command. He said: You have created me of fire and Adam of clay - 7: 12 Q. This finished the devil once for all. The Prophet said: He who rejects truth and back-bites people is a proud man. In another Hadis, he said: He who denies truth and holds the people in contempt is a proud man. The second harm of pride is to reject truth. He who thinks that he is better than another Muslim and holds him in contempt and looks upon him as small, rejects truth knowingly and takes
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pride in his treatment with the people. He who does not like to be humble to God, to obey His commands, to follow His Prophet
takes pride over God and His Apostle.
SUBJECTS IN WHICH PRIDE IS SHOWN
Pride is' shown in religious and earthly matters. Religious matters are education, divine services and honesty. Earthly matters are pedigree, beauty, power, wealth and lordship. For
these matters, there arises pride.
(1) Education: The first cause of pride is education as the learned take pride for their learning. The Prophet said: The danger of education is pride. a learned man easily takes pride owing to his learning. He thinks himself great on account of the excellence of learning and perfectness and holds in contempt other men. He considers others as beasts, illiterate and ignorant. He believes that he is the most respectable man among them. A man, however, can know himself and his Lord by real education and know the dangers at the time of death. Though there are great dangers in education, real education however, increases God-fear, modesty and other qualities. The saint Abu Darda said: The more a man is wise, the more is his responsibility. There are two causes for which learning begets pride. The first cause is that he does not learn real education with which God is recongised and which engages the mind in the next world duties. This grows God-fear and modesty. God says: The learned among the
servants of God fear Him most. Except this, other learnings like
medicine, mathematics, language, poetry, law etc. are technical
education and not real education. Real education gives
knowledge of godhood of God and slavehood of man.
The second cause is that vain arguments are made by education which pollutes the mind, changes the motives and breeds bad conduct. The sage Wahab cited an illustration of this learning. he said: Education is like rain which comes down pure from the sky. Trees, plants and leaves drink that water through their roots. That water then assumes different natures according to the different kinds of trees and leaves. Water increases bitterness in a plant which is bitter and sweetness in a plant which is sweet. Similar is the condition of education. People acquire education and change it according to their conduct and desires, for which pride in the minds of the proud and humility in
the mind of the humble are generated. The man whose object of learning is to boast increases his boast by education. The man whose object is to increase God-fear increases his God-fear by his education. He knows that there is no necessity of proof as it is established well for him. For this God said to His Prophet: Make your wing modest for one among the believers who follows you - 26: 26 Q. God says: Had you been unkind and harsh, they would have gone away from your side - 3 : 149Q. God describes His friends thus - they are modest to the believers but harsh to the
The Prophet said: Such people will come soon who will read the Quran but it will not cross their throats. They will say: We have read the Quran. Who is better in Quran reading than us? Than he said to his companions: 0 my followers, these people will come out from amongst you. They are fuels of Hell. For this reason, Hazrat Omar said: Don't be included within the proud learned men. Your education will not be able to remove your ignorance in that circumstance. For this reason, he did not give permission to Tamimdari when he sought his permission to deliver lectures. Rather he said that it was equal to murder. Once Hazrat Hazaifa led prayer of the people. He said after prayer: Pray behind another Imam as a thought occurred in my mind that there is nobody among my people better than myself. When a reputed companion like Hazrat Huzaifah is not safe from this, what will be our condition? Those who had perfect education passed away in the first and second centuries of Heijra. The Prophet said: Soon there will come such a condition over the people in which a man doing one-tenth of divine services of yours will get salvation. But for this good news, people of this age would have been ruined.
SECOND CAUSE OF PRIDE IN
The religious men are not free from pride. The form of pride of a man regarding worldly matters is that he thinks that the people should come to him and not to others, that they should stand up for him to show respect and that they should broadcast his piety among the general public. The form of pride of a man in religious matters is that he thinks that he has only got salvation and the people are ruined. The Prophet said: When you hear a man say "Men are ruined," know then that he is ruined among
Pride and self-praise
Pride and self-praise
260 The Book of Destructive evils
them. otalso salitassufficient mean* Itfis reported that at man called
his brother Muslim M
l. He o
was ne da was great sinner el giousomgan uponiwhose headla piece of one day passing by Y
cud was giving shade. Khaliy thought while passing by him
that God would show mercy on him if e would diokeep p his
companionship. When he went to him, th man thought: am h religious said to him: Go away from me. God How
an he sit with revealed f the I have e forgiven the great sinner and spoiled the service afresh. g
virtues of the religious man. In another narration, the piece of
cloud drifted away ad of above sinner. head fromg h ssthat God
went above the h ous man
er becomes modest frhGheart d momost fear, hehbecomenobedient to modest
God with all his heart.
Once a man struck a hermit on his neck with his foot and then
fell at once in prostration. . Godhermit sent lrevelation to your e prophet o
Go f God will not forgive you. you
that age: Tell the hermit that he is a proud man and God will not forgive his sins.
Once a man was praised before the Prophet. When he came to
the Prophet, they said: 0 Apostle of God, we praised this man. from The mouth said: am came, salthe smell of the uted the Prophet and stoodtby mof this y The Prophet s no bhim: I ask etter man than you in your tribe? He
you think that there
said: Ye. I think so. The Prophet saw the impurity of his mind by the light of prophethood and that reflected on his face.
(3) The third cause oHpride: ho is honourable inppedigree and pedigree and ancestry
ancestry, holds another in contempt though the latter is superior to him in divine service and duanothe rma ~n presence of the an alteration between
Prophet. I said to him: 0 son of a Negro. At once, the Prophet
d:). Abu Zano one superiority of the son of pretty woman equal). over equal). There is p
that ofablack woman. Abu slap on facemNow look ho said to the man: Rise up p
Prophet brought him to his senses. He thought himself superior as he was beautiful. Once two men began to boast of their ancestry. One man said to another: I am the descendant of so and so. Who are you? You have got no mother. The Prophet said: Two men quarrelled thus before Moses. One man said: I am the son of so and so. He showed his ancestors up to the ninth degree. God then revealed to Moses: 0 Moses, tell that proud man: your ancestors upto the ninth degree have gone to Hell. You are the tenth person among them. The Prophet said: Some men take boast of their ancestors, but they are reduced to ashes in Hell or worse than worms of cow-dung near God.
(4) Fourth cause-pride of beauty: Such a pride is found mostly in women. Hazrat Ayesha said: Once a woman came to the Prophet and I showed by my hand that she is such (short-statured). The Prophet then said: You have back-bited her.
(5) Fifth reason-pride of wealth and riches, of the kings and rulers, of merchandise among merchants, of lands among peasants, of dresses and conveyances among the luxurious persons. As a result, they hold the poor in contempt.
(6) Sixth reason-pride of strength. If there is strength in body, it generates pride. A strong man take pride before a weak man.
(7) Seventh reason-pride of man and power. If there are many disciples, helpers, students, or relatives, pride crops up in mind. Similarly the rulers and kings take pride for their number of soldiers, arms and ammunitions.
Causes of having pride: Know, 0 dear readers, that self-conceit is a secret disease. If it appears in conduct and actions, it is called Takabbar. There are three causes of expression of pride.
(1) One cause is connected with the proud man. (2) One cause is connected with the man on whom pride is shown. (3) One cause is connected with other things except the above two. The first one is Uzab or self praise and the second one is hatred towards the person on whom pride is shown and the third one is show or Riya. From this angle of view, there are four causes of pride - self- praise, hatred, envy and show. Self-praise generates
self-conceit and this self-conceit if expressed in words, actions and conduct, it is called pride.
SIGNS OF PRIDE
(1) First sign of pride : It is expressed by conducts, such as looking askance, keeping head downward, sitting cross legged, sitting leaning against, etc. It is also expressed in conversation,s conducts, signs and gestures, movements and actions. Hazrat Ali said : If anybody wishes to see one of the inmates of Hell, let him see a man sitting in front of whom the people remain standing. Hazrat Anas said : None was so, dear to the people than the Prophet. When they saw him, they did not stand to show respect to him, as they knew that the Prophet did not like it.
(2) Another sign of pride is that a proud man does not walk alone. He likes that others should follow him. Hazrat Abu Darda said : If the people follow a man, he is removed from God. Abdur Rahman-b-Auf could not be distinguished from his servants, as there was no distinction between him and them outwardly. Once a party of men were following Hazrat Hasan basari. He prohibited them from following him. The Prophet sometimes said to his companions top walk in front of him.
(3) Another sign of pride is that a proud man does not like to meet with others. It is reported that when Sufiyan Saori came to Mecca, Ibrahim-b-Adham sent to him a man and said: Come to us to recite Hadis. When he came, Ibrahim was asked : 0 Abu Ishaq, why have you sent a man to call him? He said: I desired to
examine his modesty.
(4) Another sign of a proud man is that if the poor people sit by them, he does not allow them to come very close to him. It is contrary to modesty. The sage Ibn Wahab said : Once I sat near Abdul Aziz-b-Ali Raoha. He joined his thigh with mine. As a result, I moved aside. He dragged my cloth and said : Why do you treat with me as you treat with the proud ? I don't know whoelse is worse among you than myself. Hazrat Anas said Even an ordinary woman of Medina would catch hold of the hand of the Prophet and he would not take if off until she took
him to whatever place she wished.
(5) Another sign of a proud man is that he saves himself from association with the diseased and the ill and keeps away from
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them. Such a conduct is included within pride. Once a man came to the Prophet trembling as he was attacked with small pox. At that time, the companions were taking meal along with the Prophet. When he sat near one of the companions, he went away from him. The Prophet drew him near and made him sit.
(6) Another sign of a proud man is that such a man does not give in charity with his own hand. Once a guest came to Caliph Omar-b- Abdul Aziz at night. He was then writing and the light of the lamp was about to be extinguished. The guest said : I shall take the lamp and make i t right. He said : to engage a guest in any work is against gentlemanly behaviour. The guest said : I am waking up your servant. The caliph said : The servant has gone just now for sleep. Then the Caliph himself filled up the lamp with oil. The guest said : 0 Commander of the Faithful, are you yourself doing it ? He said : Before the oil was brought, I was the same Omar as I am after it was brought. There is no decrease of my honour. He who is humble to God is best.
(7) Another sign of pride is that such a man does not carry his
necessary things to his house. This is opposed to the habit of the
humble. The Prophet used to take recourse to the path of modesty. Hazrat Ali said : No perfection of a perfect man is reduced if he carries any thing to his house. When Hazrat Abu Obaidah was Commander-in-Chief, he used to carry his own water pitcher to the bath room. The saint Sabet-b-Malek said : I saw the companion Abu Hurairah carrying a load of fueles from the market though he was then the governor of Calip Merwan. He said : OIbn Malek, give a little way to your governor. Asbat-b= Nabatah said : As if I am seeing Hazrat Omar with a bushel of meat in his left hand and the staff of administration in his right hand roaming in the market. A certain sage said : I saw Hazrat Ali with a bag of meat which he purchased for one dirham carrying it to his house. I said to him: 0 Commander of the Faithful, give it to me for carrying. He said : It can't be, the master of family is fit
to carry it.
(8) Another sign of pride is in dresses and adornments. The Prophet said :Dress of ordinary kind belongs to faith. the saint Harun said : I asked the Prophet about the meaning of the word Bazarah. He said : It is a dress of ordinary kind. Zaid-b-Wahab said : I saw Hazrat Omar once coming out for the market with the staff of administration in his hand and with a torn piece of cloth
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which he put on. It had fourteen stitches, some of which were of old skin. Hazrat Ali was asked once of short dress. He said : I put on such a dress for which mind becomes soft. Jesus Christ said Pride comes in mind becomes soft. Jesus Christ said: Pride comes in mind if good dress is put on. It has been reported that Calip Omar-b-Abdul Aziz once purchased a dress with one thousand dirhams before he became Caliph and said : How good it would have been if it had not been rough. When he accepted Caliphate, he purchased a cloth with five dirhams and said : How good it would have been had it not been thin. He was asked: 0 Commander of the Faithful, where are your dresses, conveyances and scents? He said : My nature was desirous of constant enjoyment of happiness, I enjoyed it once in the world and do not desire to enjoy itagain. I like to en' oy.happiness which is greater than that. Even I enjoyed the happiness of rule which is the highest worldly pleasure. There is still greater enjoyment near God which I now want to enjoy.
Once the Caliph Omar-b-Abdul Aziz was leading the prayer of Jumma with clothes having stitches in front and back. One man said to him : 0 Commander of the Faithful, God has given you wealth. It would have been better if you had put on good dress. He said : The time of wealth is the best time for good actions and the time of power is the time of pardon. the Prophet said: He who gives up adornent for pleasure of God gives up fine dresses being modest to Him for His pleasure. It becomes then the duty of God to dress him with fine dresses in Paradise. The Prophet said : Eat and drink, put on clothes and give charity but don't be extravagant and don't take pride. God loves that the sign of his gifts is expressed on His servant. Jesus Christ said : What has become of you that you come to me with clothes of a hermit while your heart is like a ferocious beast ? Dress with the dresses of kings but make your hearts soft with God-fear.
(9) Another sign of pride is that when anyone rebukes you, gives you trouble and realises his dues, he does not keep patience. The example of the Prophet is to be following Hazrat Abu Sayeed Khodri said : Eat for pleasure of God, drink for pleasure for God and dress for pleasure of God. If there is show and name and fame in these things, there will be sin. Keep such habits in your house which the Prophet had in his house. He used to give food to animals with his own hands, sweep his house,
milk his goats, put on shoes, sew his sandals, sew his clothes, take food with servants, help them when they became tired, purchase necessary things from market, carry the. necessary things, help his wives in their works, handshake. with, everyone, rich and poor. He used to salute those who came in his; front, young or old, white or black, slave or master. He had not, outer, and inner garments and when anybody invited him, he did not feel shame to accept it though it came from one dishevelled in hairs' and laden with dust.` He did not reject invitation. He used not to hate the food served to him. He did not hoard the night food for the next morning. He remained satisfied with little food.
His nature was modest, his mind was kind. His face was pleasant. He used to smile, not laugh. He became sorry without despair, stern without harshness, modest without meanness, charitable without misuse and kind to his relatives and Muslims. He never ate to his heart's content. Hazrat Ayesha supported the above statement of Abu Sayeed Khodri. Hazrat Ayesha said : I tell.you that the Prophet never ate belly-full with satisfaction and did not complain of hunger to anybody. Poverty was dearer to him than solvency and wealth. If he remained hungry at night, he kept fast the next day. If he prayed to his Lord, he would have been given, the treasures of the world but he rejected them all. Many a time, I pitied him seeing him hungry. I passed my hand over his belly and said : My life is dedicated to you. If you got what is sufficient for your hunger! He said : 0 Ayesha, the great apostles of patience before me bore greater patience than this trouble. They died in this condition and went near their Lord. They are now living in the most honourable places. I feel ashamed to go to a lower rank for being engaged in worldly enjoyments. I love to have patience for these few days 'than to have lesser rank in the next world. I don't consider anything more valuable than to live with my brethren and finds-the apostles. Hazrat Ayesha said : Hardly had one week passed after these talks when God took his life.
You will find the conducts and behaviours of a modest man in the above ways of his life. So whoso wants to be modest should follow him. He who considers himself greater than the Prophet and is not pleased with what the Prophet remained pleased with, is a great fool. The Holy Prophet is the owner of the greatest rank both in this world and the next. There is no honour and progress
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except in following him. For this reason. Hazrat Omar said : We are such a people who: have been honoured by the religion of Islam. So we should not seek honour by following others. When Hazrat Omar entered Syria, he uttered the above words when a man objected to his humility and modesty.
Abu Darda'a said : Know that there are friends of God called Abdul who are the vicegerents of the prophets. They are Kutub or representatives in the world. When the Prophethood ended, God made their successors in their places who appear before the Muslims with true God-fear, pious intention and sound souls and give them sermons although they may not pray and fast and dress greater than most of the people. By this they search God's pleasure with patience without cowardice and humility without meanness. God prefers them and gives them special qualities for Himself. They are thirty to forty truthful persons in number. In their hearts, there is faith firm and strong like that of Hazrat Ibrahim. None of them dies without being replaced by anothef by God. 0 brother, know that they do not curse anything, don't inflict trouble on anything, don't hold anything in contempt, don't bear enmity will anybody and don't envy anybody. They are the best of the people and best in actions and their conduct is best in modesty and charity. Benevolence is their sing, modesty is their habit and safety is their attribute. They are not such that to-day they fear God and to-morrow they are heedless. They are in the same condition outwardly. No storm or cyclone can ruin them in divine matters and no running horse can surpass them. Their hearts rise up to God eagerly, merrily and progressively in good works. They are the party of God. God says : God's party will be successful.
The narrator said : 0 Abu Darda, I have never heard more beautiful statements than this. How can I earn them ? He said : If you like to earn these attributes, hate the world, because when you hate the world, you will proceed towards the love of the next world.. You will take recourse to renunciation of the world in proportion to your love of the next world. You will find things of your benefit in proportion to your renunciation. Hear what God says : God is with those who are God-fearing and who do good to others.
TREATMENT OF PRIDE AND MODES OF ACQUIRING MODESTY: Know, 0 dear readers, that pride is harmful. Every
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man has got some pride. It is incumbent or compulsory to remove it. It cannot be removed by mere wish but it should be placed under treatment to uproot it. There are two stages of treatment. The first stage is that the root of pride shall be uprooted. The second stage is that the impediments or the causes which generate pride shall have to be removed.
(1) First Stage. The medicine of uprooting pride is knowledge and action together. The medicine based on knowledge is as follows. You shall have to know yourself and know your Lord. If a man knows his real origin, he will know that he is most heinous and he is not fit for anything except dishonour and disgrace. When he knows his Lord, he can appreciate that nobody is fit for pride except the Lord. To know Him, His glory and superiority is the end of spiritual knowledge. Hark what the Quran says about a man's origin in verse-80:27Q. Woe to man, what has made him to reject God? From what thing has He created him ? From a semen drop, He has created him etc. In this verse attention has been drawn to the origin, end and intermediate conditions of men, so that he may appreciate his own position.
MAN'S ORIGIN: He was not a thing to be mentioned even. He was in the circle of nothing for a long long time. What is a greater heinous thing than his not being in existence ? Then God created him with the most obnoxious thing. He created him first from earth, then from semen, then his bones were covered with flesh. Then he came into existence. First he could not see, hear or talk, so he began his being with death before life, weakness before strength, blindness before sight, deafness before bearing, dumbness before speaking, misguidance before guidance, poverty before solvency, frustration before power. This is the meaning of God's verse-With what thing did He create him? He created him with mere semen. That is also the meaning of the following verse : Has there not come a time over man when he was a thing not to be mentioned of ? I have created men with semen that I may try him-76: IQ. He has given him power of sight and hearing and showed him to take either of the two ways-towards infidelity or towards gratefulness. He came into being from non-existence, got life after death, got power of speech from being dumb, power of sight from blindness, strength from weakness, guidance from misguidance, and solvency from poverty? So how can a man take pride ?
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There are strong diseases, dangers and calamities in his lifetime. He has got cough, juice of spleen, air and earth which are opposed to one another, one'destroys another inspite of his willingness or unwillingness. He becomes will by compulsion. He dies by compulsion. He cannot do good or harm to himself. He cannot get what he distress. He moves within the circle of the machinations of the devil and cannot control his nature. he is helpless and hopeless. How can he take pride?
MAN'S ULTIMATE END: God says : Then He will take his life and place him in grave. Thereafter He will raise him when He likes. In other words, He will rob him of all his powers-power of
speech, power of seeing, power of hearing, power of smell,
power of knowledge. These things become non-existent like their first conditions. Nothing remains in him after his death. His body becomes a corpse from which obnoxious smell comes out just like his original matter-semen. His bones_ are crushed and his flesh becomes the food of worms and insects. So the best way for him is to become dust with which pots and utensil and buildings are made. Then he becomes nothing and goes to non-existence after a brief existence
If man would have ended into dust, it would have been better, but there is for him punishment for sins and rewards for vitures. he will be raised up again into a new world on the Resurrection Day and he will have to render accounts for all his deed which two angels had already recorded. They did not miss even a minor thing from recording. So how can be take pride ? How can he take hoast ?
MEDICINE OF PRIDE BASED ON ACTIONS: The medicine of pride based on action is to conduct oneself very humbly before the people and to follow the conduct of the humble and the modest. The Prophet said : I am only a servant. I take meal as a servant takes meal. Hazrat Salman Faresi was once asked : Why don't you put on new clothes ? He said "I am merely a slave. I would have put on new clothes had I had hope for a single day". Modesty does not become perfect without actions. For this reason, those who took pride were ordered to have faith and to pray, as prayer is the pillar of religion, for therein there are secret talks with the Creator with humility and modesty. There is humility in prayer and the Arabs who were haughty were ordered to be humble through prayer. They did not bow down
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their heads to anybody, nor prostrate. So they were ordered to crush their pride by bowing and prostrating.
Second stage of pride: In this stage, one of the seven reasons mentioned above comes into light. We shall describe the treatment of these seven causes by a mixture of knowledge and action.
(1) Pride arising out of pedigree. If one take pride for pedigree, let him treat this disease of his heart after knowing two things. One of the two things is that he should know that he is getting respect not for his own quality but for that of another. For this reason, ascertain poet says:
If you take pride of pedigree though it be true, Think of what thing you have been created.
If a proud man of pedigree is quality for his own fault, what benefit he will get owing to the honour of his ancestor. If his predecessor would have been alive for whom he takes pride, he would have said : Honour i$ for me, who are you ? You are merely a worm of my urine. You have been created of the worm of my semen. He who has been created of the worm of man's semen, can not be superior to the worm of lower animal. Honour is not due to man for only this worm but for his soul which comes from God. The second thing is that he could not recognize his real ancestor. His father was created of an obnoxious matter and his earliest ancestor was created of earth. God give this news by saying : He made excellent of all things. He created and began creation of man from earth. Then he made his successor from semen, squeezing from contemplible water. So man's origin is earth which is trodden upon. How can he take boast of his ancestry?
(2) Medicine of pride based on beauty. This medicine is to took to one's internal impurity. Look to your belly which is filled up with urine and stool. You have got stool in your stomach, urine in your urinal canal, cold arising out of your nostril, spittle in your mouth, blood in your veins, bad smell underneath your genital organ, sweat underneath your armpit, bad smell of stool as a result of your washing it with hands. These are signs of your impurity. Your origin is from obnoxious semen mixed with the impure blood of menstruction. The sage Taus said to Caliph
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Omar- b-Abdul Aziz : Can he whose belly is full of stool and urine take pride? This was uttered before he become Caliph.
(3) Medicine of pride for strength. It is to know the disease which is strong. If a gland of your head gives you pain, all your strength becomes baffled. If a fly takes something from you, you cannot recover it from it. If a mosquito enters your mostril or an ant to your ear, you may die. If you are attacked with fever for one day, you lose such a strength as cannot be recovered after many days. So when you have got no strength even of a thorn and you cannot recover a minor thing from a fly, should you take pride of your strength ? Nobody is stronger than an elephant, or a tiger or a camel.
(4) Medicine for pride of wealth and power. This is the worst kind of pride. He who takes pride of wealth is like that man who takes pride of his conveyance and house. If the conveyance is lost and if the house falls down, one becomes sorry for them. Then how can a rich man take pride of wealth ? The Jews are the richest nation in the world in wealth but they are kicked out of every land. It is foolishness to take boast of these things. You are merely a slave and nothing is under your control.
(5) Medicine for pride of education. A Learned man cannot remove his pride unless he knows two things. The first thing is that God's judgement over the learned man will be most strict. He does not keep patience over a learned man even for one tenth of what He keeps patience over an illiterate man, because he who commits sin knowingly commits a henous offence. The Prophet said : On the Resurrection Day, a learned man will be driven to Hell. His entrails will be cut to pieces and he will roam with that as an ass roams round the mill of oil. The dewellers of Hell will ask him: What is your matter? He will say: I advised the people for good works but I did not do them myself. I prohibited the people from doing evil deeds but I myself did them. God gave the simile of those who do not act according to their learnings, with a load-bearing ass. He says : Those learned men who are expert in the Torah and do not put it into action are like asses who bear heavy loads-62 : 5 Q. 'In this verse the learned of the Jews have been spoken of. God revealed this verse regarding Balaram-Baurn : Mention to them about the man whom I gave signs but who turned away therefrom. God says: ' He is like a dog. If you trouble it, it pants and if you leave it, it also pants-7:176Q.
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Hazrat Ibn Abbas said: Balaram was given education but he was engaged in satisfying his passions. so his simile is that of a dog.
The second thing is that the learned man knows that God alone can take pride and nobody else, but when he takes pride, he becomes an object of wrath of God. God says to him: You will get honour from Me till you do not find honour for yourself. I you find honour for yourself, you will lose honour from me. So do what God loves, then pride will go away from you.
(7) Seventh cause. Pride arising out God fear and divine services is a great trial fosthe people. The medicine for that is that such a man should sow the seed of modesty in his heart. It means that if a learned man comes to him, he should not take pride over him. God says : Are those who are learned like those who are not learned 39:9Q? The Prophet said : The superiority of a learned man over a religions man is like my superiority over my companions. There are many verses in the Quran regarding the merits of learning. The sage Wahab-b-Monabbah said : The wisdom of a man does not become perfect till acquires ten qualities. He counted nine and mentioned the tenth-to think everyone as better than oneself. To him mankind is divided into two classes. One class is better than him and another class is worse than him, but he becomes modest and humble to the people of those two classes as he things everyone as better than himself God showed path to good conduct in the following verse They give in charity from what they were given and their minds are fearful of returning to their Lord. In other words, they worship but they remain fearful of its acceptance. God says those who remain fearful of their Lord. God says of His angels that they remain always fearful of God though they are free from sins and engaged always in divine service. God says They glorify God day and night without rest and they remain fearful of Him. Thus pride of mind can be removed.
FIVE TRIALS OF KNOWING SECRET
CONDITION OF PRIDE
(1) First trial. You will know that you have got pride when in an altercation with your friend, you do not accept his opinion though it is correct. Fear God and treat then your disease of pride.
(2) Second trial. When you meet with your friends or other persons, give them high places or front places to sit. If you feel it
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difficult, you will know that you have got pride and so you should take secret and appropriate. medicine and you should give them high position.
(3) Third trial. Accept the invitations of the poor and go to market for necessaties of relatives and friends. If you feel trouble in mind for that, you will find that you have got pride and try to
(4) Fourth trial. Carry your necessary things from the market and also the necessary things of your friends. If your nature prohibits'you to carry them, know that you have got pride and there is impurity in your mind. Try to remove it by remembering this verse. God says ; Nobody will get salvation except one who comes to God with pure soul-26:189Q. the sage Abdullah-bSalam was carrying once a load of fuels. He was asked : 0 Abu Eusuf, your servant is sufficient for that. He said : Yes, it is true, but I wish to try my nature whether is it ready to carry it or not. So the Prophet said : He who carries fruits or something else is free
(5) Fifth trial. Put on ordinary dress. If you want to come out before the people the people with good dress, it will be show and if it seems good to you when alone, it will be pride. Caliph Omar-b-Abdul Aziz had a coarse cloth which he used to put on at night. The Prophet said : He who tethers a camel and puts on sufi dress is free from pride. He also said : I am a mere servant. I put on sufi dress, tether camels, suck my fingers after meal and except the invitation of a slave. He who turns away from my ways does not belong to my party.
STRICT HABIT OF ACQUIRING MODESTY
Know, 0 dear readers, that modesty has got two extremes like other conducts. Humility which reaches the extreme limit shows pride and humility which reaches the limit of loss is called meanness. The middle condition of humility is called modesty. The best condition is modest conduct without meanness and pride. He who goes in front of friends is a proud man and he who% walks behind them is modest. The good man to God is he who adopts the middle course and pays the dues to whom they are due. Don't hold in contempt any man of the market as you don't
know your ultimate end.
Know, 0 dear readers, that Wuzab or self-praise has been condemned by God and His Prophet. God says: In the battle of Hunain, your superiority in number gave you self-satisfaction but nothing came to your use. God says: "They (Jews) thought that their fortresses would save them from God but God gave them (Muslims) help from such a place which they did not conceive." They returned to infidelity as they possessed fort and strength and power. God says: 'They think that they are doing good works.' Man takes self-satisfaction even when he does a work out of mistake. The Prophet said: There are three harmful things - miserliness which is followed, passion which is obeyed and self- praise. The Prophet said to Abu Salama regarding his latter followers: When you will see miserliness followed, low desires obeyed and each man following his own opinion, you should then go on doing your duties. Hazrat Ibn Masud said: There are two injurious things - despair and self-praise. He united the two matters, as a man of despair gives up efforts but fortune cannot be acquired without efforts, labour and care and the man of self- praise thinks that his object has been successful owing to his efforts and so he gives up efforts. He who has got self-praise has no efforts. A man of self-praise thinks that he has attained fortune. So he does not make efforts to achieve it.
God says: Don't impute piety to yourselves - 83: 32. Hazrat Ibn Zarih explained this verse by saying: When you do a good deed, don't say: I have done it. Hazrat Zaid-b-Aslam said: Don't call yourself religious. This is self praise or considering oneself better. Hazrat Talha guarded the Prophet in the battle of Uhud. He received wounds after wounds in defending the Prophet as his body guard and he dedicated his life for him. Hazrat Omar said that for this Talha has got some self-praise. Hazrat Ibn Abbas said to Hazrat Omar at the time of consultation: Where are you in comparison with Talha? Hazrat Omar said: There is self-praise within him. When a man like him was not saved from self-praise, where are we the ordinary men?
The sage Mutarref said: To get self-satisfaction by saying at dawn "I have done sufficient" after passing the whole night inprayer is worse to me than to pass the whole night in sleep with
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repentance in the morning. The Prophet said: If you had not committed sins, I would have feared for you a more heinous crime - self-praise. So he termed it as a heinous evil. Hazrat Ayesha was once asked: When does a man do an evil deed? She said: When he thinks that he is a man of good deeds.
HARM OF SELF-PRAISE: The harm of self-praise is great as it breeds pride and it is a cause of pride. Self-praise with the attributes of God makes one forgetful of his sins for which he can't remember his sins. He who does not understand the harm of his actions, almost all his efforts go in vain. He who has got more God fear than self praise searches into all things. He who has got self-praise is cheated by his own opinion. His self- praise takes him to such an extent that he praises himself and thinks himself pure. He gets satisfaction at seeing his wisdom, good deeds and opinions. He considers his opinion as good. If he does not believe his opinion and gets light from the Quran, takes help from the experts of religion and follows those who have got deep insight, he can reach the real truth. So self-praise is injurious.
What is Wuzab or self-praise? Self-praise arises out of realisation of perfection of good deeds, learning and other qualities. There are three conditions. One condition is that if he fears its loss, it cannot be called self-praise. The second condition is that if he thinks it as a gift of God, it cannot be called self-praise. The third condition may be called self-praise provided there is no fear but self-satisfaction and remaining upon it. Self-praise arises out of the following thinking - I am a perfect man, I am a man receiving gifts, I am good, I am intelligent etc. He does not feel joy at the gift of God, but considers it as his own quality for which he takes pleasure. He ascribes these attributes as his self-acquired attributes and not the gifts of God. If after giving charity to a man he wants a return of good and thinks that he has done a good deed commits self-praise as God says: Don't seek much return after doing good (to anybody). The Prophet said: The prayer of a
man who does it for return does not rise above his head. To weep
seeking return of your good deeds is worse than your laugh after
recognizing your sins. There is hope of return behind self-praise
and nobody expects return except one who praises himself as it
arises from a feeling of superiority of self.
MEDICINE OF SELF-PRAISE: Know, 0 dear readers, that the medicine of every disease is its opposite. Self-praise arises out
of ignorance. So its medicine is the knowledge opposite .to
ignorance. Self-praise arises out of works which remain under
control, such as divine service, charity, jihad, administration, to, do public good. Sometimes it arises from such works as are not witin control, such as beauty, strength, pedigree, etc. The first is stronger than the second. The causes of self-praise arising out of the first qualities are that he thinks that he possesses these qualities by dint of his own efforts. Its medicine is to think as follows. All gifts are given by God. Strength, will, limbs and other causes are also gifts of God and not one's own earned properties. So God is to be praised for all the works done with the help of strength, will and lambs and not self. If an emperor gives a gift to one of his servants or officers out of so many of his men, the gifted person should not think that it has come for his own qualities. It is true that your power, your movement of limbs, your will and your all other attributes are all creations of God. So when you work, you do not work. When you pray, you do not throw arrow, but God throws it - Quran. It is true that it is clear to those who are experienced in hearts. God created you and your limbs and gave you strength and health, wisdom and intellect and also will. Then He created movements of your limbs. He created also your mind.
The second thing is that you do work because of your strength. Wherefrom have your strength come? But for your existence, this work would not have assumed form. Your will, strength and other causes of your works come from God, not from you. If any work is done with the help of strength, this strength is its key and the key is in the hand of God. When the key has not been given to you, it is not possible for you to work. Divine service is most valuable and fortune is gained by it. The key of this divine service is strength, will and knowledge which are in the hand of God. Do you not see a jewel kept in a fort? Is not it key in the hand of the treasurer? If you sit round the doors and walls of that fort for thousands of years, it will not be possible for you to see the jewel within it. If you are given its key, you can take it after opening the door of the greatest treasury of the world. God created your strength and gave you lordship over your will, gave your limbs power of movements and gave your hands to remove the barriers and obstacles. All these come from God and not from you. So He who gave you the key is. the root cause of your work. To open the door and take the jewel are insignificant
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He gave you key to do good works. The treasury of divine service is shut up against the sinners. God has made strong the causes of sins upon the sinners and removed them from you. He made strong on them the urge of doing sins and removed it from you. He gave them the implements of the worldly enjoyments and removed them from you. For that the doing of good works becomes easy to you and difficult to the sinners. He preferred you for good works and the sinners for sins.
When you have understood this, how can you take praise to yourself for your actions.? Rather you should express gratefulness to God that He has given you the impulse to do good actions. There is no doer of deeds except God and there is no creator except Him. He who is given wisdom but not riches says in wonder: How He could not give me the provision of even one day while He gave me wisdom and how He gave this illiterate man riches but not wisdom. He is about to say that God did injustice. But this proud man does not know that if he was given wisdom and riches together, it would have been an open act of injustice. Then the illiterate poor man would have said: 0 Lord, you have given him both wisdom and riches but you have deprived me from that. Why did you not give me both? Hazrat Ali was asked once: Why do the intelligent become poor? He replied: Intelligence is considered as a longing to provision.
Prophet David said: No time passes during the night and day in which a member of the family of David does not do divine service by means of prayer, fasting or Zikr. God then revealed to him: 0 David, how can they do it? It would not have occurred had I not given them opportunity? If I had not helped you, you could not have gathered strength. Just now I am entrusting you to yourself and then you will see what calamity happens. The
David fell in endless troubles.
Hazrat Ayub (David) said: 0 God, you are trying me by this calamity but I did not complain once against your wish. I am satisfied with your will. Then a thunderstorm of ten thousands in number from a cloud began to say: 0 Ayub, from whom did you get that attribute of patience? Then the Prophet became repentant, besmeared his head with dust and said: 0 Lord, I have got it from Thee. For this reason, God said: But for God's grace and mercy on you, none of you could have been even pure but God purifies one whom He wishes - 24: 21 Q. The companions of
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the Prophet were most pious and religious. He said to them: None of you is such that his good deeds can give him salvation. They asked: 0 Apostle of God, are you too? He said: I am also but God covered me with His grace. After this, the companions wished to be changed to earth, brick and birds although their works were pure and their hearts were clean. This is a great medicine of uprooting self- praise. When God-fear will remain in your mind, self-praise will vanish.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF SELF-PRAISE
There are different causes of self-praise which have been mentioned above. Sometimes there is self-praise for a matter for which there is no pride, for instance, a mistaken opinion which seems good to a man out of ignorance. From this angle of view, self-praise is divided into eight classes.
(1) First class is self-praise for physical beauty, health, strength, constitution of body, good voice. A man praises himself for the beauties of his physique and forgets that they are vanishing in every circumstance. The remedy to remove it is to think of his contemptible origin and how his face was made beautiful by clay and how it will be rotten and melted in grave.
(2) Second class is self-praise for strength and power. Take the instance of the tribes A'd and Samud. A'd said: Who is stronger than us? A strong man named Aziz lifted a mountain on his head and threw it down over the soldiers of Moses to crush them but the Merciful ;had it lifted by the peak of a Hudhud bird and thrown on his neck. A believer sometimes takes pride, for instance Hazrat Solaiman once said: I shall this night cohabit with my one hundred wives and beget children. But God deprived him of his wish and he did not beget any child.
(3) Third class is self-praise for wisdom and intellect for worldly and religious affairs. He remains upon his own opinion, thinks another who is opposed to him as fool, does not consult with others and hear the sermons of the learned. The medicine of the above is this that he should be grateful to God for the wisdom that God ;has given him and think that it may be destroyed by a little disease and think that he has not been given but a little intellect as the Quran says.
278 The Book of Destructive evils Vol-III
(4) Fourth Class is self-praise for pedigree, for instance the self-praise of the people of the dynasty of Hashem. Some of them think that they will get salvation for respect of their ancestors and their sins will be forgiven and that all others are their slaves and servants. Its medicine is to know that your character and conduct are different from those of your predecssors. If you follow them, you cannot have any self-praise, but think that there is real honour in God-fear, piety and good conduct. So follow the actions for which they were honoured. To them every dynasty was equal and they had no boast -for pedigree or ancestry. God says: 0 mankind, I have created you from one man and one woman and made you into different tribes and dynasties, so that you may know one another. The most honourable of you is the one among you who is most God-fearing - 49 : 13 Quran. It appears that the origin of all is the same.
The Prophet was once asked: Who is most honourable and most intelligent among men. He did not say at that time that he is one who is born of his dynasty. Rather he said: The most honourable is he who remembers death most and becomes most prepared for it. The above verse was revealed when Bilal proclaimed. Azan in the Ka'ba on the Day of the conquest of Mecca. At that time, Hares-b- Hisham, Sohail-b-Amr and Khaled-b-Osaid said: This black slave is proclaiming Azan! Then ,God revealed: The most honourable of you is he who is the most God-fearing of you. The Prophet said: God removed from you the pride of the dark age. You all are the children of Adam and Adam was created of dust. He also said: 0 assembled people of the Quraish, .things should not come to such a pass that the people will come on the Resurrection Day with their actions and you will come with the world on your neck and cry and say: 0 Muhammad, 0 Muhammad. I will then say thus. It means: I will turn my face from you. It appears from this that they will be addicted to the world and their ancestry will come of no use to them. God says: Warn your near relatives. When this verse was revealed, the Prophet called all the tribes of the Quraish, till he said: 0 Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, 0 Sufiyah, daughter of Abdul Mottaleb, take care of your own actions, as I am not responsible to God for any action of yours.
(5) Fifth class is the self-praise of the oppressive rulers and kings. The medicine is as follows. They should think that their
Vol-III Pride and self-praise 279
end is disgraceful. They will be object of God's extreme hatred for their oppression of the people and creation of disturbance in region. The angels on the Resurrection Day will throw Hell on their faces.
(6) Sixth class is boast for the increased number of children, slaves and servants, relatives, friends, helpers and disciples. The unbelievers said: We are great in men and money. Think how they were destroyed. The Muslims thought in the Battle of Hunain that they were superior in number and for that pride they fled away from the battle field at the first instance. God says: How many a small party defeated a big party by the order of God. So how can you boast of your number? When you will be dead, you will be alone bereft of your friends, relatives and helpers who will come of no use to you. Then will leave you to be eaten by snakes and worms in graves. They will flee away on the Resurrection Day from you the day when you will be in utmost distress.
(7) Seventh class is self-praise for riches. The Prophet once saw a poor man sitting by the side of a rich man. The rich man removed himself from his side and the Prophet said; Do you fear his poverty coming running to you? Its medicine is to think that there are many dangers of wealth and many duties of rich men and there are endless merits for the poor. The poor will enter paradise long before the rich. Wealth comes and goes, there is no fixity.
(8) Eight class is self-praise for wrong opinion. God says: He whose evil deeds have been made nice to him and who regards them as good. God says: They think that they are doing good deeds. The Prophet said: Such mistaken notions will appear among my latter followers and for this the earlier nations were ruined when they split themselves into different tributes. So he is satisfied with his own opinion. Every tribe iS satisfied with what they have got. This is the condition of those who introduced innovation in religion and they take pleasure in that. Its medicine is that his opinion is not free from defect and is not consistent with the quran and Sunnat. The best course is to follow the ways of the sages and saints and have faith in the Quranic verses and traditions and ways of the Messenger of God.
****End of Chapter 9 - Volume 3 *****
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