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Takabbur in Islam: Pride in Islam, Arrogance - Kibr is a barrier to Paradise

Kibr is a barrier to ParadiseA proud and arrogant person regards himself better and superior to others and by assuming vain and wishful thoughts in his mind, adopts the conduct of Shaitan (Satan) who said: "I have been created of fire while Adam has been created of earth and fire possesses superiority over earth." The first sin to have been committed in the world of creation was arrogance on the part of Shaitan (Satan).

This pride and prejudice on the part of Satan is what caused his downfall - and has the potential to affect each and every one of us. Satan felt that his physical makeup of 'smoke-less fire' was of a loftier composition, and that being made of fire, he had the potential and was naturally inclined to 'ascend' (just as fire does), whereas the makeup of Adam was of 'earth', a heavier compound, and that his natural inclination was to the base, lower desires, and to clinging to the 'earth'.

Thus, as for it being a vice, there can be no doubt or skepticism. Proud and arrogant individuals look down upon others and anticipate others to greet them and exhibit respect and deference towards them, always nurturing aspects of their superiority and greatness within their minds. This "puffed up" feeling which imparts a sense of "touch me not" is called pride (Kibr/Takabbur).

The condition of conceit and of one who considers himself to be greater than others, so long as it stays inwardly and has no outward manifestation, it is pride. If it gets out through the senses, it is called arrogance.

Arrogance is one of the consequences of vanity and self-conceit. When an individual thinks too highly of himself, it is self-conceit; and when he tends, moreover, to consider others as inferior to himself, that is arrogance. In contrast to these states, when one thinks of himself as small and insignificant, that is called modesty; and when, in addition to this, he considers others as superior to himself, that is called humility. In any case, arrogance is one of the most fatal of moral vices. This is so because arrogance is a thick veil which hides one's shortcomings from his own view, and thus prevents him from removing them and attaining perfection.

Arrogance is a mental state causing self-admiration and haughtiness against others in words or deeds. It is censured and dispraised in many texts in Noble Qur'an and Sunnah:

Truly Allah knows what they hide and what they manifest; surely He does not love the proud. Noble Qur'an (16:23)

Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) says: "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." Hence, Pride (Kibr/Takabbur) is a barrier to Paradise.

A proud man will not tolerate any other to be on equal terms with himself. In private and in public he expects that all should assume a respectful attitude towards him and, acknowledging his superiority, treat him as a higher being. They should greet him first; make way for him wherever he walks; when he speaks everyone should listen to him and never try to oppose him. He is a genius and people are like asses. They should be grateful to him, seeing that he is so condescending.

Virtues are the doors of Paradise, but pride and self-esteem lock them all. So long as man feels elated he will not like for others what he likes for himself. His self-esteem will deprive him of humility, which is the essence of righteousness. He will neither be able to discard enmity and envy, resentment and wrath, slander and scorn, nor will he be able to cultivate truth and sincerity, and calmly listen to any advice. In short, there is no evil which a proud man will not inevitably do in order to preserve his elation and self-esteem.

Being proud about ones own piety is a major sin. This pride can make all the prayers and supplications void. If a person understands the Greatness of Allah (SWT), then he will not be proud and vain at his exertions at prayer. The endowments of the munificent Allah (SWT) are so great that it is impossible to count His Blessings.

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) who cites Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) in a tradition in which Hazrat Musa (Moses) son of Imran asks Satan. "Tell me about the sin which, when a son of Adam commits, you overtake him." Satan replied, "It is when he is proud of himself, thinks too much of his good deeds and his sin looks small in his eyes." It is known that when Satan overtakes someone, the result will be more sinning.

Imam Ali Reza (as) says that a pious person from Bani Israel offered intense prayers for forty years. Then he offered a sacrifice to Allah (SWT) that was not accepted. The person was disconsolate with sadness for his failure. He cursed his psyche blaming it for his failure. He received a Revelation that blaming his psyche and accepting the shortcomings pleased Allah (SWT) more than the prayers spread over the long period of forty years. For this reason Allah (SWT) accepted his long years of penance.

Imam Mohammed Baqir (as) says that two persons entered the mosque. One was pious and the other a transgressor. When they emerged from the mosque after the prayer, the transgressor was pious and the person with piety had turned a transgressor. The reason was that the pious person came out of the mosque with pride at his piety and the transgressor was penitent at his past misdeeds.

Imam Ali (as) says: "The sin that makes you sad and repentant is more liked by Allah (SWT) than the good deed which turns you arrogant."

Positive Pride in Islam: Do you want Honor, Power and Glory in this World and in the Hereafter?

Positive Pride in IslamVerily, then to Allah belongs all honour, power and glory. Noble Qur'an (4:139)

Therefore, whoever desires (Al-Izzah) honor, power and glory in this world and the next, let him be obedient towards Allah (SWT).

Imam Ali (as) says, that he is proud that Allah (SWT) is his lord and that he is Allah's servant.

As Muslims we are proud of our identity, heritage and tradition. Because we Muslims take pride in keeping our homes, gardens clean, our places of worship appealing both to the young and old. We Muslims take pride in respecting parents, elders, assisting neighbors, helping poor by giving charity. We Muslim Women take pride in observing Hijab (Islamic dress).

"Pride, the result of not remembering our status in relationship to our Creator, can take various forms. In each of these it is an attempt to be god."

The main push behind pride and prejudice is nothing other than the human being thinking himself to be "god" and that he feels he is better than others; however, if we keep the relationship between ourselves and our Creator in mind, and that He is the only one "entitled" to 'pride', then we bring ourselves back "down to earth" and appreciate that we are all from the same source, and that even though we have differences mostly based on incidental issues, the only source of being "better" than one another (which too cannot be fully judged) is our awareness, consciousness, and acceptance of God and all that He gives to us.

Imam Ali (as) says: I wonder at the arrogance of a haughty and vain person. Yesterday he was only a drop of semen and tomorrow he will turn into a corpse. Also, it is astonishing if son of Adam is proud, when his beginning is a sperm and his end is a decaying corpse (dead body).

The arrogant and proud should recognize and realize his reality: his origin is a dirty sperm and his end is stinky carrion. Between these two, man is weak and feeble. Hunger and thirst exhaust him, ailment and sickness overcome him, poverty and harm afflict him, and death and wear will inevitably befall him. Man cannot provide benefits and cannot save himself from misfortunes.

Overconfidence is a bad thing:

Confidence is a great thing. It allows us to get past our doubts and take action. So why is slightly too much of it so bad? Take a look at the example of Azazeel.

His name was Azazeel. He is also known as Iblees. He used to pray a lot and even used to give lectures to the angels. One day there was a notice in the heavens which said that someone was going to be ordered out of the heavens. All the angels were worried because they thought it might be one of them. They all went to Jibreel (Gabriel) who was one of the most important angels to ask him, whether he could do anything. Jibreel (Gabriel) said he too was worried because it might be himself. Jibreel (Gabriel) suggested that they go to Azazeel because he was very clever.

Azazeel told them not to worry at all, he would pray to Allah (SWT) for all of them. He forgot himself thinking he was the best and it could never be him. As a result of overconfidence, he became the cursed Satan and he was ordered out of heaven.

Imam Moosa Kazim (as) says: "O Son! Don't delay in offering your prayers. Nor should you be overconfident of the acceptance of your prayers and feel proud of your efforts at piety. We cannot offer prayers and obedience to Allah commensurate with His Blessings."

Summary, as human beings and believers, we need to ensure that we do not repeat the sin which resulted in the fall of Satan - we need to treat all of the children of Adam as human beings and not be judgmental of things such as skin color, tribal affiliations, language, place of birth, economic worth, social status, or even religion, as these are all merely ways for us to "know the another" rather than being means of shunning one another. After all, did Imam Ali (as) not say that, "People are of two types - they are either your brothers in faith or your equals in humanity."

Example of Takabbur in Islam: Walid ibn Mughairah

Example of Takabbur in Islam: Walid ibn MughairahThree years after having been appointed as a prophet and with only a handful of people having accepted Islam, it was revealed to Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw): "Openly proclaim your Prophethood and disregard the ridicule and troubles from the polytheists, for We shall protect you from their evils."

One of the opponents was Walid ibn Mughairah. Once, Jibreel (Gabriel) the divine Archangel, was with Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) when Walid happened to pass by. Seeing him, Jibreel (Gabriel) asked Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw): "This Walid ibn Mughairah, is he of those who ridicule you?"

When Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) replied in the affirmative, Jibreel (Gabriel) pointed towards Walid's foot.

Walid continued walking until he reached the place where a person from the tribe of Khuzaah was engaged in sharpening arrows. Walid stepped on the sharp splinters and chippings lying on the ground, some of which penetrated into the heel of his foot. His heel was badly bruised as blood began to flow. Walid's pride prevented him from bending down and plucking the splinters out of his heel. On reaching his home, he heaved himself into a chair and dropped off to sleep while his daughter slept on the floor beside the chair.

Meanwhile, the blood gushed out so profusely from Walid's wound that it reached the mattress of his daughter who woke up from her sleep. She asked her slave-girl why she had not shut the lid of the water-skin.

Walid explained, "This is not the water from the water-skin. It is the blood of your father."

He then dictated his will and left this world - departing for Hell.

Do not walk proudly on the earth; your feet cannot tear apart the earth nor are you as tall as the mountains. Noble Qur'an (17:37)

Do not scornfully turn your face away from people. Do not walk around puffed-up with pride; Allah does not love arrogant and boastful people. Noble Qur'an (31:18)

Takabbur in Islam (Pride in Islam): A flying Tortoise

Takabbur in Islam (Pride in Islam): A flying TortoiseLong ago there were two Geese who regularly visited a pond to eat Fish. The Geese always had a chat with the lonely Tortoise living in the pond. They spent many days talking about different things and their acquaintance grew into friendship.

One day, when the Geese realized there were no more Fish in the pond, they decided to migrate to a new and larger pond up north. They conveyed their decision to their friend, the lonely Tortoise. The Tortoise felt sad and expressed his wish to go along with the Geese.

The Geese thought this is a very good idea. "Why don't we take lonely Tortoise along with us? Then we all can live together forever!"

The Tortoise was delighted, but soon realized the problem. "How can I go with you? Because I cannot fly."

The Tortoise was very disappointed that he would not be able to go with the Geese.

The Geese came up with a solution, "Don't worry. We have thought of a way to solve this problem. We will hold a stick between us. Hold onto the middle of the stick with your mouth. This way, we all can fly to our new location."

But, warned one Goose, "Our plan is good, but you have to be very careful. At no time during our journey you should open your mouth, for, if you do, you will fall from the sky and be smashed to death on the ground."

The Tortoise thought for a while and agreed to be sure to keep his mouth champed round the stick all throughout the journey," he said.

Once they were all set, the Geese and the Tortoise set off on their journey northwards. As they flew, they had to pass through many villages, where people came running out to see this strange sight.

"Look at the Tortoise. See how the Geese carry him between them." Shouted the children.

The Tortoise wanted to tell them that he was going with his friends to a new pond and that there was nothing strange in it, but he remembered his friends warning and kept his mouth shut.

Village after village, people ran after the strange flight. "A flying Tortoise!" some shouted.

The Tortoise soon began to swell with pride.

He thought to himself, "I am so great. All the villagers are running out to see me. If these Geese had not come with me, no one would have ever noticed them."

Every village that they passed, the Tortoise was greeted with cheering and shouting. Finally the Tortoise could contain himself no more. He opened his mouth to speak, "I am ..."

As soon as he opened his mouth, his hold on the stick was lost and he came hurtling through the air and fell on a rock with a loud crack. The poor Tortoise died on the spot.

The Geese flew sadly away. "If only he had not been so proud," they thought, "he would have been living happily with us."

Moral of the Story - "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." or simply, "Pride comes before the fall." Bible, Proverbs (16:18)

Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (saw) says: "Even if you do not commit any sins, I fear that you may fall into something which is worse: pride! pride!"

Matt Kar Itna Guroor Apne Aap Par INSAAN, Na Jane Khuda Ne Kitne Tere Jaise Bana Bana Ke Mita Diye

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017