REFLECTIONS

Website: www.ummah.com/islam/reflections

Quarterly: Issue No 32

Shawwal 1425

 

PRIDE (TAKABBUR) 

 

Allah, the Almighty, says:

And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not each arrogant boaster.

(Surah Luqman: Verse 18).

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:

Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people. (Sahih Muslim: Book 1: Hadith 164).

He who has the weight of a mustard seed of pride in his heart shall not enter Jannah. (Sahih Muslim: Book 1: Hadith 166).

 

Takabbur is to consider oneself superior to others in attributes of excellence. There are many kinds of takabbur. Most kinds are subtle, concealed and difficult to detect. It is only the gaze of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil that can discern such hidden forms of takabbur. In this matter even the Ulama-e-Zaahir (those Ulama who concern themselves with only the external Laws of the Shari’ah) are constrained to follow an expert in the Path of Tasawwuf.  In a nutshell takabbur is to voluntarily and consciously regard oneself superior to others in religious or mundane excellence in a way that engenders contempt in the heart for others. Even the Ulama fraternity and Islamic Scholars amongst themselves are not free from this sin. This is the reality of takabbur that is haraam. Takabbur consists of two ingredients, viz.,

· The feeling of superiority - considering oneself to be great

· Contempt for others

 

Takabbur not induced voluntarily, but entering the heart involuntarily is not sinful. Such non-volitional pride is merely the external dimension or form of takabbur. Up to this stage takabbur is not sinful. But when one voluntarily entertains the feeling of pride that had initially crept in involuntarily, then it will be sinful takabbur. In this case the mere form of takabbur is transformed into the reality of takabbur.  Where the condition of contempt for others is non-existent, takabbur will not be applicable. Mere belief in superiority and inferiority, greatness and smallness, is not takabbur. For example: an old man regarding an infant to be small without the notion of contempt for it. But, the one who intentionally considers himself better than others and becomes arrogant, his nafs (ego) swells up with pride, the consequences of which are manifested by  themselves. Examples of such pride are:

· to regard others with contempt

· to take offence when others do not greet one first

· to be offended if others do not offer you respect

· to be annoyed when someone admonishes you

· refusal to concede the truth even after having realized it.

 

May Allah keep us under His Protection and save us from takabbur. Indeed, it is the severest of all diseases. It is the root of all spiritual ailments. It was pride (takabbur) that made Shaytaan a deviate. The Ahaadith therefore sounds severe warnings with regard to takabbur. Allah has warned that the abode of the proud ones will indeed be vile. Pride is the exclusive prerogative of Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala. Allah will destroy all those who desire to participate in this exclusive Attribute of His Greatness.

 

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Allah (Mighty and Sublime be He) said: ‘PRIDE is my cloak and GREATNESS is my robe, and he who competes with Me in respect of either of them, I will cast him into the Fire of Hell’.” (Muslim, Abu Dawood, Ahmad, Ibn Majah).

 

WHAT IS THE REMEDY?

The only remedy it to reflect on the Splendour, Glory and Majesty of Allah, the Most High. This reflection will produce in oneself a realisation of one's own lowly position. Your own excellence will then recede into nothingness. Also, humble yourself in the presence of those whom you regard as your inferior. Be respectful to them so that you become imbued with the Prophetic quality of humility.

 

WEAK HADITH REPORTS

 

The Messenger of Allah Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:

CONVEY (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single Ayah; and tell others the stories of Banu Israel (which have been taught to you) for it is not sinful to do so. And whoever tells a lie on me intentionally, will surely take his place in the Fire (of Hell). (Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 4: Book 56: Hadith 667).

 

This Hadith contains the following three important points:

 

1. It stresses the importance of acquiring knowledge of the Noble Qur'an and Ahaadith and imparting it to others. No matter whether one has more or less knowledge, he must communicate it to others. There is no justification to presume that preaching or inviting to the Message of Allah is the duty of religious scholars (ULAMA) and those who are well versed in this sphere. In fact, it is a duty upon every Muslim, so much so that if a person knows even a single Verse of the Qur'an, i.e. if he knows only one injunction of Allah, he is duty bound to communicate it to other people.

 

2. It allows one to communicate Jewish historical incidents subject to the condition that such stories are not opposed to the teachings of the Noble Qur'an and Ahaadith.

 

3. There is a stern warning on attributing any false saying to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). This demands strict scrutiny of the Ahaadith. If a Hadith does not have a reliable authority, or whose chain of narrators has a false link or a person of doubtful integrity, i.e. if it is a weak Hadith, then it is a serious offence to quote it as a Hadith of the our beloved Prophet. There are various grades of weakness, and this requires deep knowledge of the narrators and principles (usool) of Hadith to know them since scholars who are expert in this discipline are very few in number. The safest course for general Ulama is to refrain from stating such Ahaadith that are weak, no matter whether the weakness is serious or slight. The reason is that although the majority of Muhaddithoon consider the slightly weak Ahaadith acceptable but everybody cannot easily identify these slightly weak acceptable Ahaadith. Therefore, as a general rule, every Hadith that is classified as weak should not be quoted in public lectures. No such saying or practice should be attributed to our beloved Prophet the authenticity of which is doubtful. On this principle, weak Ahaadith should not be mentioned. It is very unfortunate indeed that in spite of such a stern warning, many of our `Ulama' are not careful in this matter. Not to speak of weak Ahaadith, they do not hesitate to mention even fabricated (mawdoo') Ahaadith only to adorn their speech. May Allah guide them to the Right Path. In fact, there is also a class of religious “jurists” (Muftis) who try to challenge the authentic Ahaadith and try to validate the weak ones only to add credence to their own juristic ruling (fatwa). May Allah save us from the evils of such a fitnah. Ameen!

 

STRENGTHENING OUR DU'A 

 

Allah the Almighty says:

And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad ) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me. (2:186). In another verse of the Glorious Qur’an, He says, "Invoke me and I will respond to your invocation" (40:60). He also says, "Invoke your lord with humility and in secrecy" (7:55). And he also said, "So invoke Allah making your worship pure for him" (40:14).

 

Allah's Messenger, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, said: "Du’a is ibaadah (worship)" [Abu-Dawood, Tirmidhi]. The Prophet also said that anyone who does not invoke (make Du'a to) Allah, it will cause Allah to be angry with him. [Ahmed, Tirmidhi].  The Prophet also said in the Hadith narrated by Abdullah Ibn-Abbas, radiallahu anhu; "If you ask, ask Allah and if you seek help, seek help from Allah alone" [Ahmad, Tirmidhi].

 

Performing The Du’a In Conformity With The Shari’ah:

The Messenger of Allah, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, said: "Whosoever innovates in this matter of ours something which is not part of it, it will be rejected." Hence, the Du’a has to be performed according to the sunnah of our beloved Prophet. If a person is sincere but is not following the sunnah, his worship is rejected. Similarly, if a person is following the sunnah but his work is not sincerely done for the sake of Allah, his worship is also rejected.

 

Trust In Allah and Certainty of Reply:

One must be certain that Allah does whatever he wishes, whenever he wishes. Allah tells us in the Qur’an, "Verily, his command, when he intends a thing, is only that he says to it “Be!” and it is" (Quran 36:82). One must believe with certainty that Allah possesses all treasures. Allah said, "And there is not a thing, but with Us are the stores thereof. And we do not send it down except with a known measure" (Quran 15:21). Also, in the Hadith Qudsi narrated by Abu-Dharr, Allah revealed through the Prophet, "O My servants, were the first of you and last of you, the human of you and jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request from Me, and were I to give everyone what they requested, that would not decrease what I have anymore than a needle decreases the sea if put into it" (Muslim).

Allah's messenger, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam also said, "Invoke Allah while you are certain to be answered and know that Allah does not answer a Du’a from a heart which is inattentive and unmindful" (Tirmidhi). Therefore, one must supplicate with total concentration and avoid distraction.

 

Lower Your Voice In Du’a:

Invoke Allah in a tone as it is mentioned in the following evidences and it is also closer to sincerity. Allah said, "Invoke your lord with humility and in secret. He does not like the aggressors" (7:55). And He also tells us: "And remember your lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear without loudness in words, in the morning and in the afternoon and be not of those who are neglectful" (7:205). Abu-Musa Al-Ash’ari narrated: "We were with the Prophet in a journey so the people started raising their voice while making takbeer. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, 'O people, calm down, you are calling one who is All-Hearing, Near and he is with you" (Bukhari and Muslim). This means that Allah knows and sees all that you do.

When making Du’a, confess your sins with sincere regret for your mistakes although Allah is aware of all your actions. Also it is worthwhile to acknowledge all of Allah's mercy bestowed upon you. The Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam taught us Sayyidul-Istighfar: "O Allah! You are my Lord, there is no god but You. You created me and I am your servant. I am on my covenant and promise [of faith and sincere obedience] to You, to the best of my ability. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done, I acknowledge to You, Your favours upon me; and I acknowledge to You all my sins, so please forgive me, for none forgives sins except You. (Bukhari).

 

Raise your Hands In Du’a:

It is a recommended practice to raise one's hands whilst making Du’a as it was done by the Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, at various occasions. Abu Musa Al’Ashari narrated, "The prophet invoked and raised his hands and I saw the whiteness of his armpits." (Bukhari ). In another Hadith, Salman narrated that the messenger of Allah said, "Your lord Tabaraka wa Ta’aala is Living and Generous. He is ashamed of His servant if he raises his hands to Him to return them unanswered". (Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi).

 

Cry In Du’a With The Fear Of Allah:

Abdullah-bin-Umar narrated that the Prophet recited the verse in which Ibraahim Alayhi Salaam is invoking Allah: "O my Lord! they [the idols] have indeed led astray many among mankind. But whoever follows me, he verily is of me. And whoever disobeys me, still You are indeed Most Forgiving, Most Merciful" (14:36). In another verse, Isa Alayhi salaam is invoking Allah: "If You (O Allah) punish them, they are Your servants, and if You forgive them, verily You, only You, are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise" (5: 118). And he then raised his hands and said, "Allahumma Ummati, Ummati (O Allah, my ummah, my ummah)" and then he cried. So Allah said: ‘O Jibreel! go to Muhammad, and ask him: 'What makes you cry?' although Allah was fully aware. Then Allah said to him: ‘O Jibreel! go to Muhammad and tell him: "We will make you content with regard to your ummah and will not mistreat you." (Muslim). Therefore, the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam gave us an example to sincerely cry when beseeching Allah during our supplication (Du'a). May Allah guide us all. Ameen!

 

Ask Allah Alone:

The Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, said to Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhu) while he was riding behind him on the same mount: "young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]:

Be mindful of Allah and you will find him in front of you. If you ask, ask only Allah and if you seek help, seek help only from Allah. And know that if all the nations were to gather together to benefit you, they would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and if they gather together to harm you, they would harm you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you." (Tirmidhi).

 

May Allah guide us all on the Straight Path. Ameen!

 

I request your humble du'aas.

 

Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir

Umhlanga Rocks, KZN

South Africa