Chapter 72: Condemnation of Pride and Self-Conceit
allah, the exalted, says:
"that home of the hereafter (i.e., jannah), we shall assign to those who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief by committing crimes. and the good end is for the muttaqun (the pious and righteous persons).'' (28:83)
"and walk not on earth with conceit and arrogance.'' (17:37)
"and turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. verily, allah likes not any arrogant boaster.'' (31:18)
"verily, qarun (korah) was of musa's (moses) people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. and we gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. remember when his people said to him: `do not exult (with riches, being ungrateful to allah). verily, allah likes not those who exult (with riches, being ungrateful to allah...(up to)... so we caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place.'' (28:76-81)
612. `abdullah bin mas`ud (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "he who has, in his heart, an ant's weight of arrogance will not enter jannah.'' someone said: "a man likes to wear beautiful clothes and shoes?'' messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "allah is beautiful, he loves beauty. arrogance means ridiculing and rejecting the truth and despising people.''
commentary: the hadith says that a man who has even an iota of pride in his heart will be barred from entering jannah. the hadith word used for the smallest amount means in arabic either the smallest ant or the particle which is radiated by sun-rays and seen through a wall-chink. obviously, such a particle has almost a non-existent amount, but even this much is disapproved by allah. if pride incites a man to deny the existence of allah and his revelation, he is sure to be thrown into hell. he also faces divine displeasure and the danger of infernal fire if mere consideration of riches, physical beauty, social and intellectual prominence and family status makes him proud and self-conceited and he looks down upon others, or persists in the denial of truth. first he will receive punishment and only then will be admitted into jannah. a good dress, however, is not counted the sign of pride.
613. salamah bin al-akwa` (may allah be pleased with him) reported: a man ate in the presence of messenger of allah (pbuh) with his left hand. he (pbuh) said, "eat with your right hand.'' he said: "i cannot.'' thereupon he (the prophet (pbuh)) said, "may you never be able to do that.'' it was arrogance that prevented him from doing it, and he could not raise it (the right hand) up to his mouth afterwards.
commentary: this hadith occurred in chapter 16 concerning the observance of sunnah but is repeated here to identify pride and its detriment and to describe the bad end of the arrogant people as we see in it. see the commentary on hadith no. 160.
614. harithah bin wahab (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "shall i not inform you about the inmates of hell? it is every violent, impertinent and proud person.''
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: flouting at divine rules, niggardliness (to keep from spending in the way of allah) and haughtiness are condemnable habits, and those who indulge in them will be pushed into hell. may allah keep us in his shelter from it!
615. abu sa`id al-khudri (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "there was a dispute between hell and jannah, and hell said: `the haughty and proud are in me.' the jannah said: `in me are the weak and the humble.' thereupon allah, the exalted, judged between them saying: `you the jannah are my mercy, and through you i shall show mercy to those whom i wish.' (and addressing the hell) he said: `you are my punishment to punish whom i wish amongst my slaves, and each one of you will have its fill.'''
commentary: this hadith warns us against haughtiness and pride and urges us to observe modesty and humility. jannah and hell - two otherworldly phenomena - have been called as the manifestations of allah's mercy and punishment. true, only the will of allah prevails everywhere but the decision to send a man either to jannah or to hell will not be taken capriciously. rather set divine rules will be working behind it. allah, will place some people in jannah due to their good deeds; similarly he will place some people in hell due to their bad deeds. allah does not wrong anyone.
616. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "on the day of resurrection, allah will not look at him who trails his lower garment out of pride.''
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: here allah's refusal to see an arrogant man means the restraint of the flow of his grace towards him. instead of allah's mercy, his wrath will smite the arrogant. the garment which man wears to cover the lower half of his body is called izar in arabic. hence pyjamas, trousers, shalwar and tahband will be taken as izar. messenger of allah (pbuh) has emphatically said that izar should remain above the ankle of men as its dragging down signifies arrogance. indeed it displays the attitude of the haughty whose grim fate can be seen in this hadith.
617. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "there are three (types of) people to whom allah will not speak on the day of resurrection, nor will he purify them, nor look at them, and they will have a painful punishment. these are: an aged man who commits zina (illicit sexual act), a ruler who lies, and a proud poor person.''
commentary: here "will not speak'' means he will not say something which will please them, not to talk happily and willingly. adultery is forbidden to everybody, whether young or old. but it is more condemnable if an old man commits it, because to be guilty of such a detestable act in old age shows that the adulterer has become hardened in sin and his heart is free from the fear of allah. lying is forbidden to everybody. but it is particularly vicious in case of a king or head of state. since he possesses all powers and resources, he has little reason to tell a lie. hence, if in spite of all this he invents a lie, it will betray his vicious mind and lack of god-consciousness. similarly, all humans are prohibited from giving vent to pride and arrogance. but if a beggar or destitute, who has no reason to claim dignity and superiority, displays arrogance, it will be a convincing proof of his indifference to the fear of allah and shari`ah rules. from this point of view, his arrogance is more abominable and disgusting than that of a wealthy man.
618. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "allah, the exalted, says: `honour is my izar and pride is my cloak. whoever vies with me regarding one of them, shall be tormented.'''
commentary: according to this hadith, power and superiority (honour), greatness and grandeur are divine attributes alone. if anybody tries to invest himself with these attributes or claims them, it means that he is audacious enough to claim godhood. allah says that it is the result of his sheer grace to a man if he enjoys these qualities in a restricted measure, and he is supposed to be obedient and grateful to him for that. in no manner does it behave him to trumpet his own grandeur and greatness. if someone out-steps his limits in this regard, he will get himself into hell. the hadith is a signal of warning to men that they must not boast of their power and behave arrogantly towards their fellow-humans.
619. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "while a man was walking, dressed in clothes admiring himself, his hair combed, walking haughtily when allah caused the earth to swallow him. now he will continue to go down in it (as a punishment) until the day of resurrection.''
commentary: this hadith warns us against self-praise and arrogance which may pervade our hearts by fine clothes and physical beauty. instead of adopting a proud attitude, we should be sensible enough to thank allah for these favours and confess our servitude to him.
620. salamah bin al-akwa` (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "man continues to display haughtiness and arrogance until he is recorded among the arrogant and will be therefore afflicted with what afflicts them.''
commentary: to adopt the habits and manners of good people is deemed to be desirable. but, on the contrary, to take to the bad ways of bad people is considered undesirable. a man will ultimately be counted among those people whom he will take as a model to emulate, because he is gradually fitted into their framework and assimilates all of their qualities. quite naturally then retribution will be administered to him accordingly.