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24 July 2017 CE | 01 Dhul-Qadah 1438 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation


Pride


The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever has pride in his heart equal to the weight of a mustard seed shall not enter Paradise.” Someone asked, “A person likes to wear beautiful clothes and fine shoes.” He replied, “Allah is beautiful and likes beauty. Pride means rejecting the truth and looking down on other people.” [Sahih Muslim]

It is no sin to wear beautiful things or to look good, but to have pride means to feel that one is superior to another because of the provisions that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has provided one with. It is Allah’s will who He decides to give what to in this world. It is not a sign of Allah’s pleasure or displeasure. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) told us that were this world the place of reward and punishment, the Kuffar would not be given even a sip of water to drink. Complete reward and punishment are reserved for the never ending hereafter. This worldly life is in its entirety a test. And what we are provided with in terms of family, wealth, health and opportunities are part of our question papers. What we do with them is our test.

Pride inflates a person’s ego to the extent that his/her rationality ceases to function. Abu Jahl’s denial of the prophethood of Muhammad (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was because of pride in his clan and inter tribal rivalry with the Banu Hashim. He was one of the fiercest opponents of Islam till the day he died, despite believing that Muhammad (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was truly a prophet. The words of Abu Jahl in this regard are: “By God, I know that he is not a liar, but I cannot simply join him; my tribe (Bani Makhzoom) and his have always competed against one another. They took the responsibility of providing water for the pilgrims, so we took the responsibility of providing assistance. We host many with food and drink exactly as they do. Now that we are of an almost equal status, they say that amongst them is a prophet! That is too much to compete with!” So Abu Jahl rejected the prophethood of Muhammad (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) to protect his pride, even if it meant going to hell for it. Thus we see how shortsighted pride makes a person.
 
The denial of Muhammad’s prophethood by the Bani Israel was also because of pride. They had been expecting the last prophet to come from the children of Ishaq (alaihis salaam) as all the other prophets of Bani Israel had. Instead, Muhammad (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) came from the descendants of Ismail (alaihis salam). Both were the sons of Ibraheem (alaihis salam) but from different mothers. The various Jewish tribes that had settled in Madina, leaving their lands of origin, had only done so because they were awaiting the arrival of the last prophet, and based on their scriptures they believed Madina to be the place of his arrival. But their pride in their lineage and their superiority complex over the Arabs caused them to reject the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) when he did come, despite recognizing him better than they did their own families.  

The shortsightedness that pride inspires causes one to overlook the most serious of consequences. What is most relevant for each of us is to investigate which truths we are denying or brushing aside because we don’t like the people who are the carriers of that truth or because we consider them to be beneath us.

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