The Cure for the Sickness of Regarding Oneself as Great
This illness is very dangerous. It was this same sickness which caused Shaytaan to become rejected. Therefore, he uses this prescription, which he had tried on himself, on human beings with great ease, and finds it to be hundred percent beneficial in leading them as tray. This sickness causes a son to fight with his father; a student with his teacher; a Mureed with his Shaikh; and a slave with Allah Ta’ala. The first rejected one in the Divine Court, Shaytaan, was destroyed because of this sickness. For this reason, the buzurgs, to save their friends and servants from this sickness, tell them to be extremely cautious.
Due to this sickness, a person regards himself to be greater and more superior than others in knowledge, worship, piety, wealth, honour, intellect or any other matter, and he regards others as lowly and despicable. Such a person is despised by others in the world, even though they may praise him whilst in front of him, due to fear or greed. Such a person does not accept anyone’s advice and in fact fights with those who advise him. He does not accept the truth when someone tells him. The reality of pride has been referred to in the Hadith as,
a- Not to accept the truth
b- To regard people as low
Whoever finds these two signs within himself should immediately seek a cure for this illness, or else there is a fear that all one’s good deeds may be reduced to dust. A Hadith
states, “In whosoever’s heart is pride equal to a mustard seed, he will not even attain the fragrance of Paradise, never mind Jannah.” Rasulullah (Sallellaho Alaihe Wasallam) said, “Whoever humbles and lowers himself for Allah Ta’ala, Allah Ta’ala will grant him honor and status amongst people, even though he regards himself as lowly. He who lives with pride, then Allah Ta’ala will disgrace him until he will be regarded as more despised than a dog and pig in the eyes of people, even though he regards himself as very great in his heart.
An Objection Concerning Ujub and its answer
At this juncture, one objection is that if Allah Ta’ala grants someone an excellence, but he does not regard it as an excellence, is this not ingratitude? The answer is that one should regard it to be a quality of perfection, but should not regard it to be his own excellence; he should regard it to be a divine gift and be grateful. Instead of having pride, he should always fear that this special bounty is not taken away from him due to his evil actions
The Cure of Pride from the Teachings of Hazrat Hakeem-ul-Ummah Thanwi (Rahmatullah Alaihe)
1. Ponder that I have not created the excellence found within myself but rather it is a gift of Allah Ta’ala.
2. This gift was neither due to my being worthy of it nor due to my capabilities. It has been granted solely by His grace and kindness.
3. The preservation of this bounty is also not within my control. When Allah Ta’ala wants, He can snatch it away.
4. Even though the one whom I regard as low does not possess this excellence at the present, Allah Ta’ala has the power to snatch away this excellence from me and grant it to him. Or alternatively, without snatching it from me, Allah Ta’ala can grant him a higher level of that excellence and can grant him such a lofty status that I will become dependent on him.
5. Even, if in the future, he does not attain it, it is quite possible that at the present moment he has within himself such an excellence which is concealed from me and everyone else. Allah Ta’ala is aware of his attributes, by which he is more beloved and accepted in Allah Ta’ala’s sight than me.
6. If the possibility of any excellence does not come to mind then think that it is possible that he is more accepted in the sight of Allah Ta’ala than me and in the knowledge of Allah Ta’ala my acceptance is far less or completely non-existent. Those who are treading the path towards Allah Ta’ala and are in search of Him. On the Day of Judgment, how many people who used to walk here will be on conveyances and how many people who were on conveyances here will have to walk. Then, what right do I have to regard him as low when I am not aware of my own result?
7. Whoever’s’ contempt comes into your mind, then do good to him and treat him with kindness. Make alot of dua for him. Consequently, love for him will be created, and the natural characteristic of love is that whoever one loves, he does not regard him with contempt. For this purpose, ask that person how he is and speak to him. In this manner, a relationship will take place from both sides and the essence of contempt will vanish..
The Difference between Riya, Ujub and Takabbur
Riya (show and ostentation) is always found in acts of worship and religious matters. Ujub (vanity) and Takabbur (pride) is found in religious and worldly matters. In pride, a person regards another to be low, whilst in Ujub, one regards himself to be good, even though he holds no contempt for anyone. With Takabbur, Ujub is binding, but with Ujub, Takabbur is not binding.
Note: However, if there is any person for whom it is Wajib to have hatred according to the Shari’at, then do not mingle with him and show love. However, do not despise him, due to fear for you own end. It is possible that in the future before death; he will repent and go into Paradise.Hazrat Rumi (Rahmatullah Alaihe) has said, Do not look even at any disbeliever with contempt because it is possible that before dying, he can become Muslim . However, one should have hatred for him in one’s heart and a lack of contempt in the heart can be combined. As an example, if a handsome prince has placed ink on his face, thus blackening it, one will have hatred for the blackness on his face, yet will not regard the prince with contempt because it is possible that he will wash his face with soap, and again become pure and clean. Subhanallah! Hazrat Hakeem-ul-Ummah Thanwi (Rahmatullah Alaihe) solved such intricate problems with examples. In short, he has said, “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” Just as every person is frightened of sickness, but regards mercy and compassion to the patient as necessary.
The Difference between Pride and Shyness
Shyness is a natural disinclination, which comes to the Nafs when doing any action contrary to habit or when any condition overcomes one. Due to extreme precaution, the Salik at times thinks it to be pride whereas in reality it is not pride. The yard stick to test it is that when one feels ashamed of doing a lowly action, if any person greatly honors or respects him, then does one still feel hesitation or not? If he does, then this is shyness, and if not then it is pride. Be careful of the interpretations of your Nafs that he does not include pride in you shyness. For detailed cure, ask your Shaikh.
Pride in the form of Humility
Hazrat Thanwi (Rahmatullah Alaihe) said, “At times, pride comes in the form of humility.” This means that at times humility is shown so that people regard one as great. The sign of this is that after being humble, if people do not honor and respect him, he feels bad. A true Allahwala does not regard himself to be worthy of respect.