Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
In the name of Allah, the most Merciful, the most Compassionate
Pride is to consider oneself better than another. It has been called Ummul-Amraadh, or the root of all sicknesses of the heart. The roots to this fatal disease are malice, jealousy, envy, and arrogance and it is only the prophets and pious predecessors that can detect it. Some scholars have gone as far as to claim it is the mother and roots of all the other diseases of the hearts. Our pious teacher, Hakim ul Ummah, Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Alayhi Rahmah) says that pride consists of two main ingredients: feeling of superiority and contempt for others. In a Hadith it is related that the Holy Prophet, Hadhrat Muhammad-ur Rasullullaah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam said:
â€œA believer is simple and noble and a transgressor is deceitful and ignoble.â€ (Tirmidhi & Abu Dawood)
This Hadith compares and contrasts two different types of personalities; one of a believer and one of a transgressor. The first part of the Hadith speaks mainly about how a believer is simple in not only his outer appearance, but also his words and actions. He does not look for faults in his brother, nor does he care for wealth, health, name, or fame. However, the latter part of the Hadith discusses how a transgressor will not only oppress others, but will also be oppressed himself. This personality only cares for his own needs and slacks with the needs of his neighbors, family, or friends. It is related in Muslim that even if a person has a grain of pride in his heart, he will not enter paradise. As stated in the Holy Quran, â€œSurely, He (Allah) does not love the proud.â€ (16:23)
Pride can be classified as many things. It is when you try to elongate your prayers in hope to be seen by others, or when you scoff at someone lower in rank than you. The best example, given by one of my teachers was during a fundraising event. One type is when you stand up and donate large sums of money in hope to be seen as a person of great wealth and generosity. Another type of pride is when you privately give the money sum to the collector, as you do not want to be seen donating. That, too, is pride.
The remedies and prescriptions for pride are simple, yet require divine guidance from the One Allah alone. Hidaya is given and taken by Allah and is not in books or stores but rather, it is in the power of Duâ€™aa, Qurâ€™an, and Hadith. One particular Hadith, related by Bayhaqi, also stated in the Zad Al-Talibin, states: â€œThe one who initiates Salaam is free from pride.â€ This Hadith clearly states that the one who outstretches his hand for salaams first is free from any kibr (pride). Salaam means â€œpeaceâ€ and it is a promise from one creation to another. When the promise of Salaam is given, it interpetates that you shall never say, think, or have any ill feelings towards that person. Another remedy of Pride is to contemplate the bounties, favors, and greatness of Allah. That will humble yourself before the creation. Another way is to always compliment others, and try your utmost to hide anotherâ€™s fault. It is related by our Holy Prophet, Hadhrat Muhammad-ur Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam, that one who hides the fault of a brother, Allah will conceal his faults on the Day of Judgment. Surely, it is Allah who conceals and Allah who reveals! He is the All-Knower and the All-Seer.