National Grand Mufti of Australia

Arrogance

إن قارون كان من قوم موسى فبغى عليهم. وآتيناه من الكنوز ما إن مفاتحه لتنؤ بالعصبة أولى القوة. إذ قال له قومه لا تفرح إن الله لا يحب الفرحين.

وابتغ فيما أتاك الله الدار الآخرة ولا تنس نصيبك من الدنيا. وأحسن كما أحسن الله إليك ولا تبغ الفساد في الأرض إن الله لا يحب المفسدين.

قال إنما أوتيته على علم عندي. أولم يعلم أن الله قد أهلك من قبله من القرون  من هو أشد منه قوة  وأكثر جمعا. ولا يسئل عن ذنوبهم المجرمون.

Verily, Quran was of Musa’s 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. Verily, Allah likes not those who exult.

“But seek, with that which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world; and do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the mischief-makers.”

He said: “This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess.” Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) that they had collected? But the sinners will not be questioned of their sins (because Allah knows them well, so they will be punished without being called into account.)

 In these Ayat, Allah is telling us the story of Quran, who behaved arrogantly and exalted himself above others. He was a man who possessed enormous riches. When told that he must use his wealth to ensure a good portion for him in the Hereafter, he arrogantly claimed that he had been given his wealth by virtue of his knowledge. Allah thereupon destroyed him by causing the earth to swallow him and his possessions. Neither his wealth nor his servants could avail him against the punishment of Allah.

In the Quranic account of Quran, it is clear that he showed the qualities of Takabbur (arrogance) and Ghurur (self-delusion). Allah taught him a permanent lesson and made him a permanent example for all of mankind until the Last Day. If a person adopts the same attitude as Quran, of Takabbur and Ghurur, he may not necessarily be given the same punishment as Quran faced in this life, but he and Quran will certainly face the same punishment in the Hereafter.

In Sahih al-Bukhari, there is one Hadith in which Abu Hurayrah (r.a.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “He is not conceited who allows his servant to eat with him, who rides a donkey in the market, or who ties up his sheep and milks it (himself).”

The first point shows us that a servant should be treated on the same level as oneself, and not as an inferior. When the occasion arises, one must not disdain to have one’s servant share food with him. Doing so might cause the servant pain and resentment, and the feeling of belonging to a lower class. It is exactly this kind of thing that the Prophet (s.a.w.) was sent to abolish. Therefore, Muslims are prohibited from ‘Asabiyyah or a feeling of group superiority.

The second point, riding a donkey in the markets, reflects the practice of the average person of that time. To abstain from doing so out of arrogance would mean that one feels himself to be above those who do such things.

The third point is that one should be humble enough to do his own household chores like milking his sheep, fetching water etc.

The essence of the Hadith is that one must not arrogate oneself so that he feels above others by his actions and bearing. One must behave in the same manner that other humble people behave and not try to project an attitude of disdain and superiority.

The Prophet (s.a.w.), al-Khulafa’ ar-Rashidun, and the rest of the Sahabah did not ask others to do their work or chores for them. The Prophet (s.a.w.) mended his own shoes and patched his own clothes. When ‘Umar (r.a.a.) was the Amir-ul-Mu’minin, he would patrol the streets of Madinah at night by himself.

Man must not be deluded into thinking his is greater than he truly is. Allah says:

يا أيها الإنسان ما غرك بربك الكريم الذي خلقك فسواك فعدلك

O man! What has deluded you concerning your Lord, Who created you, then fashioned you, and then gave you proportion?

Allah draws the attention of mankind to the fact that he was created out of a mere drop of sperm, and from it he was formed and moulded according to Allah’s Will alone, and not through any ability of his own.

الله الذي خلقكم من ضعف ثم جعل بعد ضعف قوة ثم جعل من بعد قوة ضعفا وشيبة: يخلق ما يشاء وهو العليم العزيز

Allah is He Who has created you from weakness, then He has made after weakness strength, then after strength He has made weakness and grey hair: He creates what He wills, and He is the All-Knowing, the Almighty.

Allah created man as a favoured creation, giving him gifts which He did not even give to the angels, and He honoured him with the means of the knowledge of all things in this world. He favoured man so much so that He ordered the angels to prostrate to Adam as a mark of respect. All the angels bowed down to Adam, but the Jinn Iblis refused and became accursed by Allah. Iblis made a vow to try and mislead all people until the Day of Resurrection. He started out with Adam and Hawwa’, tricking them into believing that he was a sincere advisor to them, and thereby leading them out of the Garden.

Thereafter, enmity was created between the humans and the Shayatin, and the Mercy of Allah intervened, and He promised to send His Guidance to the children of Adam via Prophets and Messengers, so that humanity might choose to turn away from following the footsteps of Shaytan, and to enter Jannah and be saved from Hell Fire by obedience to the Divine Commands.

Iblis promised that he would lead people to corruption until the Last Day, whereupon he will, in despair, claim to free of any responsibility of leading them astray. Nonetheless, he will be cast into the Fire along with all of those that followed in his way. It is only the chosen servants of Allah that will be saved.

Let us free ourselves from the disease of arrogance and pride. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “A person who has in his heart an atom’s weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah.” A man said: “A man likes his clothes and appearance to be nice.” The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “Truly, Allah is beautiful, and He loves beauty.”

Whoever is humble, Allah elevates; and whoever is arrogant, Allah humiliates.

سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك

أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت

أستغفرك وأتوب إليك