Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Notes on: Pride & Humility

As salaamu alaikum
The lecture is up on Sunnipath, click here to listen to it InshaAllah.

As salaamu alaikum

There was a live event on Sunnipath on Sunday called "Pride & Humility" by Shaykh Abdul-Kareem Yahya.
click here to view the poster...

Alhamdulillah I was able to attend the event...and took some notes of my own. So I just thought I'd post them up. The event was really good MashaAllah and a needed reminder too. Just ignore the grammar/spelling errors in it, and I hope it's beneficial InshaAllah :)

Pride and Humility

An online event with Shaykh Abdul-Kareem Yahya

Al Hasan Al Basri (ra) said:

“The son of Adam is amazing. He washes filth with his hand once or twice a day and then challenges the Compeller of the heavens!”

Abu Bakr (ra) said:

“Do not look down on any of the Muslims! Indeed the small Muslim is great with Allah.”

Al-Ahnaf Bin Qais said:

“It is amazing that the son of Adam is arrogant

- remember that your origin was nothing

- everything was given by Allah, and he brought you to this place so he could show you your place

- humbleness manifests in ones actions to the extent that these people walk like this on the earth.

*Kibr is seeing oneself as better than others

Rasulullah (S) said:

“Arrogance is rejecting the truth and despising people”

Humility and pride are qualities of the heart, but they have outward manifestations:

- Kibr is the inward characteristic

- Takabbur is its outward manifestation: acting haughty towards others ie. Liking people to walk behind you, thinking yourself above and not sitting next to those lower than you in knowledge

Causes of arrogance:

In reality if someone is arrogant in worldly things they are being idiots especially if they think that they are weighing out the wing of a mosquito

**Note: related to the Hadith concerning the blessings of Allah and how even one small blessing from Him does not amount to the weight of the wing of a mosquito**

If one is arrogant b/c of something of this world – then know that it is lowlier than that, and not worth it

If one is proud about some religious work – then know that this decreases one’s station with Allah **if it was not done for the sake of Allah**

If religious works produce contempt for others, then they are flawed – otherwise they would have produced humbleness

The remedy for arrogance:

Comprised of knowledge and action

Imam Ghazali said the remedy to uproot arrogance from heart are 2 things: knowledge and action

Knowledge is of two different types:

- Knowledge of la ilaha illalah: Allah’s manifestation and greatness

- Knowledge of knowing ourselves (surah abasa 80:17-22)

Imam Ghazali’s explanation of these Ayahs (80:17-22):


- He brought us from nothing, then earth, we were inanimate and this was our beginning. ie. ignorance b4 knowledge, deafness b4 hearing, etc…

- look at the beginning then the proportions Allah created us into after that

- His favour over us


- Allah makes us live after having been earth and an inanimate object, be strong after weakness, limbs after we didn’t have them w/ signs from Allah, wealth after poverty, guided us after misguidance

- Allah formed us easy **w/ signs and blessings** and yet we are so ignorant and disbelieve


- In the end we will decompose, and become earth again, then be resurrected to stand b4 Allah

- nothing except humbleness will help the slave then

Rasulullah (S) is the Imam of humbleness

As for the active part of the cure, it is to truly humble oneself to Allah and show humility to all of his creatures

- Rasulullah (S) used to eat on the ground and say : “I am only a slave, I eat as a slave eats.”

- He taught his companions humility until they became models of humbleness

- One should emulate the inward and outward appearance of humbleness through the eg. Of Rasulullah (S)

**Ridding oneself of pride is an obligation

Imam al-gazali said in ihya:

“Know that arrogance is from the lethal sins and no person is free from at least some amount of it. Removing it is a personal obligation (fard’ain). It does not vanish by mere false hopes, rather by treatment and by the use of medicines that overcome it.”

Question & Answer Session

Q: what is the excellence of humility?

- follow Rasulullah (S): his character is full of humility

- lower yourself to attain humility, don’t think of yourself to be better than others

Q: What is the difference between dignity and kibr? If a person acts dignified and wishes to have a sense of self-dignity - is that kibr?

- no it isn’t

- one should be careful

- kibr: to see oneself better than any other slave…as in if you see yourself better than what you think is is it below you or is it humbleness

Q: But who does not have a weight of mustard seed of arrogance or pride? (except for really good Muslims). What about having a certain level of dignity and being proud of who one is (but not in a negative way) is this arrogance?

- what concerns us is ourselves only

- no one is free from it, therefore find and apply remedies for this

- being humble is an order from Allah, and so is walking on the earth humbly

Q: Should we see even sinful Muslims as being better then ourselves?

- we don’t know where everyone will end up in the akhirah and their secret of worshipping Allah at night

Q: If one feels scared of riya or pride, while discussing religious matters, is this just waswasa? How can one fight this?

- observe your heart

- seek refuge in Allah

- try to be sincere in actions

Q: Is it considered arrogance to let others know he/she is knowledgeable about something more so than others. As Ibn Masud's saying "I am more knowledgeable than you in Quran, but I am not better than you"

- not necessarily arrogance

- to see that Allah gave you a merit, but you think this merit is yours and is only for you, it’s self glory/pride

- same thing if you forget that Allah gave it to you, and if this causes you to think your better, it’s arrogance

- scholors say “what is ugly truth?” ans. “praising yourself”

- we have to remember that this was said by Ibn Masud…we are not to compare ourselves with Sahabah and scholors of Ilm of the past b/c of the levels of Imaan and understanding and knowledge

Q: Can you comment on how one should react to receiving praise, so as to prevent pride?

- see them as praising Allah’s beautiful veil

- look at it as if they praised them for the beauty He gave them

- Allah concealed what we know from them from what he’s given us

- He veiled people from viewing our faults

- we know we have feelings of arrogance or pride or other evils, and that’s a self-check or reminder…we cannot be ignorant of that fact and not leave these feelings over what other people may say **ie. If they praise us, we cannot forget we’re still sinners and we cannot let this build pride up in us**

- what matters is what Allah wants from us and that’s what we’ll have to face or deal with on the DOJ


Besim said...

Wa'alaykumus salaam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu

Masha'Allah great job in taking notes. May Allah give us all humility and remove all traits of pride from us.

For those that missed the live event you can find the link to the recording here:

If you want to learn more about being more like the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallim) in character then there are still two days left to register for the SunniPath course this was taken from -- "Attaining Good Character" -- which you can find here:

May Allah bless you for sharing your notes on this important subject.

was salaam,

believeress said...

As salaamu alaikum

Ameen to the du'a :)
And JazakAllahu Khair for the comment as well as for the link :) Those of you who missed the lecture or couldn't hear should try to listen to was really good MashaAllah.


thestraightpath said...


Just letting you know that the audio/video is up on Sunnipath, so you can add that onto your notes.


believeress said...

JazakAllahu Khair for the link. I'll edit the post and add it right now.