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Brothers and sisters, Shaitaan is never far away: he is always at work, tempting us to be prideful, to believe we are superior or better than our peers. We must be conscientious and mindful of this fact; because becoming prideful could possibly void all our prayers and supplications to Allaah (SWT); making us bankrupt on the Day of Judgement. The well-known Surah Luqman, chapter 31, verse 18, tells us: “Wa laa tusa’-’ir khaddaka linnaasi wa laa tamshi fil ardi maarahan innal laaha laa yuhibbu kulla mukhtaalin fakhoor”: “do not swell your cheek to people, do not walk on this earth with arrogance”. Allaah (SWT) does not like self-conceited, boastful people. It is not reflective of Imaan. Allaah (SWT) loves people who are modest and treats others fairly. If we are pious, praying five times a day, making Hajj, depicting ourselves as the “holiest of the holy”, but suffer from these prideful habits, treating people unjustly, not allowing them same privileges wedeemnecessaryforourselves,thenwhatisthepointofourpiety?Isitonlyfor“showandtell”? TheProphetMuhammad (SAW) said: “a person who has as much a mustard seed of pride will not enter Jannah or paradise”. Allaah (SWT) reminds us that it is His Earth, and we don’t have the right to walk with pride on Earth, for it is with certainty, Allaah does not like those people who are arrogant. And if we conduct ourselves in such a manner, then what will Allaah do with their blessings on the Day of Judgment? Well, brothers and sisters, Allaah would be just. He would take our blessings and give them to the people who were treated unjustly- they will reap our blessings on the Day of Judgment! To put this into perspective, let’s consider two examples. First, is the well know example of Shaitaan or Satan as noted in Surah Baqarah (Chapter 2, verse 34). Allaah (SWT) commanded the angels and jinn to bow or prostrate to Adam. Satan, a pious Jinn at that time, refused to prostrate. But it wasn’t an act of praying or prostrating, as it was disobeying the commands of Allaah (SWT). Satan’s “takabbur” or pride, prevented him from obeying Allaah’s (SWT) command. Satan thought he was better than Adam, because he was made from fire, while Adam was made out of clay. This was the first sin that was created: disobedience to Allaah (SWT). This disobedience resulted in Satan being expelled from Jannah. Second, is the example of Hazrat Umar (RA) as reference by Hadith. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said if there was to be a Prophet after me, it would be Hazrat Umar (RA). Why? Well, the commentary states that at on Eid ul Fitr celebration, after the Eid Salah, everyone was looking for Umar (RA). They could not find him. So they went home and only to find him crying and praying to Allaah (SWT). Umar (RA) was asking Allaah (SWT) to please accept his fast, his charity, his prays and deeds in the month of Ramadhaan. Brothers and sisters, to put this into perspective, this is the man, whom the Prophet (S.A.W) said, if there was to be another Prophet, it would be Umar (RA), and here he is, crying and weeping and asking Allaah (SWT) to accept his pray and charity in the month of Ramadhaan. So brothers and sisters, who are we to think we’re the most pious and we’re better than everyone else? Such thoughts ruin our piety and blessings! We must safeguard ourselves against pride. And pride is not having nice house, car, clothes and so forth. Allaah (SWT) is beautiful and loves beautiful things, but when we allow those things to negatively influence our perception as Satan whispers in our ears “you’re better than them”, then those thoughts of arrogance and pride allows us to commit the same first sin as Satan: disobedience to Allaah (SWT)! Brothers and sisters, humbleness is a sign of confidence and true understanding of Allah (SWT) and Islam. Three things we’re “Pakka” or sure of: (1) Allaah (SWT) is most merciful and most forgiving. If you cannot forgive people and be good to people, then you are nobody.
(2) We are nothing but a “drop of sperm” (Surah Yaseen, chapter 36, verse 77). We cannot “be” anything without the will of Allaah (SWT). (3) Death is a surety, and Allaah (SWT) tells us to prepare for the hereafter accordingly. In closing brothers and sisters, lets recall a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), a person who is generous and charitable and does so without pride, is closer to Allaah (SWT) and closer to paradise. And Allaah (SWT) gives that person peace and happiness, and fulfills the needs of that person because Allaah (SWT) loves that person. This is something money and power cannot buy. So don’t let pride be our downfall in this lifetime and on the Day of Judgment and the hereafter.