PROMOTING THE FALSE EGO
“Is it not time for the hearts of those who believe, should tremble at the remembrance of Allah and what We’ve revealed of the truth? Or have they become like those who were given the book before them. A long time passed over them and their hearts became hard. And most of them were rebellious” [(Surah 57:16)]……………………..Quran
Proverbial empty vessels (nouvaeu riche, effete intellectuals. people with power gone into their head and etcetera) would make much noise. But when it comes to worshipers, godly men, Ulema, religious leaders (young scholars/zealots included) it ill-behoves them to make noise. But then, this is it. Let you dare correct a section of these fellows. They’d fret and fume. ‘How can you say it to me…… who are you to correct me?’ Alternately they’ll interject you vehemently, and dismiss your opinion kind of ’choutta moonh baddi baat’. They’d rather see you vapourised than tolerate a nasty remark that you dare mouth against them. They’d walk out in protest if their opinion wasn’t taken.
Young Musalman goes religious. There is a change in heart and people grow serious. Over the time the fellow tends to become passionate and obsessive. He becomes rigid and tough. He fails to understand why people don’t understand religion the way he understands it…… people are not rigid, they take religion in their own way. He starts questioning. Clashes begin first in the family. He’s frustrated, he’s in friction. Tolerance becomes a historical-has-been. He tells people they’re wrong and he’s right and this is how they should do things; there is no other way doing it. As he thinks he’s doing amar bil maroof and nahaai munkar, telling good things…..quoting Hadith and Quran, what he doesn’t understand is that something wrong is going on in his head. Before going religious he reared the tendency of attracting attention of his peer group. Now, the proclivity to show off dominance/ superiority takes a devious course. When he expresses his religious knowledge and superiority (‘I-know-religion-you-don’t-know-let-me-teach-you-Hadith-sharah-how-to-this-and-how-to-do-that’) in the process he promotes his ego. Religion revealed him to be humble. In the garb of religion he’s now onto promote ego.
Scholars and worshipers of Allah may inculcate pride in their hearts, so many of them see themselves better than the others, though they act humbly. They’d exempt themselves from acting according to their knowledge they’ve acquired believing that the possession of knowledge itself is sufficient for them to receive eternal happiness. Someone among them may show pride and arrogance in public sittings through such acts as proving how he’s more excellent than his counterparts and devaluate he who doesn’t show him respect. He may brag about himself, his accomplishments, lineage, etc. In an attempt to receive homage and respect the person may put on fine dress, seek conspicuous seats, live a life of magnificence, and deceive himself into thinking that all this is necessary to maintain the honor of Islam, of learning and of the learned and to overawe the unbelievers. He may like people to stand up for him. He won’t walk except with someone walking behind him. For he feels, he’s better than people, it’s they who should pay him visits.
Men that let their ego inflate grow arrogant to cloud their intentions. When people question them about religion, they show a real “know-it-all” attitude, (they’ve a lot of knowledge about minor issues (in Islam) with a difference of opinion). They’d always try to prove by hook or by crook their point, thereby proving that learning and preaching were no longer for the sake of Allah, but for the sake of winning arguments, defeating opponents and to prove that they’ve “more knowledge”.
Satan had grudge against Adam (AS) for being religiously honoured, because he thought he’s more qualified to serve Allah’s deen than Adam (AS). ‘I must be the president of masjid and why he…… I must be offered imamat because I’m more religious and knowledgeable, and why he’. People fight for these positions tooth and nail…. for the religious title; for being listened; and for their opinion to be acknowledged. Vying for religious authority is a disease. Imagine someone saying……‘Thank God, had I not been there they’d have deviated from deen.’
People attach greater importance to the correct pronunciation of the words of Quran, than to understanding of its true meaning. They’d recite (rather blare on the loud speakers) it for hours together. Purity of heart not yet understood, the outward of the people is religious, but without getting them moved. Words of God don’t shake them, the knowledge keeps increasing but ego in private too keeps increasing….. You alone know about your ego monster, nobody knows about it…… Fear of Allah should shake them. Religion becomes routine and it doesn’t move heart.
Egoism means we think we’re more important than others and what we believe is the truth. Ego means our point of view is more important than that of others, more important than even truth. We’re trapped within our point of view. Not only are we arrogant about our point of view we start believing in our infallibilities. When ego prevails in our mind we begin to compete with every one for everything, no matter what the cost. A learned man is very prone to feeling proud.
Hypocrite draws pleasure on knowing that people know of his worship. A still more concealed by hypocrisy is that in which there is neither a wish to know that people know of one’s worship nor any pleasure in the publicity of one’s worship, and yet one finds it agreeable when people greet him first, or they’re friendly to him or make concessions to him in dealing with him (one feels a little pain if such treatment is not accorded to him). When one admires oneself because of his learning, one regards oneself superior to others. He becomes careless; doesn’t consider his sins to be sins. He hopes to be excused by God for his smaller sins. He isn’t afraid of God. Once vain of the correctness of his opinion, his acts, his intellect or wisdom, he ceases to make progress in knowledge. He doesn’t ask anybody about anything.