THE DISGRACE OF PRIDE
Hazrat Sheikh ul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyaa Rahmatullahi Alaih states in his book ''Shariat and tariqat'' (The religious law and the customs) that not only in my view, but in the commandments of the Qur'aan and hadith pride is the harshest disease of all.
Imaam Ghazaali rahmatullahi alaihe has written a separate chapter about pride with utmost urgency. He writes, "Pride and conceit is one of the diseases of the heart and it is such a critical disease that its cure is very difficult. Pride literally means that one feels great and superior, along with this he looks down upon others in a despicable and contemptuous manner.
When this bad habit penetrates into the heart properly, then it effects are expressed by the tongue-that he starts to remark- I am like that and he creates a firm background of his praises and compliments. He also wishes the others praise and eulogise him - the same way when iblees proclaimed, ''I am better than Adam (alaihis salaam).''
The second effect is that wherever he goes, he remains in search of honour and high position and he walks ahead of everyone wherever he is.
If anyone advises him or directs him towards stopping his bad habits in a correct way, he feels ashamed and disgraced in accepting his counsel. But if he advises or admonishes anyone, he does it in a cruel manner.
If he positively has this belief that he is greater than others, then he will be termed as a mutakabbir(arrogant).Rather on the contrary, he should have the belief that the righteous person is the one who is superior in the eyes of Allah ta'ala and this matter will be truly manifested in the hereafter. Instead of regarding himself as superior, he should regard everyone else superior to himself.
If he sees and immature child then he should think this child has never committed a sin, and I am a sinner- verily he is better than I .If he confronts an elder, he should think that he has worshipped Allah ta'ala more than I, therefore I am no match for him. If he meets an Aalim(scholar) he should think in this manner that he possesses, verily he is superior to me. If he looks upon an ignorant person, he should imagine that he has disobeyed Allah on the basis of ignorance and unawareness while I am committing sins knowingly and consciously, so therefore Allah has more proof to put me under punishment.
Even if the person is a disbeliever you should consider him greater than yourself because you do not know what his state will be at the time of death. Some Muslims used to look down despicably at Hazrat Umar Radi Allahu Anhu before he embraced islam. These people were unaware and ignorant concerning his fate and the high rank and status which he was to be elevated to.
This pride and conceit will not be eliminated from the heart until you do not realise and believe that every individuals position and status is based and according to his final hour, and this is a matter of the unseen. It might well be that the person who we regard as pious, his death is a tragedy, while one who we regard as evil, his final moment is so good and he reaches the state of piety. So if a person perpetually has this thought burdened on his mind - he will never have these bad habits.
May Allah save all of us from this very dangerous disease which is so widespread.