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Swallowing Your Pride For A Moment Is Harder Than Praying All Night | Imam Omar Suleiman

Imam Omar Suleiman

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Iblees was no ordinary worshipper. He worshipped Allah for thousands of years with thousands of prayers. He ascended the ranks until he accompanied the angels with his noteworthy worship. Performing good deeds was no issue for him. He thanked Allah with his prayers, and Allah rewarded him with a lofty station in Paradise. But when Adam was created and given the station that he was, suddenly Iblees was overcome by pride. He couldn’t bear to see this new creation occupy the place that he did. And as he was commanded to prostrate to him, his pride would overcome him and doom him for eternity. Alas, swallowing his pride for one prostration of respect to Adam was more difficult to him than thousands of prostrations of worship to Allah.

In that is a cautionary lesson for us especially in moments of intense worship. When we exert ourselves in worship, we eventually start to enjoy it and seek peace in it. But sometimes we become deluded by that worship. We may define our religiosity exclusively in accordance with it, become self-righteous as a result of it, and abuse people we deem lesser in the name of it. The worst case scenario of this is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said about one who comes on the day of judgment with all of their prayers, fasting, and charity only to have it all taken away because of an abusive tongue.

But what makes Iblees’s struggle so relevant to ours? The point of worship is to humble you to your Creator and set your affairs right with His creation in accordance with that humility. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that whoever has an atom’s worth of pride in their heart would not enter paradise. The most obvious manifestation of that pride is rejecting the truth and belittling someone else. But other subtle manifestations of that pride include the refusal to leave off argumentation, abandon grudges, and humble yourself to the creation in pursuit of the pleasure of the Creator.

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Yaqeen

Hence a person would rather spend several Ramadan’s observing the last 10 nights in intense prayer seeking forgiveness for their sins from Allah, rather then humble themselves for a moment to one of Allah’s servants by seeking forgiveness for their transgressions against him, even if they too have a claim.

Jumah is our weekly Eid, and Monday’s and Thursday’s are our weekly semblances of Ramadan as the Prophet (s) used to fast them since our deeds are presented to Allah on those days. He said about them, “The doors of Heaven are opened every Monday and Thursday, and Allah pardons in these days every individual servant who is not a polytheist, except those who have enmity between them; Allah Says: ‘Delay them until they reconcile with each other”

In Ramadan, the doors of Heaven are opened throughout the month and the deeds ascend to Allah. But imagine if every day as your fasting, Quran recitation, etc. is presented to Allah this month, He responds to the angels to delay your pardon until you reconcile with your brother. Ramadan is the best opportunity to write that email or text message to that lost family member or friend and say “it’s not worth it to lose Allah’s forgiveness over this” and “IM SORRY.”

Compare these two statements:

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “He who boycotts his brother for more than three days and dies during this period will be from the people of hellfire.”

He also said:

“I guarantee a house in the suburbs of Paradise for one who leaves arguments even if he is right.”

Swallowing your pride is bitter, while prayer is sweet. Your ego is more precious to you than your sleep. But above all, Allah’s pleasure is more precious than it all.

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Imam Dr. Omar Suleiman is the Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, and an Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at SMU (Southern Methodist University). He is also the Resident Scholar at Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square. He holds a Bachelor's in Accounting, a Bachelor's in Islamic Law, a Masters in Islamic Finance, a Masters in Political History, and a Phd. in Islamic Thought and Civilization from the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    spanish dictionary

    June 4, 2019 at 12:09 AM

    The most obvious manifestation of that pride is rejecting the truth and belittling someone else

  2. Avatar

    Tami

    June 4, 2019 at 3:13 AM

    When people delibertly hurts you and is jealous of you, then I don’t feel like forgiving then within 3 days. I stay far away
    from them.

  3. Avatar

    Sadiaa

    June 10, 2019 at 2:32 PM

    Jazak’Allah Thanks for this article.

  4. Avatar

    Siddiqui

    June 12, 2019 at 12:17 PM

    Brother assalamualaikum. All points are very nice and very well stated. All true. But do you think Iblees’ disobedience is a Qadr set by Allah? Or a free will given to him?

    Is Iblees an Angel, Jinn, or human? Of course he is not a human. So why bring his case to illustrate human’s case?

    • Avatar

      Moseeto

      June 19, 2019 at 8:21 PM

      Dear Siddiqui

      May Allah (SWT) bless you. Definitely a good question. I think why Imam Omar mentioned Iblees is because this is a creature of Allah who has free will – he used his free will for a long time to attain closeness to Allah. Then one day he decides to defy Allah when he was commanded not requested to prostrate to Adam (AS). It’s more so punishable for Iblees as he felt he was reaching perfection through the prayers but it took a simple command of prostration for everyone else to see what his intentions were. And he still remained defiant not to prostrate to Adam when he was told to do so saying he will bring us down with him. His jealousy has caused him to be ruined and accursed. His intentions were so strong and meaningful that Allah fulfilled his desire to follow through with the action of defiance. Whoever Allah misguides none can guide. So when we think our salahs and our sadaqahs will help cancel our bad deeds, we need to think again especially when we choose out of our own free will to disregard/disrespect our own family members. That is why Iblees gets so happy when families break down due to stupid petty fights – the same pride that got him into trouble is the same pride he wants us to taste so we can become losers like him. Only difference is that Allah is Al-Ghafoor which Iblees will never be able to experience as his soul is hardened. So if you are genuine enough to swallow your pride and be humble unlike Iblees who continues to be rebellious, then Allah will forgive you. So stop with the petty arguments and say sorry even if you’re in the right. Be the bigger person as Allah looks at the quality of our intentions – if our intentions are good, strong and meaningful enough, then Allah guides whom none can misguide.

  5. Avatar

    fnaf

    September 28, 2019 at 3:57 AM

    The blog is very informative and outstanding. I would love to read your blog. Give me lots of useful information. I will often visit your blog.

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