بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم و الصلاة والسلام على خير المرسلين
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
I’m So Good...
Sheikh Salman al-Oadah
Allah says: “If you fear a breach between (a husband and his wife), appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from hers. If they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation. Indeed Allah is All-Knowing, Well-Acquainted with all things.” [Sūrah al-Nisā’: 35]
In this verse, Allah promises that He will bless with success those who truly and sincerely wish for reconciliation. This is not just the case for the husband and wife, but also for parents and children, brothers and sisters, business partners, colleagues at work, and neighbours living next door to each other.
In all of these cases, the greatest obstacle to reconciliation is the firm belief of each aggrieved party that they are in the right and that their conduct in the affair is and has always been impeccable. Each party sees itself as the victim, the target of the other’s deliberate mistreatment. This obstacle to reconciliation can be summed up in one word: egotism.
I have seen this on a number of occasion, even in disagreements among my own relatives. I remember a case where I listened to one side and was given a long history of complaints stretching back over five years. The aggrieved party was, of course, a paragon of patient forbearance throughout all that time, until it became humanly impossible to exercise patience any longer.
Then, when I listened to the other side, it was the same thing all over again: the litany complaints, the long patience, the tireless forbearance. Alas, all of this suffering and understanding went unappreciated for all these years.
The sad thing is, listening to either side, you would be convinced that they are in the right. Their speech is so earnest and heartfelt. You can tell by their tone of voice and facial expressions that they mean what they say. They even refer you to witnesses who can confirm everything.
When a husband or a wife speaks about the reasons for their estrangement, it is as if they place their thumb on the scales of truth and make it weigh in their favour. Occasionally, they may even concede a small fault on their part. “It is true that I may have... but be that as it may...” In the end, however, each spouse will conclude their account with: “’I’ve been so good, but my husband/wife just does not appreciate me at all.” It is always the other party who does not know how to behave and who takes advantage of their spouse’s good nature.
This shows how deeply embedded egotism can become, and how difficult it is for a person to recognise it. It is like a virus too small to detect and too elusive to combat, but it infects a person’s being until it overwhelms them. It influences their decisions, actions, and perception of events, without ever being identified as the culprit.
This recalcitrant egotism is the justification that Satan gave for his rebellion against Allah. When Allah commanded him to bow down before Adam, he said: “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from mud.” [Sūrah Sād: 76]
It is also Pharaoh’s excuse for rejecting Moses (عليه سلم): “Am I not better than this one who is insignificant and hardly makes himself clear?” [Sūrah al-Zukhruf: 52]
The same can be said for Korah in his justifying his disobedience. Allah tells us: “He said, ‘I was only given (what I possess) because of knowledge that I have.’ Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations who were greater than him in power and greater in wealth? But the criminals, about their sins, will not be asked.” [Sūrah al-Qasas: 78]
Egotism is indeed an evil affliction that can take a person unawares. It takes vigilance to escape its dangers. This is why prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) made the following supplication when commencing to give a speech: “And we seek Allah’s refuge from the evil of ourselves and the evils of our deeds.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī (1105)]
He would also beseech his Lord with the following supplication: “O Allah, inspire me to right guidance and safeguard me from the evil of my own self.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī (3483)]
Allah says: “And whoever is saved from the avarice of his own soul – it is those who will are successful.” [Sūrah al-Hashr: 9]
If you were to step back and observe how many people around you behave, carefully considering their attitudes and opinions, you would find that often their egos dictate to them what they do. This is the case even for those who fancy themselves to be impartial and understanding. This is true even for the pious and self-sacrificing. No one is immune. The ways of the soul are subtle, varied, and elusive. We will never be able to escape from every effect of our egotistical tendencies, but we need to be vigilant to protect ourselves from the dangers those tendencies pose.
In truth, for someone to be completely bereft of all egotism would be unnatural, and our egos do have a positive role to play. None other than Ibrahim (عليه سلم) beseeched Allah saying: “Grant me true renown among posterity.” [Sūrah al-Shu`arā’: 84]
Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was asked about a man who performed a good deed and then people praised him for it. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) replied: “This is an glad tiding in this world for the believer.” [Sahīh Muslim (2642)] Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also said: “When a person dies, his good deeds come to an end, except for three things: charity that continues to benefit people, imparted knowledge that continues to be useful, and a pious child offering supplications on his behalf.”[Sahīh Muslim (1631)]
Our egos are like all of the other natural temperaments. It is a necessary part of being human, but it needs to be kept in check. Some people are better than others at controlling their egos. It is no different than sexual desire. It is indispensible for the perpetuation of the species, but if it is not controlled, it will lead to great misery and injustice.
If we get to know ourselves better, we will be able to identify when we are becoming slaves to our egos. We will be all the happier for doing so, and more just to ourselves and the people we relate to. We will be able to see things from the point of view of others.
One way to measure the level of your egotism is to pay attention to what you say. How often, on a given day, do you use the word “I”? This is often the most oft-repeated word on a person’s tongue. When you see this to be the case, you can start to make a change.
وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
Note: If anyone finds any errors or faults in the translation of the above please advise so I can make the correction. Please forgive me if anything that I have posted or written has offended anyone.
Thread: I am So Good...
Results 1 to 3 of 3
20-Mar-2012 11:34 PM
22-Mar-2012 02:39 PM
Can't get to this thread because of the apostraphe.Whoever remembers death often will find a small amount (of worldly things) sufficient for him; and whoever includes his speech in his deeds will speak little.
Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful. (Surat al Isra': 27)
23-Mar-2012 10:47 PM
Try this link and inshaAllah you will have access to the main site where I got the article from.
Sorry about that.قُلۡ إِنَّ صَلَاتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحۡيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ
Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds: (Surah Al-Anaam:162)
The Following User Says Thank You to Abu Salahudeen For This Useful Post: