By Nigar Ataulla
The Mustard Seed:
You see it almost everyday, while we relish it as part of our food. It may be just a little seed, but do remember that next time you get this mustard seed at breakfast, lunch or dinner, Allah Almighty has said that any person who develops or already has a sense of pride, even as small as this Mustard seed, in his heart, shall not enter paradise. This should be enough to instill fear in the heart of a true believer. But pride and arrogance seem to be part of some peoples personality today.
If we dwell deeply and analyse, the reasons why people are proud and arrogant could be many-wealth, fame, beauty, status in society, knowledge, high ego, or even simply the desire to “throw their weight around”.
The servants of Allah must live in humility. Conceit takes one far from God. Ayaadh ibn Himar records the Prophet (Pbuh) as saying! ‘God has revealed it into me that one should be humble; one should refrain from oppressing others.’
The Muslim Community should be the role model for the society. A person who is humble will be not only self-contented, but also helps in keeping the environment around him peaceful.
There is absolutely no need to buy “Guide books” in the market for a crash course on humility.
By Allah’s grace, the Qur’an and Hadith are enough to guide us on the straight path.
Respect means something more than the making of gestures.
Anas Ibn Malik says: “No one was dearer to us than the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). But when he came into our presence, we never used to stand up, for we knew that he did not like us to do so.”
Conceit takes one far from God.
Aisha tells of how one day she put on a new garment and as she looked at it in delight, her father Abu Bakr said, “What are you looking at? God is not looking at you.” At this reminder, Aisha asked her father why he rebuked her. “Why, do not you know that when one of God’s servants becomes conceited over some worldly adornment, he brings down upon himself the displeasure of the Lord; he has then to cast off that adornment, if he has to regain the Lord’s good pleasure,” explained Abu Bakr. Aisha says that she took off the garment and gave it away to charity. “Perchance this charity will count as your penance,” said Abu Bakr.
Accepting all food without demur
According to Ayman, when Jabir had some guests one day, he gave them bread and vinegar to eat, telling them of how he had heard the Prophet (Pbuh) say what a good condiment vinegar was. The Prophet (Pbuh) also said: “Woe betide those who pour scorn on a dish that has been brought before them.”
Heaping scorn on truth is an act of Pride
The subject of pride came up for discussion with the Prophet (Pbuh). He recited the verse of the Qur’an which ends with the words: “God does not love arrogant and boastful men”. (4:36). One of the companions told him of the pleasure he took in the whiteness of his newly washed clothes, the thonging of his sandals and the way his horse whip hung by his side. “That is not pride”, said the Prophet (Pbuh). “Pride means having no regard for the truth and despising other people.”
All of us are accountable to Allah for every action, thought, and intention.
A Muslim does not need to wear a halo around his head, or walk about with his nose up in the air. He is not the creator. It is Allah who is the creator.
“Your Rabb is Allah, who created the Heavens and Earth in six days and then arose above His ‘Arsh’ (Throne). He manages all things.” (Qur’an 10:3-4)
By D.A. Sait
As I sat looking out of the open window of my first floor apartment in Jayanagar, I did not mind the rain lashing my face, for suddenly the lashing rain brought back nostalgic memories of my childhood way back in Kochi. One night, fifty years ago, there I was, sitting in front of a chimney-less wick-lamp made of tin and pyramidal in shape, throwing out both a dull glow and the noxious fumes of carbon dioxide. In those days Kochi had no electricity. Even the streetlights were kerosene lamps enclosed by glass and propped up on poles. With the approach of dusk a lamp-lighter employed by a lackadaisical municipality would go round armed with a short ladder and matches to light the lamps.
Our house was just a ramshackle affair with pinewood partitions for walls and a thatched roof. And this shaky roof was blown over by the gale as I was seated in front of the smoke-emitting kerosene lamp and my books, preparing for my high school first-year exams. The tin lamp went out as the rain poured in through the now-roofless house, drenching me, my books, and my household consisting of my two sisters, my uncle and grandmother (my parents having died one after the other while I was still a ten-year-old child). My uncle, the head of the family and a tailor by profession, borrowed five rupees from a neighbour the next day to pay for the new thatch to the roof.
Today I live in my own house, with a strong concrete roof and brick walls that can withstand the worst onslaughts of wind and rain. My family enjoys all the comforts of modern living- a car, telephone, television etc. Still there is something always wanting. One is never content. With prices spiralling the family budget seems to have gone haywire, and one has to look out for sources of supplementary income. But in my boyhood the problem of a supplementary income had never arisen. One was content with what one earned and lived within it. We had no car, TV or telephone in those days, not even electricity or drinking water. We depended solely on an open well for all our needs including drinking, for our nascent municipality had not yet got round to supplying drinking water. My tailor uncle was the sole breadwinner of the family, making not more than twenty to thirty rupees a month from stitching clothes on a sewing machine set up in the verandah of our house. Three rupees a month, out of this, would go towards the rent of the house, the rest being handed over to my grandma for the monthly expenses. She was an expert in balancing the budget. She would never let even one ‘anna’ get away from her without getting its equivalent in some form or the other. To get into her ribs for a much-needed quarter to buy a slice of jack fruit or a couple of ripe mangoes I would have to work like a beaver, coaxing and cajoling her no end. Yet we had been a happy family, well content with life, for our wants had been simple and limited. The river of life meandered on serene, silent. Oh, for a whiff of that golden past! Give me back my childhood, Oh God, in exchange for all that you have given me! Let me be a child of ten again, Oh Lord, living in that old, leaky, thatched hut, with the rain pelting on my upturned face through the crevices in the thatched roof, with my dear departed grandma smiling down at me!