Pride and Politeness

A hermit fasted for an entire year, eating only once a week. After this sacrifice, he asked that God reveal to him the true meaning of a certain passage in the Scripture. No response was heard.

“What a waste of time,” the hermit said to himself. “I gave up so much, and God didn't even answer! Better to leave these parts and find a monk who knows the meaning of the verse.”

At that moment, an angel appeared. “The twelve months of fasting served only to make you believe that you were better than others, and God does not answer a vain person,” the angel said. “But when you were humble, and sought help from others, God sent me.” And the angel explained what he wanted to know.

Certainly God does not love the proud ones.
- The Quran 16:23

I will turn away My communications from those who are unjustly proud in the earth; and if they see every Sign they will not believe in It; and if they see the way of right conduct they do not take It for a way, and if they see the way of error, they take it for a way; this is because they rejected Our Signs and were heedless of them.
- The Quran 7:146

And in this way God does put a seal on every arrogant disdainful heart. (40.35)

"Whosoever has in his heart, even an atom of pride, will not enter the Garden of Presence."
- saying of Prophet, upon him be peace

It is narrated that Moses, the Mighty Messenger of God, Peace and blessings be upon him, asked God: "Oh my Lord! Who is the most deserving of Your wrath and displeasure?” It was replied from behind the veil, “It is he whose heart is filled with pride and his tongue is filthy (abusive), his eyes are devoid of shame, his hands are miserly and he is of bad conduct and character."

"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." - Imam Ghazali

There are many invisible diseases of heart and vain pride is one. Heedlessness and arrogance is its cause and looking down upon other, being judgmental is its sure symptom. The cure of the disease of pride is cultivating humbleness and being consciousness of one's imperfections and fearing God to whom all must return and every one will be held accountable for one's state of being and actions. According to haqiqa humbleness cannot be achieved without continuous Tajalli Shuhud (manifestation of divine illumination). May we be blessed for such station and rank.

Therefore do not consider yourself pure. God knows well who guard themselves (for Him).
- The Quran 53:52

Is it not time that the hearts of those who believe should be humbled to the remembrance of God? - The Quran

'Blessed are the polite: for they shall inherit the earth.'
'Blessed are the merciful: for they shall receive mercy.'
'Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall attain the vision of God.'
'Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.'

- Christ, upon him be peace, in Beautitudes

He who knows at the same time both Vidya (gnosis, ma'arifa in sufi terms) and Avidya (action of freewill, could be both positive and negative, amal), crosses over death by Avidya and attains immortality through Vidya. Those who follow or “worship” the path of selfishness and pleasure (Avidya), without knowing anything higher, necessarily fall into darkness; but those who worship or cherish Vidya (gnosis, pure knowledge) for mere intellectual pride and satisfaction, fall into greater darkness, because the opportunity which they misuse is greater. In the subsequent verses Vidya and Avidya are used in something the same sense as “faith” and “works”; neither alone can lead to the ultimate goal, but when taken together they carry one to the Highest. Work done with unselfish motive purifies the mind and enables man to perceive his undying nature. From this he gains inevitably a knowledge of God, because the Soul and God are one and inseparable; and when he knows himself to be one with the Supreme and Indestructible Whole, he realizes his immortality. - from commentary of Isha Upanishad

"A man who is born with tendencies toward the Divine, is fearless and pure in heart. He perseveres in that path to union with Brahman .. He practices spiritual disciplines. He is straightforward, truthful, and of an even temper. He harms no one. He renounces the things of this world. He has a tranquil mind and an unmalicious tongue. He is compassionate toward all. He is not greedy. He is gentle and modest. He abstains from useless activity. He has faith in the strength of his higher nature. He can forgive and endure. He is clean in thought and act. He is free from hatred and from pride. Such qualities are his birthright."
- Sri Krishna in Bhagavat Gita

Hear me, Oh lover of the Merciful and Compassionate, I say unto you that since the ranks of slavery are Divine manifestations, then it is from the politeness (adab) to see a slave only as the evidence of God.

God is the Giver and Taker and He will put you in a station corresponding to your attitude towards Him. If you are an obedient person, do not be proud of your obedience, because it is from God. Understand, beloved, that the ranks of slavery are the manifestations through which everyone can behold the Reality of God.

If all the qualities of slavery, the courtesy (adab) and good character are within you, it is only because the Presence of the Reality of God Who is the basis of all these perfections. Thus you must always see the other slave as yourself. In this way you will behold God in His slaves.

Know, my beloved, that the slave who confesses this slavery upon the attainment of Truth is one whose Divinity is truly realized, and this slave beholds God in all His manifestations and sees that the signs of God are everywhere. My Master, the Messenger of God, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "I was given the opportunity to choose to be a king-messenger or a slave-messenger and I chose to be a slave-messenger."

Know, my beloved, that all slaves are equal in God's eyes and when you accept that, you thereby understand the existence of God; and then you are the Existence of God. When your qualities (attributes) disappear in His, your deeds vanish and His and your name merges with His Name and God manifests in you completely, then you witness the whole Truth, the brilliant Lights and the great secrets of the Divine manifestation that appear in you and for you. They appear within you, because you are the slave (instrument of Divine) who reflects what God is.

- from Music of the Soul: the Chapter, The Man With the Pure White Mind is a Perfect Holy World, by Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal, may God hallow his station

Beware my love of nearing the abode of Imam (Master, Guide, Leader) of your guidance or his followers unless you are pure and purified, poor (humble, meek) and true and truthful, judicious and of high moral character. Otherwise, your acts will be no avail. If you are not genuine and sincere, you will be hurt in your belief, faithfulness and service. Nothing is more sublime than perfect manners (adab: the deepest politeness) and nothing is more truthful than to truly taste (dhawq).

- Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal

# Related:
. Humbleness of Prophet Muhammad
. Disgrace of Pride
. Authentic Love is Polite
. Being Polite with God



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Technology of the Heart: Pride and Politeness
Pride and Politeness
Technology of the Heart
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