Pride and obstinacy, the deification and elevation of earthly desires in other words, are two of the main subjects on which people are tested in this world. God reveals in the Qur’an that pride and arrogance are a characteristic of deniers and those who deviate into blasphemy: But those who do not believe are full of vainglory and entrenched in hostility. (Surah Sad, 2)
Someone who wishes to raise his pride has discounted everything he loves. He will do anything, become contrary and unpleasant, and experience the soullessness and negativity of acting in contravention of the Qur’an. He will forego his love for someone else for the sake of his own pride in a single moment. Most important of all, however, he prefers his own pride to the love of God. And he will persist in his pride even at the risk of losing God’s approval. By thus deifying and elevating his own desires he sets himself up in opposition to God. (God is beyond that.)
The pride of Satan, who forewent God’s pleasure and his place in paradise by glorifying himself and who devoted himself throughout the life of world to misleading human beings for the sake of that pride, is an obvious example of this. God describes Satan’s position in the following verses:
When your Lord said to the angels, ‘I am creating a human being out of dried clay formed from fetid black mud When I have formed him and breathed My Ruh into him, fall down in prostration in front of him!’ Then the angels prostrated all together, every one of them – except Satan. He disdained to be one of the prostrators. He said, ‘Satan, what is it that prevents you being among the prostrators?’ He said, ‘I will not prostrate to a human being whom You have created out of dried clay formed from fetid black mud.’ He said, ‘Get out from here, you are accursed. The curse will be on you till the Day of Reckoning.’ He said, ‘My Lord, grant me a reprieve until the Day they are raised again.’ He said, ‘You are among the reprieved until the Day whose time is known.’ He said, ‘My Lord, because You misled me, I will make things on the earth seem good to them and I will mislead them all, every one of them, except Your servants among them who are sincere.’ (Surat al-Hijr, 28-40)
Satan’s obstinacy and pride is a sign of the dimension of the scourge he represents. His preference for his own pride over the love of God and the blessings bestowed by Him, his desire, resulting from the fierceness of that pride, to cause people to deviate from the true path throughout the life of this world, and the way that he does this so blatantly, in contravention of God’s desire, and knowing that he will go to hell, are all significant in terms of the dimension of this scourge.
The example of Satan is a reality that reveals that people who love pride are not really capable of love. There is very definitely no room for feelings such as peace, security, friendship, loyalty, brotherhood or altruism. There is literally nobody else around for anyone who is prepared to give up the ones he loves for the sake of his pride. He is all alone with his earthly desires and deified pride.
Our Almighty Lord has warned people against this danger and described how Satan will at the end of the day always abandon then:
He led me astray from the Reminder after it came to me.’ Satan always leaves man in the lurch. (Surat al-Furqan, 29)
Anyone wishing to elevate his earthly desires is very definitely demeaned in the sight of God. He rewards such demeaned people in the hereafter and, if He so chooses, in this world. Our Lord has said that Satan, whom He expelled from paradise for his pride, is actually one of the demeaned:
He said, ‘Descend from Heaven. It is not for you to be arrogant in it. So get out! You are one of the abased.’ (Surat al-A’raf, 13)
The moral values praised by God are those of people who do not exalt their earthly desires, who are never the captives of their own pride, who know that God gives all things and that they stand in need of Him, and who are aware of their own helplessness. Nobody who constantly bears these things in mind can ever become proud, or elevate his own earthly desires in the belief that the blessings given him by our Lord really belong to him, not forget his own helplessness and imagine that he is a great human being. People who bear these things in mind are the friends of God. They constantly give thanks to Him. They know that they need God, and hope to live pleasant lives and for the best in the hereafter with His help, mercy and love. They have God’s approval and friendship, and so they have no need for anything else. People living in that awareness of course have the best knowledge of love and loyalty and the value of their blessings. In one verse Almighty God says:
If Allah helps you, no one can vanquish you. If He forsakes you, who can help you after that? So the muminun should put their trust in Allah. (Surah Al’ Imran, 160)2008-10-18 18:31:47