Sunday, February 14, 2016

Kibr (Pride and Arrogance) – The Rejection of the Truth: The Barrier from Jannah (Paradise)

by Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Nasir as-Sa‘di (d.1376H)

kibr.jpg?w=470&h=339From Bahjatul-Quloobul- Abraar (pp. 156-158)

From ‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas‘ud who related that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever has an atoms worth of kibr (pride) in his heart will not enter Paradise.” So a man asked: “What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes?” So he replied: “Indeed Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Kibr (pride) is to reject the truth, and to despise the people.” [Muslim]

So Allah – the Most High – informs us that the Hellfire is the abode of those who have kibr (pride and arrogance). And we learn from the (above) hadeeth that: “Whoever has an atoms worth of kibr (pride) in his heart will not enter Paradise.” So this is a proof that kibr (pride) necessitates entry to Hellfire and prevents entry into Paradise. And this comprehensive explanation that the Prophet mentioned has clarified the meaning of kibr (pride) in the clearest possible manner. So he divided kibr into two types:

1) Pride Against the Truth:

This is to reject the truth and not to accept it. So anyone who rejects the truth is proud and arrogant – in accordance with what he rejects of the truth. So it is obligatory upon everyone to humble themselves to the truth which Allah sent His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with, and which He sent down in His Book. As for those whose pride and arrogance prevents them from totally complying with the Messengers (i.e. having Imaan or faith in them and their message) – then they are kuffar (unbelievers) who will dwell in the Hellfire for eternity. Since when the Truth comes to them via the Messengers, who explain to them the signs and clear proofs, they reject it and are prevented from accepting it, due to the kibr that they harbour in their hearts. Allah – the Most High – said: {Indeed those who argue about the Signs of Allah without any authority having come to them, there is nothing in their hearts except kibr (pride). They will never accept the Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet} [Suratul-Ghafir 40:56]

As for those whose arrogance and pride prevent them from complying with parts of the truth – because it opposes their personal opinions of their whims and desires – then such people are not kuffar (unbelievers), but such an action necessitates them being punished in accordance with what they have of kibr. This is why the Scholars have agreed that whenever the Sunnah (guidance and way) of the Messenger of Allah [sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam] has been explained to anyone, then it is not lawful for him to turn away from it to the saying of someone else, whoever and whatever status he may have.

So it is obligatory upon the seeker of knowledge to give complete and absolute precedence to the saying of Allah and the saying of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) over and above the saying of anyone else, and that he should make the basis to which he returns, and the foundation upon which he builds: following the guidance of the Prophet, striving hard to understand what is intended from it, and following this both inwardly and outwardly. When a person conforms to this great principal, then he has indeed reached goodness and excellence and all his errors will be forgiven to him; since his overall objective is to follow that which has been prescribed upon him. So his errors are excused due to his striving his best to recognize and comply with the truth – and this is humbling oneself to the truth.

2) Pride Towards People:

This type is to despise the people and to look down upon them. This attitude arises when a person is amazed with his own self, thinks highly of himself, and thinks he is better than others. So this causes him to have kibr towards the creation despise them, mock them, and to degrade them through both speech and action. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “It is enough evil for a person to despise his Muslim brother.” [Muslim]

This is why the man asked: “What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing good clothes and shoes?” Because he feared that this was the kibr which would be under the treat of punishment. So the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) explained to him that this was not from kibr, since this person was one who complied with the truth, and was humble towards people, and that this was from the truth, and from the beauty that Allah loves, for indeed Allah – the Most High – is beautiful in His Dhaat (Self), Sifaat (Attributes) and Af‘aal (Actions), and He loves both outer and inner beauty.

As regards outer beauty, then it includes cleanliness of the body, clothes and place. As regards to inner beauty, then it is beautifying the character. This is why the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to supplicate: “O Allah! Guide me to having beautiful manners and characteristics, no one can guide me to beautifying them except You. And turn away from me all evil actions and characteristics, no one can turn them away from me except You.” [an-Nasa'i]

Explanation of the Hadeeth: “Anyone who possesses a speck of pride in his heart will not enter Paradise…”

Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah

Source: Majmoo‘-ul Fataawaa (vol. 7, pg. 677-679) - Translated by Yahya Ibrahim

Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) was asked: Regarding the Prophet’s (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement: “Anyone who possesses a speck of pride (kibr) in his heart will not enter Paradise” – Is this hadeeth specific only to the believers or (is it specific only to the) unbelievers? If we were to say that it is specific for the Believers then (is not) our statement trivial considering (the fact that) the believers shall enter Paradise due to their Imaan. If, on the other hand, we were to say that the hadeeth is specific for the unbelievers then what is the relevance of the statement (since it is already known that the unbelievers shall not gain admission to Paradise?

He (rahimahullaah) answered: (Another) authentically reported wording of (this particular version of the) hadeeth is, “Anyone who possesses half a mustard seed of Pride (kibr) in his heart will not be granted admission to Paradise. And anyone who possesses half a mustard seed of Imaan will not enter the (Eternal) Fire.” [1]

Kibr that openly opposes and negates Imaan results in the banishment of the one who holds it from entering al-Jannah as is found in Allah’s statement: “And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn (yastakbiroon – Have kibr) My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” [Surah Ghafir: 60]

This is the kibr of Iblees (the Devil), Pharaoh and all the others who possessed the Kibr, which invalidated Imaan. This is also the kibr that the Jews possess and those whom Allah has described to us by saying: “Is it that whenever there came to you a Messenger with what you yourselves desired not, you grew arrogant? Some, you disbelieved and some, you killed.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 87]

Al-Kibr, in its entirety, openly opposes the essentials of al-Imaan. As such he who has an atom’s weight of kibr in his heart will not act upon that which Allah has prescribed, nor will he abstain from that which Allah has prohibited. Instead his kibr shall result in his disavowal and rejection of the truth and instill in him contempt of others. This, precisely, is the explanatory definition of al-Kibr provide by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as is found in the complete version of the initial Hadeeth [“The one who possesses an atom’s weight of kibr in his heart shall not be granted admission to Paradise.”]

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked: “[But] O Messenger of Allah! A man likes to have fine clothing and footwear. Is this included in kibr?” He responded, “No. Allah is Beauty and loves Beauty. Kibr is the rejection of truth (Batrul-Haqq) and condescension of others (waa ghaamtun-naas).” [2]

The statement “Batarul-Haqq” denotes disdain and rejection of the Truth, while “ghaamtun-naas” implies contempt and condescension of others from amongst mankind.

Therefore the one who possesses half a mustard seed of it (kibr) rejects the Truth that he was ordered to accept and act upon. At the same time, the kibr instills in him a sense of condescension that inculcates in the individual an oppressive demeanor producing transgression over the rights of others.

The one who neglects his obligations (due to his rejection of them) and is oppressive to others from amongst the creation is not to be amongst the people of Jannah (while in this state), or deserving of it. On the contrary, such an individual is to be counted amongst the people who are threatened with punishment!

His (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement: “Anyone who possesses a speck of kibr in his heart will not be granted admission to Paradise” implies that the individual is not from the people of Jannah and is not deserving of it. But if he repents, or he possesses Hasaanaat (righteous deeds) that expiate his sins, or Allah has given him Ibtillaah (trials and tests) in the form of calamities that have expunged his sins, or similar things; then for that individual the recompense of kibr – which originally was a barrier for him to enter Jannah – is eliminated and he gains admission (to it). Similarly Allah, due to Divine Grace, may forgive the individual (the sin of) kibr. [3] None shall gain admission (to Paradise) while possessing an atom’s weight of kibr. As a result, those (scholars) discussing this Hadeeth, and other Hadeeth that have a similar theme, have stated: “Unconditional admission (to Paradise) – that is not in conjunction with punishment (for the sin of kibr) – is what is being negated in this Hadeeth; not the admission to Jannah that is granted to those who have entered the Fire (to be purified and cleansed) and then are allowed admission to Paradise thereafter. (On the other hand) if a hadeeth explicitly declares that a particular person is in Jannah or that a particular person is from the People of Jannah, it would then be understood that he would enter the Jannah and not enter the fire (beforehand).”

After this clarification we come to understand the true meaning of these narrations as being that the one who possesses an atom’s weight of kibr in his heart is not from the people of Paradise (up to that point) and shall not gain admission into it without punishment (for his sin). Surely he deserves punishment – due to the enormity of the sin – similar to those who perform the Major (Kabaa’ir) sins. Allah may punish him in the Fire as long as He wishes, but none from amongst the people of Tawheed shall remain in the Fire eternally.

This is to be the way we understand all the Hadeeth that have a similar meaning. This understanding is to be used when seeking the meaning of his (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement: “The one who severs the ties of the womb shall not enter Jannah” [4] or “You shall not enter Jannah until you believe. And you shall not believe until you love one another. Shall I inform you of something that if you do you shall (truly) love each other? Spread the greetings of Salaam amongst yourselves.”

This is the understanding that we are to have when pondering over the aHadeeth that contain threats of Punishment. In this way we understand that the Hadeeth is general and can be attributed to both the unbelievers and the Muslims.

If one was to say: “All the Muslims enter Jannah due to their Islam.” The response is that not all Muslims enter Jannah without punishment. Surely the people who have been threatened (with punishment in the Hereafter due to their sins) shall enter into the Fire to remain in it for the period that Allah so wills even though they are not unbelievers. The individual who has some Imaan coinciding with major sins may enter into the Fire and exit from it as a result of the Shafaa‘ah (Intercession) of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or by other reported means as articulated by the Prophet when he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “My Shafaa‘ah is for the people who commit Majors Sins from amongst my Ummah.” [5]

And he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said as is reported in the Saheeh: “I shall bring out of the Fire the one who possesses half a mustard seed of Imaan.” [6]

In this way we understand what is in store for those whom Allah has threatened with punishment – the murderer, fornicator/adulterer, the one who consumes intoxicants, and the one who misappropriates the wealth of the orphans, the one who witnesses falsehood and others who perform the deeds of the people of major sins. They – even if they are not unbelievers – are not deserving of the Jannah that they are promised (as Muslims) without first being (cleansed and purged through) punishment.

The madh-hab (way and belief) of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa‘ah is that the Foosaaq (deviant sinners) from amongst the general body of Muslims are not going to be eternally punished in the Fire as held by the Khawaarij [7] and the Mu‘tazilah. [8] They are not complete in their religion (Deen), Imaan and obedience to Allah. [9] They have good and bad deeds that necessitate a measure of punishment and reward. This is a concise dissertation regarding the issue.


[1] Translator’s Note: Reported by Imam Muslim, Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Ibn Mas‘ud. See Islaah al-Masaajid, checked by Shaykh Al-Albaani rahimahullaah.

[2] Translator’s Note: Reported by Imam Muslim (54), Ibn Khuzaymah, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Sa‘d on the authority of Ibn Mas‘ud. At-Tabaraani reports it on the authority of ‘Abdullah bin Salaam

[3] Translator’s Note: Allah the Most High says in Surah an-Nisa’ (4:48): “Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives what is besides that to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.”

[4] Translator’s Note: Reported by Imam Muslim (1765 – Abridged) al-Hakim, al-Bayhaqi, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmidhi on the authority of Jubayr bin Mut‘aam.

[5] Translator’s Note: Turn to the Chapter “Shafaa‘ah for the People of Major Sins” (Pg. 61-108) in the highly beneficial book of the world-renowned Muhaddith, Shaykh Muqbil bin Haadee al-Waadi‘ee (rahimahullaah) titled: “Ash-Shafaa‘ah.” In the chapter the Shaykh reports seventy-six (76) aHadeeth showing that those who perform Major sins are not excluded from the Shafaa‘ah of Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). This particular Hadeeth can be found in the book on page 85, Hadeeth number 56. Shaykh Abu ‘Abdir-Rahmaan Muqbil bin Haadee reports that the Hadeeth is collected by at-Tirmidhee (v. 4, pg. 45) on the authority of Anas and Jaabir. He then states: “And this hadeeth is Hasan Saheeh Ghareeb (good and authentic yet scarce in this mode). The Hadeeth is reported by Ibn Khuzaymah (pg. 270), Ibn Hibbaan as is stated in the Mawrid (pg. 640), and al-Haakim (vol. 1, pg. 69) said: ‘This Hadeeth is authentic and meets the requirements set by Al-Bukhari and Muslim even though they did not narrate it.’” Later on Shaykh Muqbil wrote: “Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer (vol. 1, pg. 487) that its chain of narration is Saheeh and meets the requirements set by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.” The Shaykh then takes us step by step through the chain of narration and proves convincingly that the Hadeeth does not meet the requirements of Al-Bukhari and Muslim due to the presence of Mu‘aamar reporting from Thaabit. For further detailed analysis turn to pg. 85-88. In Shaykh al-Albaani’s Saheeh al-Jaami‘, he declares the Hadeeth Saheeh on the authority of Jaabir, Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar, Ka‘b bin ‘Ajrah and Anas.

[6] Translator’s Note: This is a segment of the famous Hadeeth of Shafaa‘ah collected by Al-Bukhari (vol. 13, pg. 472)

[7] Translator’s Note: Khawaarij is the plural of Kharijee – They are those who declared that a Muslim becomes a disbeliever due to committing a major sin alone.

[8] Translator’s Note: The Mu‘tazilah deem the one who does not agree with their understanding of Tawheed (7 false principles) is deemed a Mushrik. They believe that the sinners who are Muslim shall be in a place between Jannah and the Fire. Their beliefs are built on false logical deductions that led them to negate many of the Names and Attributes of Allah. They were the deviant group who opposed the Imam of Ahlus-Sunnah, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal by falsely claiming that the Qur’an is created and not the Speech of Allah.

[9] Translator’s Note: The Murji’ah believe that sins, major or minor, do not affect faith and that Imaan neither increases nor decreases. They claim that actions are not part of faith and that people do not vary in faith.

Do Not Reject the Truth

Shaykh Muhammad bin Jameel Zaynoo

Taken from The Methodology of the Saved Sect Chapter 52

1) Verily, Allah sent His Messengers to mankind and ordered them with da’wah to the worship of Allah and to His Tawheed. However, most of the nations denied their messengers and rejected the truth to which they were called, which is Tawheed. So their end result was destruction and ruin.

2) The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart will not enter Paradise.” Then he said: “Pride is the rejection of the truth and the contempt of the people.” [Reported by Muslim]

Accordingly it is not permissible for the true believer to reject the truth and sincere advice, such that he does not imitate the unbelievers, and in order that he does not fall into pride, which prevents him from entering paradise. So wisdom is the ultimate achievement for the believer, wherever he may find it.

3) Due to this it is obligatory to accept the truth from whoever it may be, even from Shaytaan. It is reported that the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) placed Abu Hurairah as a guard over the Bait-ul-Maal (treasury). One day a thief came to steal something, so Abu Hurairah seized him. Then the thief made a plea and complained of his weakness, so Abu Hurairah freed him. Then the thief returned a second time and a third time, so Abu Hurairah seized him and said to him, “Verily, I will take you to the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).”

So the thief said to him, “Free me, for verily I will inform you of a verse from the Qur’an, such that when you read it, Shaytaan will not approach you.” Abu Hurairah said: “What it is?” The thief said: “Ayatul-Kursi”, so Abu Hurairah let him go and narrated what he had seen to the Messenger. The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to him: “Do you know who you spoke to? Verily, he was Shaytaan, he told you the truth, even though he is a liar.” [Reported by al-Bukhari]


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