Are You as Pious as Me?

Jul 22nd, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Religion, Social

Have you seen those people who look very pious and virtuous, but at the same are very arrogant, violent and stubborn? They create repulsive vibes and people  try to stay away from them. There must be some problem with those guys who practice and preach religion, but turn more people away then they attract towards religion.

The ‘conceit of piety’ may sound odd; but it happens. It’s a disease actually, better known as ‘kibr‘ghuroor’. Satan (Iblees) was the first one who conceited, thought he is the better one. So, indeed all Muslims should try to refrain from conceit and repent whenever such thoughts come into their mind.

The strange thing is the link of piety with conceit. Those who are pious are never supposed to be arrogant; those who are arrogant can never be pious. So from where comes the amalgamation? That is something to ponder upon.

When a person follows the ‘rituals’ religiously, he develops a feeling that he is better than others; certainly better from those who are not performing religious obligations. This develops a sort of superiority complex, in which a person feels himself superior to others. Such a person becomes big-headed and looks down upon others. It naturally takes away humility and the person becomes more arrogant. In his beliefs he is preaching religion, but actually he is repelling people away.

This conceit is a result of our ‘competitive’ mind-set. We tend to compete and quantify everything in monetary terms. While Allah Almighty has encouraged the sense of competition for paradise, the ‘real value’ of each virtue will be decided by Almighty Himself. It does not matter whether a person has given away a million in charity or a penny, what’s really important is his intention.  It’s not like scoring grades in college, where A grader can mock the B grader. Grades would be decided on the Day of Judgment by the Almighty Himself; and till then it’s not disclosed that who will enter Heaven or Hell. Every virtue should take us closer to God doesn’t mean that it is guaranteed that we are closer to God. A famous quote of Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) in which he said that

‘If on Day of Judgement Allah announces that only one person will enter paradise, from the blessings of Almighty I expect that I will be that one. But if Allah announces that only one person will enter the hellfire, I fear that I will be that one.’

The concept of ‘holier than thou’ repels people from religion. The notion that ‘I have achieved a religious status’ and now I am ‘closer to God than you’ is a problem in itself.  When we tag others as lesser than us in terms of piety, it surely serves a detrimental purpose. For the opponents of faith, it serves double purpose. First, it turns people away from the faith. Second, it gives the opponents a chance to mock the religion and those who stand for religion.

When we preach religion and perform the role of Dawah, again it is very important that we have humility and lovely attitude. There can be no example betther than the Prophet (SAW) himself.  Prophet of peace (SAWW) shown the most humility in his actions.
Quran says

“And who is better in speech than him who prayeth unto his Lord and doeth right, and saith: Lo! I am of those who surrender (unto Him). The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.” (ch-41: v 33-34)

Our actions should speak louder than our words. Our words will be effective only when our actions follow them. Those who have the conceit of piety, usually have multiple standards; different for themselves and others. It has more of social aspects. When such a person is in command of the situation, who thinks that others are not equal to him in piety, he actually makes life miserable for others. And what is the end result, people are repelled from God and His word, just because of that particular person and his pharaoh like attitude.

All of us should safeguard our virtues from conceit. Whether small or big, whatever our contribution is, it should make us more humble and more God-fearing.

Prophet (SAWW) gave same message in a hadith narrated hazrat Haritha bin Wahb Al-Khuzai:

“May I tell you of the people of paradise? Every weak and poor obscure person whom the people look down upon but his oath is fulfilled by Allah when he takes an oath to do something. And may I inform you of the people of the Hell-Fire? They are all those violent, arrogant and stubborn people.”


Muhammad Saad Khan

About the author

Muhammad Saad Khan is a Biomedical Engineer with a diverse background of engineering and management.

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  1. Its always a delight to read your thoughtful articles.

  2. A very well composed piece of writing and a message which is really required as a refresher to all those Ahl-e-emaan (The people of faith) in the month of Ramadan. Although it is good enough for all the seasons but particularly in Ramadan we see that people do require such refreshers to keep their temperament intact in all the worldly affairs and enjoy Ramadan in its true spirit, as a month of peace, endurance and repentance.

  3. Your thoughts and the way you have expressed them are really wonderful.
    You see, these days all I see around me is people trying to judge others and hide their own sins. People who criticize others most, are usually those who are not careful about their own shortcomings. The more I observe these people the more I get frustrated. Specially, people I used to look up to as “aleems” (wise) often seem too strict on a few specific points and careless about the wider sides of Islam. I guess as you have said, it is due to conceit. Sometimes I wonder who to look up to. Where to find someone really humble, gentle and strong believer whom I can follow.
    well, thanks for your thoughtful article.

  4. MashAllah what a beautiful and thoughtful article for every single reader…I am totally lost in the depth of your thoughts… *humility and lovely attitude* Our actions should speak louder than our words * WE should safeguard our virtues from conceit…( key words)
    How beautifully you have described the word “Conceit” this article…!

  5. Jazaakallahu khairan for your wonderful, impressive, highly educative and inspiring words of Da’wah for us and the Umma. I wished every individual, organisations, communities and some Islamic Nations could read and adopt or adapt what you want to portray……sincerely…!!!!
    Pls share more with us and make your voice louder(through other International Media) for the appropriate personalities to be corrected or get themselves educated….!

  6. I’m not a religious man however I have to say this is a really great article and paints religion in great light.

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