Allahumma salli alaa Syedina Muhammad wa alaa Ahli Syedina Muhammad, fi kulli lamhatin wa nafasin ‘adada maa wa see-a-hu ‘il-muLLAH
Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, defined scholars as those who do not differentiate between good and bad, but rather, those who separate the best from that which is good, and the worst from that which is bad.
Allah Most High wanted khair for this ummah, and as such, Allah Most High describes the ummah in Surah Ahli-Imran (verse 110): “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.”
This khair for the ummah is that the ummah should be khair for all others and all that it encounters!
And Allah Most High blessed this Ummah with the greatest blessing of all: Rasulullah, peace be upon him!
“And know that among you is the Messenger of Allah . If he were to obey you in much of the matter, you would be in difficulty, but Allah has endeared to you the faith and has made it pleasing in your hearts and has made hateful to you disbelief, defiance and disobedience. Those are the [rightly] guided and the most sucessful.” (Surah Al-Hujurat, 7)
Going back to Syedina Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, it is not about the difference between good and bad, it is rather differentiating between the best and the worst.
Differentiating between the best and the worst
There is an opportunity in every situation to choose that which is best, and, in doing so, avoid the worst. In this there is a great blessing; and this is reflected in the character of the people of great himma (determination).
We need to understand who we are as humans; we are the weak, the ignorant and the dependent.
One character trait that leads to kufr is kibr (arrogance or conceit), as Rasulullah, peace be upon him, mentioned that a person will not enter jannah if there is even half an atom of kibr in their heart.
May Allah Most High send his renewed blessing and mercy upon Syedina Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, when he wrote to the Persian King when he heard about is kibr, especially by way of his ornate crown and throne: Qisra, how can you be so arrogant when you know you came from two shameful things, that which was emitted from your father and that which was conceived in your mother’s body!
As narrated in the Musnad of Abu Yaàla, Rasulullah, peace be upon him, was sitting with the Sahaba, who were praising a man and in his praise they described his martial struggling, his relationship with the Qur’an, and his dhikr. During the course of their description the man came across the gathering, and the Sahaba pointed the man out to Rasulullah , peace be upon him.
A touch of kibr
Upon seeing the man, Rasulullah, peace be upon him, mentioned to the Sahaba that within this man there is a touch of kibr, and Rasulullah, peace be upon him, during the course of this gathering, asked the man: Have you not mentioned to yourself that you consider yourself better than everyone else? The man affirmed as such, and went away from Rasulullah, peace be upon him, and the Sahaba to pray.
Rasulullah, peace be upon him, sent Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, to go and kill this man, but when he came upon him he was praying. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, came back to Rasulullah, peace be upon him, and told him he could not kill the man as he was in salah, to which Rasulullah, peace be upon him, again gave a clear command, and Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, went to kill the man.
Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, found the man in sujud (prostration), and thus, came back and reported to Rasulullah , peace be upon him. Rasulullah, peace be upon him, again gave the command, to which Syedina Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, responded, but when he went to the find the man, he was missing!
When Syedina Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, returned to Rasulullah, peace be upon him, Rasulullah, peace be upon him, told the Sahaba that the man, with his touch of kibr, was the start of the fitnah (tribulation), and if he was to be killed, the fitnah would never fall upon the ummah.
Although this man was praised among the Sahaba, he had the arrogance to go and pray on his own rather than sitting with Rasulullah, peace be upon him, and the Sahaba!
Arrogance is never good, even in ibadah.
We have to enjoin the best of characters and avoid the worst; and in order to become closer to Allah Most High we have to fight our nafs (lower selves).
May Allah Most High grant us the beauty of iman (faith), and may He put in our hearts the disdain for disbelief and disobedience.
May Allah Most High Love us, Guide us and Cover us with His Mercy.
Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said is a jewel in the crown of traditional Islamic scholarship in the United Kingdom and we at SeekersHub are ever grateful for his friendship, guidance and support. He was born in Asmara, Eritrea, where he studied the holy Qur’an and its sciences, Arabic grammar and fiqh under the guidance of the Grand Judge of the Islamic Court in Asmara, Shaykh Abdul Kader Hamid and also under the Grand Mufti of Eritrea. He later went to study at Madinah University, from which he graduated with a first class honours degree. In Madinah, his teachers included Shaykh Atia Salem, Shaykh Mohamed Ayub (ex-imam of the Prophet’s Mosque, peace be upon him), Professor AbdulRaheem, Professor Yaqub Turkestani, Shaykh Dr Awad Sahli, Dr Aa’edh Al Harthy and many other great scholars. Shaykh Faid has ijaza in a number of disciplines including hadith, and a British higher education teaching qualification. He is currently the scholar in residence and head of education at Harrow Central Mosque, United Kingdom.
Read his articles on the SeekersHub blog.
Resources for seekers:
- The Personal Arrogance Checklist
- What is the Difference Between Self Respect and Arrogance?
- Can Good Deeds Be Sabotaged?
- Balancing Confidence and Humility and the Wisdom of Trials
- What is the Islamic Understanding of Pride?
- Trousers Below One’s Ankles
- Religion and Reverence and the Dangers of Anger and Arrogance
- Recognizing the Tricks of the Devil (shaytan)
- Why Is Iblis Blaming Allah for Leading Him Astray?
- On Humility and being gentle with the believers
- Changing Those Around One: Attaching One’s Self to Allah
- The definition of shyness (haya)
- A Little Fiqh on Controlling One’s Anger
- Distinguishing Between Thoughts From Ourselves, Shaytan, and Allah
- Imam Nawawi On Fighting The Ego (Nafs)
- You’re Wildly Successful, but Do Your Friends Trust You?
- VIDEO: The etiquette of battling the self and ego