Reasons for Kibr
listed by Ibnul Qayyim Al Jawziyyah (rahimullah)
We were taught some of the reasons for arrogance. Ibnul Qayyim (Rahimullah) mentions the four most common reasons for people falling into kibr or arrogance. These could also be reasons for people splitting away form each other or thinking that their belief is better and thus more deserving of honor than others. We are using the definition of kibr as stated by the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam). The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) said,
“al Kibr is when you argue with the truth and you look down upon people.”
Arguing with the truth means to argue with clear evidences. For example when someone says the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) said so and so and you sau “but” and follow it up with an excuse thats not valid in order to justify a preconcieved idea. Also to look down upon people includes taking away their rights, being unjust to them and oppressing them. The following four reason were mentioned by Ibnul Qayyim (rahimullah) as the most prevalaent ones in his time,a nd they apply to us as well:
- Aql – Logic or intellect
- Qiyaas/Fiqh – Analogy or Madhabee Rulings
- Dhawq – Personal Feelings – whims, desires, or maybe even personal intuitions
- Siyaasa – Politics
There might be others besides these that are reasons for arguing with the truth or looking down upon others. Some examples of how these cause a person to become arrogant are:
1. Aql – Intellect
People use their intellect to gain arrogance, they try to outsmart others at times to seem superior. Eventually, if it is not controlled, it gets to people’s head that they think that they are always right or their reasoning is always right. Logic and intellect is used to gain arrogance. In order for soemone to respond to intellect or logic, it requires a smarter logic to overcome the other logic or reasoning. The only thing that cuts off the roots of this intellectual argumentation which might go to and fro is revelation. Our teacher gave us a very powerful statement. He said, “Knowledge without revelation is speculation” which is so true.
This can apply not only to people looking down upon others or oppressing them but it also is true for rejecting the truth. So many are the examples and the sects that have developed in Islamic history that have rejected the truth which is revealed in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam), by relying solely on their intellect and giving it more importance than it actually deserves.
2. Qiyaas/Fiqh or Analogy or Madhabee rulings
This is very common in our lives today and it was soemthign that had become frequent in Ibnul Qayyim’s time. People often would rather stick tot he ruling of their madhab even if went agains the proof. This became so common and it still is today. A statement that I remember that Ustadh Muhammad alShareef mentioned in in one of his lectures or in a Q&A session was that of some of the die-hard Malikis that used to say “We will follow Khaleel even if it opposes the daleel”. Khaleel also known as Matn al Khaleel is a basic maliki text that any beginning Maliki has to study, and some of the Malikis would say we will follow it even if it will oppose the dallel, which is the textual proof. So Ibnul Qayyim mentions that the Madhab’s ruling is oen of the reasons people might reject the truth when it is presented to them.
3. Personal Feelings – Dhawq
The example mentioned here in class were some of the Sufis who ascribe new ideas or beliefs or acts of worship, even if they aren’t found in the Sunnah to reject the truth or make it a basis of their actions or worship. Also they use these personal feelings, intuitions, whims, and desires to make themselves look better than others as well. The concept of kashf falls under this as well. When people have these illussions or intuitions to do things even if it went against the Sharee’ah or has no basis in the Sharee’ah.
People sometimes use politics to show their might and get what they want in order to reject the truth. The example given here are the Shee’ah or Raafidah, they rejected the truth because of political reasons. Also this can apply tot he rulers and people in authority as well. They tend to do things and follow things for purely political reasons. The example sof this are many in our time and need not be mentioned explicitly.
May Allah help us become more humble and show us humility in our worship and daily life, and remove any kibr we might have in ourselves.
Allah knows Best.