Saturday, 2 February 2013

Acceptance and Arrogance...

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”  Lao Tzu

Acceptance is one of the most powerful word. It is something that I do have trouble practicing sometimes.

As human, we tend to be judgmental even though at times, it is unintentional. In Islam, everything starts with  an ‘intention’ but often we do things unintentionally but has far reaching effect that is not always good. One of it is judging.

When we see a man driving a brand new 5 series BMW, immediately, we assume that the man is rich but when we see a person driving a battered old car, we are quick to assume that the person is poor. When we judge a person, we also have certain expectation of him or her and our behavior towards them also change.

I am also guilty of doing that sometimes. It’s an impulsive thing. I know that is no excuse so I must strive harder to control my thoughts. I don’t like it when people judge me so I must not do the same with other.

I have learnt a long time ago that human are hard to please. I stopped trying to please everyone a very long time ago. Now, I only please myself and loved ones. Others, if they are unhappy with me, they can carry on being unhappy. Harsh as it sounds, it is actually true. I live my life the way it makes me happy. I never impose on others and I never bother other people. I mind my own business. I am very happy in my own little cocoon. I have a long list of flaws because I’m human but bottom line is…my flaws do not affect or disturb others. My husband is attuned to my flaws and he has accepted me as I am.

My friends and loved ones have also accepted me as I am. They have never tried to change me nor do they try censor me. As far as they are concern, anything that makes me happy, make them happy. Because of that, I have also learnt to accept my husband and also friends plus loved ones as they are.

The Wise Owl had once told me that if we question the character or physical attributes of a person, then we are actually questioning God. SubhanAllah!!!! I am not qualified to question God. If a man loves to wear pink, let him be. God has created him as such so just accept him. His pink fascination does not bother people so let him be happy in pink. It could also be that the love of his life adores him in pink…Que sera sera..

Unfortunately, people nowadays are quite judgmental. If you walk into a posh restaurant wearing flip flop, chances are the waiters will ignore you thinking that you don’t have money to dine there, even if you are a millionaire. People do judge us from our appearance. Judging people on their appearance is actually an act of snobbery. We tend look down on those who do not dress to kill or those who wears clothes that have seen better days but in actual fact, they may be a better person than us. 

A hard lesson that I have learnt is that the ones who dress modestly or simply, are more often than not, beautiful people. They are very beautiful from within. Their hearts are pure and kind. They treat you as equal and accord you with the highest form of respect. The ones who are smartly or expansively dress are sometime the ugliest people whom I have ever met, but not all. Their hearts are filled with jealousy and disgust. They hold themselves in high esteem but look down on everyone else. These people are poor company.

Hamdun al-Qassar, one of the great early Muslims, said, “If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves.” [Imam Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-Iman,7.522]

Prophet Muhammad said "Should you become eager to mention another’s faults, recall your own." 

The Messenger of Allah pbuh said "A man said: 'By ALLAH, ALLAH will not forgive So-and-so.' At this ALLAH the Almighty said: 'Who is he who swears by Me that I will not forgive So-and-so? Verily I have forgiven So-and-so and have nullified your [own good] deeds 
Hadith Qudsi 131. Narrated by Muslim

Being judgmental is actually a form or arrogance. We have to be very careful about arrogance in our heart, no matter how small. It may be a tiny dot today but it may grow bigger tomorrow.

“Prophet (S.A.W.) said, "One will not enter Paradise, if one has an atom’s weight of arrogance in his/her heart."
Hadith Tirmidhi

Prophet SAW said "Allah is beautiful and loves beauty, arrogance is: rejecting the truth and looking down on people."
Hadith Tirmidhi

Arrogance is also a trait of satan. I don’t know about you but I’m not keen to be equated with satan. I may have my weaknesses and flaws but being a fan of satan is something that I am not so I must not follow or adopt its traits.

            And surely, We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being), then We told the angels, "Prostrate to Adam", and they prostrated, except Iblis (Satan), he refused to be of those who prostrate. (Allah) said: "What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?" Iblis said: "I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay. (Allah) said: "(O Iblis) get down from this (Paradise), it is not for you to be arrogant here. Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced."
Surah Al-a’raf 7:11-13

The Wise Owl once told me that, Satan had made a vow to Allah SWT that it will strive to lead human astray until Judgment day. By having a tiny speck of arrogance in my heart, it means  that satan had succeeded in leading me astray. OMG!!!!! Noooo……ain’t happening!!!

. So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them: Except Iblis (Satan) he was proud and was one of the disbelievers. (Allah) said: "O Iblis (Satan)! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with Both My Hands. Are you too proud (to fall prostrate to Adam) or are you one of the high exalted?. [Iblis (Satan)] said: "I am better than he, You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.. (Allah) said: "Then get out from here, for verily, you are outcast.  "And verily!, My Curse is on you till the Day of Recompense." [Iblis (Satan)] said: "My Lord! Give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are resurrected." (Allah) said: "Verily! You are of those allowed respite"Till the Day of the time appointed." [Iblis (Satan)] said: "By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, "Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism)."
Surah Saad 38:73-83

So now, I keep telling myself to stop being judgmental because, being judgmental is also being arrogant. Appearance is not everything as it can also be deceiving. Have you heard of the phrase “A wolf in a sheep’s skin?” Well that, in my opinion, aptly describes  about ‘appearance’…..

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