Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Causes, Types & Effects of Kibr (Pride & Arrogance) in one's life

What is Kibr?

Kibr is the name of a psychic state in which a person feels a sense of superiority and behaves high-handedly with others. Its signs are discernible in his actions and its symptoms are clearly noticed by others by which they know that he is proud.

Kibr is something different from ‘ujb, but is the offspring and fruit of the tree of ‘ujb. ‘Ujb consists of self-love and conceit, and the meaning of kibr is to consider oneself superior to others.

When someone perceives a merit in himself and is overcome by a sense of pleasure, exultation, and vanity, that state is called ‘ujb.

And when he considers others to be lacking in the imagined merit within himself, he perceives himself to be superior. This perception of superiority and supremacy over others causes in him a state of vanity, which is pride. Kibr, in this sense, is an inner state, and when its effects are reflected in his behavior and his speech, it is called takabbur.

 In short, the self-indulgent person becomes self-seeking, and his self seeking tendency grows into self-love, and when this self-love is filled to the brim it manifests itself as haughtiness and high-handed treatment of others.

The Causes and Types Of Kibr:

Arrogance of the possessor of some excellence:
There are various causes of kibr, but all of them derive from the delusion, which occurs when men imagine themselves to possess some kind of excellence. This illusion leads to ‘ujb (self-praise), which, blending with self-love, conceals others’ merits and virtues from their eyes. When that happens, the afflicted individual believes others to be inferior to himself and begins to cherish a feeling of self-esteem in his heart, as well as manifesting a similar demeanor.

There are some other causes of Kibr such as narrow-mindedness, lack of capacity, petty-mindedness, baseness, and lack of fortitude.

Arrogance of the Small and Petty:
Being a person with a narrow mentality, as soon as he beholds any merit in himself he imagines himself to enjoy a kind of superiority. He thinks he has acquired a high station, whereas, if he justly evaluates it and judges his accomplishments and merits, he would see that what he imagined to be perfection and is so proud of is not at all an accomplishment or merit, and even if it were a merit how insignificant it was when compared to others’ accomplishments.

Arrogance of the deprived one (due to jealousy):
Sometimes it happens that a person who lacks a certain merit is proud towards the possessor of that merit, such as when a poor person is proud towards a rich one or when an ignorant one is proud towards a learned person. It should be remembered that in the same way as ‘ujb is sometimes the source of pride, jealousy (hasad) may also be the source of pride. One may perceive himself as lacking in a certain merit, which is present in another; then he becomes jealous of him and this serves as the cause of pride towards the other person, whom he tries to insult in all possible ways.

Arrogance of the possessors of Dunya:
Yet the meanest among the arrogant is the person who is proud of outward (material) matters like wealth, position, family and descent. This poor fellow is far from all human excellences and moral sense; his hands are empty of all learning and knowledge; but since his clothes are made of sheep’s wool, or since his father is somebody, he is arrogant with the people. What a petty mind and a dark and narrow heart it is that leaves all accomplishments and perfections to be content with the niceties of a robe and hat! For his 'beautiful'  dress and shoes, he has given up all other beauties of character and soul.


Spiritual And Social Harms Of Pride

Whereas there are many vices inherent in pride itself, it generates many other vices as well. It prevents men from acquiring inward and outward merits and from enjoying the blessings of this world and the Hereafter. It's Spiritual harm is such that the scholars state that Kibr is the root cause of almost all the other known spiritual diseases.

In the social realm, it causes hatred and rancor in human hearts, disgraces man in the eyes of his fellow human beings, and brings about humiliation for him. It forces other people to retaliate against him and despise him and insult him.

The harms on one's life can be summarized as:

• Arrogance causes constant apprehension.

• Reasoning becomes flawed, leading to bad judgments and injustice in dealings.

• Arrogance gives one an impression of superiority over others and presumptuous claims making him ill-mannered.

• Self-deception.

• Tension and stress.
• Arguments and Fights amongst families and friends leading to Destruction of relationships, marital discord and Loss of good friends.
• Hard-heartedness and selfishness.

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