بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ
قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
ثم الصلاه و السلام علی محمد عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون
اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
Twenty-Fourth Virtue: Avoiding from Pride
لَا يَرْضَوْنَ مِنْ أَعْمَالِهِمُ الْقَلِيلَ وَ لَا يَسْتَكْثِرُونَ الْكَثِيرَ، فَهُمْ لِأَنْفُسِهِمْ مُتَّهِمُونَ وَ مِنْ أَعْمَالِهِمْ مُشْفِقُونَ
They are not pleased with the small deeds, and do not exaggerate their many deeds, but constantly accuse themselves (because of failure), and worry about their deeds.
The people of piety are far from their vanity and pride. Every good deed they do is on the way of taking care of their self that it does not bring pride for them. They do not feel satisfied with their small acts of kindness, and their seemingly great deeds are also negligible by their self.
Factors that create and reinforce pride
1.Those who do good deeds are more prone to pride than others. The notion that they are doing good things that others do not do will create pride and bigotry in their hearts. Worrying about this is so damaging to the lives of believers and pious, that they ask blessing of God for a cure. Imam Sajjad (peace be upon him) asks God to make his good deeds small in his eye and his bad deeds great:
God bless Muhammad and his family, and adorn me with the righteous, and cover me with the ornament of the virtuous: In spreading justice, and swallowing up anger, … and saying the word of truth, though burdensome and expensive. And the triviality of goodness in my speech and demeanor even it is to much, and the great number of evil in my speech and demeanor though it is slight.
2. It is natural for a person with a positive personality traits, to be kind to others, respect people’s rights, avoid sin, avoid lying and absenteeism, and is a worshiper, trustworthy and so on… People in the community magnify such a person, respect him, honor him everywhere, and … and all of this reinforces his self-esteem and brings pride in such a person. Imam Sajjad again seeks god’s blessing and asks to God:
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَی مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ، وَ لَا تَرْفَعْنِی فِی النَّاسِ دَرَجَةً إِلَّا حَطَطْتَنِی عِنْدَ نَفْسِی مِثْلَهَا، وَ لَا تُحْدِثْ لِیعِزّاً ظَاهِراً إِلَّا أَحْدَثْتَ لِی ذِلَّةً بَاطِنَةً عِنْدَ نَفْسِی بِقَدَرِهَا( صحیفه سجادیه، دعای مکارم الاخلاق)
O God, bless Muhammad and his family , And do not raise me up to the people unless you bring me down as low as you can, and do not give me a clear honor unless you lower me as much within me.
3. Letting go of the wrongs and sins that come from the righteous, and being ignorant of the good they have done, reinforces their sense of bigotry and pride in them. In the eyes of the virtuous, a sin, however small it may seem, is because of the disobedience of the Great God, is great and cannot be counted down as a small one, but also not counting small sins may leads to daring to commit bigger sins. Amir al-mumenin says:
أَشَدُّ الذُّنُوبِ مَا اسْتَخَفَّ بِهِ صَاحِبُهُ (نهج البلاغه، حکمت474ـ)
The greatest sin is a sin that the sinner despises it.
That’s why Amir al-Muminin mentions in the sermon of righteous, about the virtues of people of piety that:
فَهُمْ لِأَنْفُسِهِمْ مُتَّهِمُونَ وَ مِنْ أَعْمَالِهِمْ مُشْفِقُونَ
The risk of ego
The enormous danger of self-esteem and pride for the virtuous is their fall from the great rank of closeness to God.
There are many people in history who have reached high spiritual and divine positions, but they have fallen into sins because of the devil, That deceives everyone according to their status and position. And then they fall and go astray.
The Holy Quran says:
وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ الَّذِي آتَيْنَاهُ آيَاتِنَا فَانْسَلَخَ مِنْهَا فَأَتْبَعَهُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ ﴿اعراف:۱۷۵
And relate to them the story of him to whom We delivered Our signs, but he detached himself from them, so Satan went after him, and he became one of the perverts.
And in the narration attributed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) it is stated that:
هَلَكَ النَّاسُ اِلاَّ الْعاَلِمُونَ، وَهَلَكَ الْعَالِمُونَ اِلاَّ الْعَامِلوُنَ، وَهَلَكَ الْعَامِلُونَ اِلاَّ الْمُخْلِصُونَ، وَالْمُخْلِصُونَ عَلٰى خَطَرٍ عَظِيمٍ؛
All people perish except the Scientists, and all the Scientists perish except those who practice their science, and all those who practice their science perish except the sincere, and the sincere are at a great risk.
A way to approach God that is better than doing good deeds
Doing good is a way to get close to God, but there is also another way to get close to God, one that is quicker and more secure and far from the danger of pride. The Prophet said:
یَا عَلی! إذَا تَقَرَّبَ النّاسُ إلَی خَالِقِهِمْ بِأنْوَاعِ البِرِّ فَتَقَرَّبْ أنْتَ إلَیْهِ بِالعَقْلِ حَتّی تَسْبِقَهُمْ ( الوافی ج۱)
O Ali! When people approach to their Creator with some kind of goodness, you come up with wisdom, and with that wisdom you will overcome to them.