For the 29/30 days of Ramadan I’ve challenged myself to write my daily reflections and share them via Haya wa Iman. Insha’Allah they are words of benefit.
This week my heart has been heavy.
In a conversation about the Charleston shooting, I was told in that question mark way, “this must be particularly upsetting for you. (?)” I’m Black. I study religion. So, maybe. But shouldn’t this be “particularly upsetting” for everyone?
I was listening to (obviously, on my commute to work where I do all things) The Beginning and the End, a production of Bayyinah Institute, hosted by Omar Suleiman and the episode “Limitations” hit on what I’ve been feeling.
During the episode he focuses on khibr, pride—recognizing or not recognizing our limitations as that which has been created. He relays the hadith:
No one of you will enter paradise who has an atom’s worth of (khibr) pride. The companions ask: “What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes?” So he replied: “Indeed Allaah is beautiful and loves beauty. Khibr (pride) is to reject the truth, and to despise the people.”
I want to focus on the second—degrading in both speech and action, mocking.
Omar Suleiman offers commentary on this aspect of khibr:
When we have khibr we think that we are greater than what we actually are. When we overestimate ourselves, we naturally underestimate Allah. And that’s the crime on the Day of Judgement. They did not give Allah his due estimation.
Man, who do we think are? These clots that have been fashioned into human beings—to think that we command some sort of charge, a level of dominance, over another. Operating as though we control the course of human life. We all started from the bottom and now we’re here: measuring the value of human life.
So, yah I guess I am “particularly” upset.