Pride is found in the most vicious of human beings, Imam Khomeini explained

Pride is found in the most vicious of human beings, Imam Khomeini explained

Imam through his theological works says 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.

Imamexplains the matter through his famous work "an exposition on Forty Hadith" as following: 

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.

In al-Kafi it has been reported from Imam al-Sadiq (A) that he said, “Pride is found in the most vicious of human beings, to whatever kind they may belong.” Then he added: “Once the Prophet (S) was passing through one of the lanes of al-Madinah where a negress was gathering dung. She was told to move aside and allow the Prophet (S) to pass. She answered that the passage was wide enough. One of the persons who accompanied the Prophet (S) tried to threaten her, but the Prophet (S) prevented him from doing so, saying: Leave her alone, she is a proud woman.”

Sometimes this vicious habit is seen among some scholars, who make an excuse that to act with humility with the wealthy is not a virtue.

Their vicious self makes them believe that modesty with the rich weakens faith.

The poor fellow cannot differentiate between the humility before wealth and humility towards the rich and others.

It is true that sometimes the vice of love of the world and the ambition for worldly honor and glory makes men to adopt modest and humble behavior. This cannot be counted as modesty; it is flattery, and is reckoned as a moral vice.

The possessor of this trait does not show humbleness to the poor, except when his self-interest requires it or when he uses it as a bait. But it is also true that the virtue of humility of men invites man to act with modesty and humility towards the others, irrespective of whether they are rich or poor, whether of enviable conditions or not. That is, their modesty is sincere and pure. Their souls are clean and unstained by the love for popularity in society and honor, which have no charm for them, Imam further explains. 

This kind of humility and modesty is good with the poor, and it is good with the rich as well.

Everyone should be treated with the respect that is due to him. But this pride and contempt of yours towards the rich and wealthy is not on account of the fact that you are not a sycophant, but it is because you are a jealous person, and you do not understand this.

If the same rich man were unexpectedly to show you respect, you will be humble and modest with him. In any case, the snares and the skilful guiles of the self are so subtle that one cannot do anything except taking refuge in God.

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