here comes a time in a person’s life when
he or she gets a glimpse of being at the
pinnacle of life. When that happens, we
tend to forget our meek beginning and our
Imagine, for an instance, that you write to the
President of Pakistan with a proposal for a
way out of our energy crisis. Out of the many
letters that the President receives, he chances
to personally read yours. He looks throughyour plan and, being in a good mood thatday, actually decides that he likes the plan.The President then calls a meeting with hisassociates and puts the plan into action. Oneof two things can happen next.The ﬁrst thing that can happen is that your
proposed plan works out well and the nation’s
energy crisis is solved. The second thing thatcan happen is that your plan fails miserablyand the nation remains lost in its energy
woes—the consequences of which we will not
bother discussing.If the plan turns out to be sound, then you canbe appreciated one of two ways. First, thePresident comes on TV and addresses thewhole nation about the success of a new plan
that was initiated under his direction and whichsaved the nation. In this speech, the presidenttells the nation that it was the concern of the citizens for the nation, after his concern,which pulled the nation out of the crisis. Then
he says, “One such citizen who was a greatpromoter of this new plan is—.” Your name isnow known all across the nation and you areconsidered a great person. You are thankedimmensely. However, there is another endingto this story that is equally as likely to take
Your plan is great and turns out to beinstrumental in catapulting the nation out of theenergy crisis. The President announces your plan to the nation, calling it, “The President’sEnergy Plan.” After the plan has progressedpositively, the President comes on TV to
address the nation. He thanks all the citizens
for their patience through the times of difﬁculty.
He tells them that their concern for the nation
and cooperation with the government has paidoff. The President talks at length about how theplan is wonderful in many aspects and how itwill work to keep the nation away from trouble.He tells the nation what steps are being takento ensure that the plan works and is properlycarried out. He goes on and on and then ﬁnallyends his speech with, “Pakistan, Zindabad!”There is no mention of you; there is not even ahint about you in the speech; there is not evena slight, “Thank you.”You will probably think to yourself, “What anungrateful fool this president is! I spent hoursupon hours of sleepless nights molding andshaping this plan, and this man sits in front
4th year MBBS student at Shifa College of Medicine
of the cameras self-claiming everything. Hedidn’t even bother expressing gratitude to mefor writing to him. He could have at least said,‘I thank all those who have been writing to meabout ways in which they wanted to help thisnation.’ What does he care about this nation?”
If we ever fall into such a situation we are
bound to jump with joy in the ﬁrst scenario andboil with anger in the second. In either case,thoughts like, “
saved the nation from the
was willing enough to sacriﬁcemy sleep to work out this plan.
was the onewho wrote to the President.
should get credit
work,” might begin to creep into our
We forget however, that it
who made the
President read the letter; it
who allowed the
President to be in a goodmood at that time; it was
who made the plan
actually work in the end;
who chosewhether the Presidentwould appreciate me or not.
There are so many things
in this world that are not
under our control, and yetwhen we are given authority,power, or acclaim we think it is because of our doing. One word can describe this feelingadequately—arrogance.Arrogance was the ﬁrst sin ever committed,even before the well-known murder of the sonof Adam (AS). One has to wonder,
a sin? If it was the ﬁrst one committed, then it
should be inherently a part of us.
That is where
our thinking goes wrong. Yes, arrogance is asin, but just because it was the ﬁrst sin to becommitted doesn’t mean it is inherently a partof us. In fact, we should completely abhor thissin if we consider what should or should not be
a part of our inherent nature.
The sin of arrogance, the ﬁrst sin to becommitted, was committed by Shaytan (Satanor the Devil). It was committed in regard to our father, Adam (AS). When our Creator, Allah,told all the angles to bow down in front of Adam (AS), all the angels obeyed. Iblees, whowas not an angel but was ranked among thembecause of his worship of Allah, refused to bowto Adam (AS),
“And (remember) when We said to theangels: ‘Prostrate to Adam.’ So they prostrated except Iblîs(Satan). He was one of the jinns; he disobeyed theCommand of his Lord.” (18:50)
How could someone be so
close to the All Powerful,
Allah, and yet blatantlydisobey His commands?The Most Wise, Allah did
not leave this question to
ﬂoat around in our mindsunanswered. In Suratul-‘Araaf, Allah (SWT) tells us,
“(Allâh) said: ‘What prevented you (O Iblîs)that you did not prostrate,when I commanded you?’ Iblîs said: ‘I ambetter than him (Adam). You created me
from ﬁre, and him You created from clay.’”
This caused Shaytan to be cast out of Jannah(heaven) and to be dejected for all eternity.His arrogance, however, completely cloudedhis judgment and instead of seeking theforgiveness of the Most Merciful, Allah, hebegged Allah for respite so that he coulddedicate all the time till the Day of Reckoningto mislead Adam (AS) and all his offspring,including us:
was the ﬁrst sin ever com-
mitted, even before the well-known murder of the son of Adam (AS).