Article appeared Friday, July 5th, 2013 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (285)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Is showing arrogance a sin? Before we look for an answer to this question, it may be useful to look at the definition of arrogance. The WordWeb dictionary gives the definition as an “overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner…” while the Merriam-Webster dictionary gives a simplified definition as “a sense of one's own importance that shows itself in a proud and insulting way” {1}. Comparing these two definitions, could we say that arrogance is a sense that says, “I am better or superior than others”? And that the arrogant person demonstrates this feeling through his/her day-to-day dealings with those around him/her? In the rush to demonstrate superiority, is it possible for an arrogant person to feel that the Creator is of little or no importance? Illogical as it may sound, but is it possible for a human being to feel superior to God? Can we look up the Bible to find out how this particular feeling is reflected? “In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” [Psalm 10:4, NIV] {2} What does having no room for God mean? Can it be that the arrogant person is too busy establishing self-importance in his/her thoughts that there is no time for thinking about God and thanking Him for the blessings of life that He has bestowed? A person who finds no time for God is therefore called wicked by the Bible. Can the opposite logic be true? That is, can a person who has no time for the Creator be classified as arrogant or wicked? Without taking the time and trouble to find out who God is, would such people want to create gods or idols for their convenience to prove their “religious” superiority over others? Alternatively, without giving adequate time to study the scriptures, do such people presume to know what religion is? To help us understand the illogical basis of such inventions, in the most recent Revelation, the Qur’an, the Creator enjoins the prophet to announce, “Say: "O men! If you are in doubt as to my religion (behold!) I worship not what you worship other than Allah but I worship Allah Who will take your souls (at death): I am commanded to be (in the ranks) of the Believers.” [10.104] Who is it that will take our souls at the time of death? Can the feeling of superiority prevent death or protect us from what may happen after death? Also, should we presume to know what the soul is or what will happen after death without in-depth study and contemplation? The Bible points out, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” [Proverbs, 11:4, NIV] {3} It is the humble person that wants to know who the Creator is and the purpose for which He has made each individual soul. The Qur’an says in this connection: “Those to whom We have sent the book study it as it should be studied; they are the ones that believe therein; those who reject faith therein the loss is their own.” [2.121] To gain knowledge and wisdom, the scriptures should be studied in-depth while contemplating on the Guidance given as, “…We have explained to man in this Qur'an every kind of similitude: yet a large part of men refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude!” [17.89] The purpose of scriptures Revealed by the Creator is to help human beings understand the purpose of life given by Him. They explain and answer all the questions we may have about life and the Creator. Of course, the primary question is, would our pride permit us to ask questions

about life and our purpose? The Qur’an is not the first Revelation. It however confirms and reminds about previous Revelations. “O Children of Israel! Call to mind the special favor which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to all others (for broadcasting my message).” [2.122] Any Verse Revealed is a Sign from the Creator. Through the ages, the Creator selected individuals or groups of people to deliver His Messages or His Signs to the rest of mankind. What are these messages? The following Verses are examples of the Creator’s Signs.

7.146 “Those who behave arrogantly on the earth in defiance of right them will I turn away from My Signs they will not believe in them; and if they see the way of right conduct they will not adopt it as the way; but if they see the way of error that is the way they will adopt; for they rejected Our Signs and failed to take warning from them.”
It is the Creator’s right to be acknowledged and adored as the Owner and Originator of life and every blessing.

7.147 “Those who reject Our Signs and the meeting in the Hereafter vain are their deeds: can they expect to be rewarded except as they have wrought?”
All scriptures talk about the Hereafter being a reward for those who are righteous.

7.148 “The people of Moses made in his absence out of their ornaments the image of a calf (for worship): it seemed to low: did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor show them the way? They took it for worship and they did wrong.”
Would the calf take our souls at death?

7.149 “When they repented and saw that they had erred they said: "If our Lord have not mercy upon us and forgive us we shall indeed be of those who perish."” 7.150 “When Moses came back to his people angry and grieved he said: "Evil it is that you have done in my absence: did you make haste to bring on the Judgment of your Lord?" He put down the tablets, seized his brother by (the hair of) his head and dragged him. Aaron said: "Son of my mother! The people did indeed reckon me as naught and went near to slaying me! Make not the enemies rejoice over my misfortune nor count me amongst the people of sin."” 7.151 “Moses prayed: "O my Lord! Forgive me and my brother! Admit us to Your Mercy! For You are the Most Merciful among those who show mercy!"” 7.152 “Those who took the calf (for worship) will indeed be overwhelmed with wrath from their Lord and with shame in this life: thus do We recompense those who invent falsehoods.” 7.153 “Those who do wrong but repent thereafter while (truly) believing verily Your Lord is thereafter Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.”
------{Notes}: {1} http://www.wordcentral.com/cgi-bin/student?book=Student&va=arrogance {2} http://biblehub.com/psalms/10-4.htm {3} http://biblehub.com/proverbs/11-2.htm

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