By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
April 5, 2019
Superiority complex is present in everyone,
in varying degrees. This gives one courage and confidence. If a person has no
ego, he will be deprived of self-confidence and in the absence of
self-confidence no one can perform any great task. But it is necessary that
one’s feelings of self-confidence or superiority complex should be bound by
limitations, that is, it should be reined in by the feeling of modesty.
In the absence of such pressure, a person
will lose his utility and his viability in social life. He will suffer from Ahankar,
excessive pride. And without doubt, there is nothing more destructive than
excessive pride in this world.
There are two things in this world which
make a person modest. One is a scientific bent of mind, the other, is his being
God-fearing. A scientific bent of mind results from the realisation of
knowledge. And a God-fearing mind is the result of the discovery and realisation
When excessive pride builds up in a person,
it could be because he sees himself in relation to others, and since there are
many people he finds less accomplished than himself, the feeling of ego or his
appreciation of his own greatness begins to grow. But one who has a scientific
bent of mind in the real sense, sees himself and his issues in relation to
knowledge rather than in relation to the person who has knowledge.
A person can be limited, but knowledge is
unlimited. In relation to the person who has knowledge, one can think of
oneself as greater than others but in relation to the vaster world of
knowledge, everyone is less in stature. This feeling naturally produces modesty
in a scientific or learned person.
Similarly, one who has fear of God will see
his affairs in relation to God, the Almighty. When one sees oneself in relation
to God, everyone becomes small, in relation to God. No one is great. In this
way the belief of a God-fearing man makes him a balanced person. The spirit of
Islam may be called the Allahu Akbar spirit. The expression Allahu Akbar is
repeated several times during prayer, called namaz.
Allahu Akbar means God is great. It implies
that ‘I am not great’. In this way, every day, all believers refresh their
minds repeatedly with the idea that greatness pertains only to God: there is no
greatness for them. Congregational prayer is a practical demonstration of this
reality. In congregational prayer, all believers make one person a prayer
leader and the rest stand behind him. This is a social form of expression of
the Allahu Akbar spirit.
The purpose of saying Allahu Akbar is to
develop the spirit of modesty. When the spirit of modesty develops in a person
in the real sense, it does not stop at any point: just as this spirit manifests
itself before God during prayer, it manifests itself in like manner in relation
to other human beings. The spirit of modesty becomes part and parcel of his
Those who are imbued with this spirit will
never display egoism or pride. They will never distance themselves from others
on minor provocations. Working under others will appear to them as an act of
worship. Their spirit will find happiness in surrender and modesty rather than
in making others surrender to them. They will accept their mistakes. They will
be totally free from any desire for leadership.