Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam
03 Feb 2022
Respect and Value Others to Avoid Falling Into The Selfishness Trap
1. Selfishness is a disease that drives a man to the verge of disaster, causing him to destroy both his world and his afterlife.
2. When a person's mind is firmly convinced that he is superior to others, he becomes a victim of selfishness and arrogance, despising, and hating others.
3. The Quran gives the warning to recall your reality and avoid falling into the trap of selfishness.
4. Responding to people's needs and treating them with kindness are examples of behaviour that help people avoid becoming selfish.
Allah Almighty put the human soul to the test by giving it a tendency for selfishness. Unless someone lives by the moral standards of the Qur'an and tames his earthly desires, this feeling will come to govern his entire moral framework. This type of person is more preoccupied with themselves than with others. He is continually seeking the best, finest, and most faultless of everything for himself. He merely wants material possessions and children, as well as a happy life for his own family. In the face of difficulty, he will urge everyone around him to risk and solve any problem for him, even if it means sacrificing their own interests. He's worried about protecting his own whims and interests, as well as his own ease and pleasure.
Selfishness is a disease that drives a man to the verge of disaster, causing him to destroy both his world and his afterlife. Man becomes content with his nafs when he is selfish, and as a result of his satisfaction with himself, he develops many flaws and ailments. A person usually becomes selfish as a result of his activities. He believes that his willpower is involved in carrying out this activity. That is to say, he attributes all positive things to himself, which is simply ignorance. He forgets that not even a single leaf of a tree can be moved without Allah's will in this cosmos.
We rely on Allah so much that we can't even breathe without His permission. A person can be affected by selfishness because of his attractiveness, strength, intellect, and intelligence. When a person's mind is firmly convinced that he is better than others, that he is superior, he becomes a victim of selfishness and becomes arrogant, despising, and hating others. Such a person is mentally unsatisfied and quickly descends into depression. If viewed from a worldly perspective, selfishness causes a person to see others as inferior to himself and himself as superior to others. Selfishness in religious things has much more severe consequences.
Not only does such a person believe himself to be superior to others, but he also becomes a hypocrite. He begins to credit himself with all of his good fortunes. The drawback is that man, fooled by his own desires, forgets his misdeeds and conducts acts of worship as though he is doing Allah a favour. He then forgets Allah's blessings, which include the power of worship that Allah has bestowed upon him.
Allah says in the Quran, “Those who avoid the cardinal sins and lewdness, except that they approached it and refrained; indeed your Lord’s mercy is limitless; He knows you very well – since He has created you from clay, and when you were foetuses in your mothers’ wombs; therefore do not, on your own, claim yourselves to be clean; He well knows who are pious.” (53:52)
This verse advises you to praise and thank Allah instead of thinking of yourself as virtuous and pious if you accomplish anything good. There's also a warning to recall your reality and avoid falling into the trap of selfishness to the point of despising others. Believers should be aware that Allah can see the true reality of their lives and the lives of others.
Islam cultivates a love of Allah, which is the only way to break the habit of selfishness and acquire characteristics such as compassion, mercy, kindness, helpfulness, and selflessness, which are at the heart of Quranic moral principles.
People who fear and love Allah are able to surrender to Him, see the best in everything, and have compassion. Allah displays His love for believers who have a selfless attitude and look after others in the following verses.
“They fulfil their pledges and fear a day the evil of which is widespread. And out of His love, they give food to the needy, the orphan and the prisoner. They say to them, “We give you food, only for the sake of Allah – we do not seek any reward or thanks from you.”Indeed we fear from our Lord a day which is extremely bitter, most severe.” So Allah saved them from the evil of that day, and gave them freshness and joy, and gave them Paradise and silk clothes, as a reward for their patience.” (The Quran, 76:7-12)
Of course, this may need people to give up things they enjoy or sacrifice their personal comfort. The ethical ideals of the Qur'an confer moral attributes on Muslims who aim to safeguard and watch over the poor by providing alms, helping individuals in need by cancelling debts and spending their wealth on Allah's cause rather than acquiring and hoarding them.
Responding to people's needs and treating them with kindness are examples of behaviour that help people avoid becoming selfish. Cruelty and selfishness can be eradicated by empathising with others, showing kindness to those in need, and treating others with respect and love. The following verses demonstrate that the reward for good behaviour is found in Allah's presence:
“Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him. Be good to your parents and relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to neighbours who are related to you and neighbours who are not related to you, and to companions and travellers and your slaves. Allah does not love anyone vain or boastful.” (Qur’an, 4:36)
The egotistical individual becomes consumed with self-praise. He views his opinion to be definitive due to selfishness, and he does not seek counsel from others. To put it another way, selfishness is a terrible disease that has resulted in several disasters and calamities. We should all keep our egos in control. If any sort of selfishness is discovered, we should seek treatment from a reformer as soon as practicable, because sorrow will be invaluable on the Day of Judgment. We should strive for self-improvement today and work hard because every soul will have to face death at some point.
The teachings of Islam encourage us to be modest and unselfish toward others, and this is the most reliable way to bring harmony to society. Obviously, a person who practises humility and modesty will not contract the disease of selfishness. Unwanted remarks and nonsense will have no effect on him. Similarly, a person who values others, respects others, and takes care of others will naturally be free of the disease of selfishness, and good deeds will follow.
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