Bismillahirrahmannirrahim. Assalamualaikum w.b.t
Ego & Pride. Vanity and Show. These are one of my many personal jihad* . So, what kind of ego am I struggling against exactly?
[Jihad: inner struggle of the soul, which everyone wages against egotistic desires for the sake of attaining inner peace.]
Reading articles and collecting ayah in the Quran and hadith just so you can use them to appear smarter when arguing with your friends, family members or strangers on the internet.
Refusing to reflect your attitudes and admit mistakes - that's ego
The tendency to find flaws in others i.e. finding faults in how other people dress, their words and actions. Then, think to yourself, "Ah, see, I'm way better than those people,"
But it wasn't easy at first to suppress my ego, I tried and I tried but somehow I just kept coming back with nothing. And then, i realized why. It was because I forgot to ask for my Creator's help in suppressing my ego and vanity! That was problem and once I fixed that, I hit the ground running.
"O Allah! I seek refuge in You from vanity and show. O Allah! Guide me to the best of deeds and the best of morals, as none can guide to the best except You, and save me from bad deeds, as none can save me from what is bad except You."
You see, we are just humans - weak and helpless. There's only so much you can do but without our Creator's help and blessings, nothing will get done. If we forgot or to proud to ask for his help, who other than Allah, the Mighty can help us?
I think this short reminder by Mehrab Reza on ego and pride will make us extra vigilant in fighting these characteristics that shaytan love:
The aim of this message is to remind myself on the importance of suppressing the ego. The gravity of this subject is paramount since Allah's Messenger (pbuh) has stated that, whoever has an ounce of pride in his heart can never enter Paradise. [Muslim & Tirmidhi]
Among many reasons, the particular cause for egotism I want to focus on is having the tendency to frequently find flaws in others. We should remind ourselves how Iblis became the greatest enemy of Allah. It was due to the fact that he perceived a defect in Adam (pbuh), which led Iblis to elevate himself above another creation.
The mere fact that we are able to easily identify defects in others displays our own insecurities and shortcomings. Instead, we should immediately remind our eyes that others have eyes also. And they too can see our faults. And others also have tongues, which can also broadcast our defects. This is why Imam Ash-Shafi'i said, "Be hard on yourself, and easy on others."
Harboring praise for our own self will never elevate our status in this world. In fact, we will only be belittling ourselves. Imam Ali (radiAllahu anhu) said "The greatest from mankind is Abu-Bakr, then Umar, and then Uthman, and I am just an average Muslim." It was his sincere humility and awareness of his nafs that elevated him to the great status he has. Who will ever come after Imam Ali that can even come close to his prestige? None.
There's good reason for Allah to hate this characteristic in His slaves. Arrogance is fraternity that can only have one member, for arrogant people cannot even endure others who are also arrogant. This is truly one of the most despicable characteristics.
May Allah give us increased morality in our hearts. May He make us lights putting out darkness and not darkness putting out light, or darkness confronting darkness.
If it benefits you.