Thursday, 3 November 2011

Sijjin: Reward for Those Who Boasts

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

We had just came across the word سجين sijjin in surat al-Fiil which talks about Abrahah and Elephant armies. What is more important in the surah? Is it the history of Abrahah to be proven right or wrong or is it for fun where we could laugh to Abrahah? Is it for us to curse Abrahah after his misfortune? Or is it the moral teachings that we should absorb from what had been told?

For a believer and faithful Muslim, Quran is not a book of history! We do not treat Quran as history books, scientific books, and etc! We treat it as His Word where moral teachings and conducts being taught by the God to His servants as the sign of His Mercy and Love to the universe.

According to the Qudsi Hadith it was narrated that Muhammad s.a.w had passing the word of the God through Archangel Gabriel which says: "When a servant of the God is arrogant in claiming merits of his practices in the hereafter, the God will answer them: 'Didn't I had made wide (easy) for you, your position and rank in the ceremony of teaching lessons? Didn't I made you a leader of the world? Didn't I made easy for you, your business? Didn't you being respected in the world?!'

The hadith implies that a boasting person will never get any special treatment in the world nor in the hereafter. The Arabic term for this evil characteristic is رياء riyaa'. As what had been mentioned in the glorious Quran about Abrahah. Although he had build up a church which is a religious matter and a meritorious deeds but he didn't build it because of Him. He build it because he wanted to the people to acknowledge on how powerful he was in making the people turning to the church build by him. He had to bear humiliation while in the world where he died once he arrived in Sana'a. The madzmumah characteristics which is boasting had made all the meritorious deeds being wiped away.

What I would like to also emphasize in this post to missionaries no matter of Christian faith or of Islamic path and it of course include myself though I am not a missionary... When we perform the evangelical work or da'awa, had we really asked our heart? What exactly is our intention? We want for example a Muslim to be an apostate just to satisfy our heart because we could make he or she turn away from their religion solely because of the God or simply to prove and boast around that our path is true and could not be defeated? The same goes to Muslim and Jews and everyone who call themselves human with the faith toward the God...

The point is where is our sincerity because of the God when we did such an act? Many people looks like devoting themselves to the God and they look down to others as if others are ungodly but who we are to determine everyone's fate in the end? We read many stories from Bible or from Quran. But what had we learned? Is it only history part like what is shown in National Geography and some discussion by "scholars" or "historians" or "archeologists"? About radiocarbon tests? Are these things making a human behaving like a human-being? Or is it morality teaching passed by the God through His prophets and messengers by revelation?

In other hadiths, Muhammad s.a.w mentioned: "Indeed the paradise is talking. "Says paradise: "I am illegal for those who are skinny, a boast, slanderer and spite."

Scholars of Islam had divided arrogance into two which are the peculiar boasting and mixed boasting. Perhaps everyone including myself, pastors, evangelists around the world could also take this with consideration and by heart even if we consider each other as infidels : )

Peculiar Boasting 

It refers to someone who intended to get worldly benefits from his or her practices.

Mixed Boasting

Refers to a person who does everything with the intention to get benefits of world and hereafter. How many God that we want to serve and asking for benefit? LOL

Scholars also explained that there is no specific measurement for merit being decreased because of boasting. On the other hand, certain thing is that meritorious deeds could be decreased or rejected because of boasting. The reward for those who have this characteristic is being cast down into the Sijjin as what had been mentioned by a hadith which means: 

"When angels bringing the record of servants to the heavens with happiness, but the God suddenly says: 'Cast those practices into the Sijjin. The person is not performing those practices because of Me but for others.'"

In other narrations, it has been explained that during the Resurrection, there will be a calling which every creatures could listen to it... It sounds: "Hey you who worship human-being! Stand up! Take back all of the merits from what you did because of them. I refuse to accept anything associated with others (those who did that are polytheists!)."

Imam al-Ghazali said in the Ihyaa' Ulumuddin explained that a boast who will be rewarded with the consequences are those who boast in the meaning of the most evil boast. The person who boast are hypocrites showing that he or she is a faithful person and claimed that they are the believer of only the God orally or verbally, but the fact is that they actually never believe in Him nor even fear His torments. This characteristic is classified as a kind of hypocrisy. The boast of hypocrites will be rewarded the same as those who are stingy. It means that the person is stingy in the testament toward the God and His prophets and messengers.

This characteristic also contains a light polytheism in which if we keep it and exhibits it before the God, it will be worse and leading to greater polytheism, associating the God with others. Imam al-Ghazali further mentions, those who are still clinging to this characteristic will be dumped with evil consequences and will be classified as ingrates (infidels). If it still happens, a person then has no right to receive peaceful paradise or even smell the paradise. Muhammad s.a.w advised the nations of the period of the end, not to mention our own goodness or our people or our family because it could lead us to boasting and showing off. When a person boasts, it will lead to other soul diseases such as feeling surprised of ourselves or proud of our self. Then we begin to look down to others and we have 'supremacy' thoughts.

So, every believers must also realize that every good deed being performed actually comes from the God as He is the Creator Who decides the journey of servants in the life. Although we are encouraged to perform charity, we are reminded to avoid from polluting it with boasting. A person who is grateful to the God are actually a person who strive for goodness and charity while those who boast to others always think that they are better than others

Scholars had suggested that only sincerity could kill boasting characteristic in one self. As what had been mentioned by the God recorded in the glorious Quran: "And they are commanded to worship (serve) the God and sincere for Him in religion which is straight and to perform prayers and (serving the poor with) tithe. And that is the precious law (religion)." (Surah al-Bayyinah verse 5) 

The God further says which means: "Indeed We revealed to you the scripture (Quran) with truth, thus worship the God and purify obedience only for Him! 2 Remember that, pure (of polytheism) is the religion (and law) of the God. Whoever takes other than that and says: 'We are not worshiping them but only hoping for them to make us closer to the God.' Despite, the God will decide among them on what they had problematized. Indeed the God never guides those who are lying and not grateful 3." (Surah al-Zumar)

I wish that this is not only a good lesson for myself but for others no matter of what religion we are. Because each time we always see people who claim themselves as zealots and we could see people chopping each others head, attacking here and there not only in the real world but also in the net. So, what kind of characteristics that lead people to this? Then ask ourselves are we really monotheists who believe solely in the God? This is the core of Islamic Creed... The Creed toward the God which leads us to morality and civilized human-being. 

Our Lord please be in contact with noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w and his family as You had been in contact with our patriarch Abraham a.s and his family. Dear Lord, please bless noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w and his family as You had blessed our patriarch Abraham a.s and his family. In the universe, only You dear the God who worth the Praise and Glory. Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!

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