Dangers of an Ego

Ego tells us that “we” matter whereas the soul provides us with the reason to live and strive for happiness. Nowadays, ego, arrogance and pride are prevailing characteristics in most of us. The first to ever exercise these characteristics was Iblis and thus if one is being arrogant or egoistic.  Arrogance, pride and ego all have one thing in common, and that is self-importance and self-indulgence. Ego and soul are two of the attributes that comprise the distinction in a particular person. Allah says:

 

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

 

“Remember your Lord in yourselves with humility and in private without announcing it in the mornings and evenings, and do not be among the heedless.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:205)

 

People say that ego is what could destroy our lives in the world. If we have a big ego, then we always feel sufficient about ourselves and never learn anything. Islam never approves of that behaviour. Allah SWT reminds us to stay humble and fight our ego. Allah owns the universe and we are nothing without Him. Allah says:

 

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا

 

“The servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say words of peace.” (Surah Al-Furqān 25:63)

 

Ego is the main obstacle in acquiring good in our lives because it forces us to be selfish and allow us to think for ourselves merely. Islam teaches to be kind to all and sacrifice one’s ego to remain humble as with gross ego, one cannot achieve what Allah and Quran have commanded. Ego and soul are two of the attributes that comprise the distinction in a particular person. Allah says:

 

وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ وَاصْبِرُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

 

“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and (do) not dispute lest you lose courage and (would) depart your strength, and be patient. Indeed, Allah (is) with the patient ones.” (Surah Al-Anfal, 8:47)

 

Ego tells us that “we” matter whereas the soul provides us with the reason to live and strive for happiness. We, humans, are dependent entirely upon our souls because feeding it with the right contents nurture it and in return allows us to do productive deeds. Allah says:

 

Islam encourages Self Respect but orders you to not confuse it with your “Ego”
  1. Ego is nothing more than a part of his structural model
  2. Ego is like a man that in servitude of himself
  3. Ego is like a man that worshiper of himself
  4. Ego may claim dishonour from the world
  5. Ego leads to feelings of powerlessness
  6. Ego leads to feelings of victimisation
  7. Ego is about vanity and pride while 
  8. Ego is opposite the level of faith
  9. Ego feel everything they do is fine
  10. Ego is an executive of the personality
  11. Ego like someone walking behind him
  12. Ego usually speak loudly, are stubborn
  13. Ego has problems creating relationships
  14. Ego behaviour is as old as human nature
  15. Ego is like a man that cares about his public reputation

“Get thee down from this: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures).” (Surah Al-Araf, 13)

 

The basic purpose of creation though is to worship Him but what comes next is to live this life to help the people of Allah and treating them gently. Be kind to your kit and kin as this is what matters in the long run.

 

Sometimes we find it hard to deal with ego, so here are the ways on how to deal with ego in Islam:

  1. Always Remember Allah SWT: Selfish act only to feed your ego is something not only upset people around you but also your Creator, Allah SWT. Keep in mind that Allah will never be happy to hear you boasting about your ego.
  2. Learn to be Uncomfortable with Praise: Praise is the most dangerous food to your ego. If you take it to the heart, your ego can fly you higher and you forget how to step on the ground. Learn to be uncomfortable when you hear people praise you.
  3. Surround Yourself with Good People: You are who your friends are. A human can think so highly of himself only because he is smart and got a brain. He sometimes forgets where all of that cleverness came from and who gave him that brain.
  4. Keep Our Mouth from Saying Unnecessary Words: The source of the sin we commit is none other than our mouth. It was where our biggest sin come from and become the beginning of other sins as well. It’s important to keep our mouth shut from saying unnecessary words.
  5. Remind Ourselves to Stay Humble: Islam is a perfect religion. Muslim is not. Day by day while they still living in this world, Muslims has to learn more and more how to be a good person. We can’t learn anything unless we lower the go and live humbly.
  6. Our Fate is in Allah’s Hand: Human must not forget that the reason why they exist in this world is that Allah wants him to.
  7. Don’t Seek for Perfection: Nothing is perfect in this world except for Allah. But human often forgets this and the seek for perfection in anything. This could be the highest form of the ego because looking for anything perfect is like looking for another form of Allah.
  8. Don’t Ask for Rights: People have rights and obligations in all aspects of their lives. Disunion, rifts, and dispute often happen because everyone asking for their rights while forgetting to give people their rights.
  9. Avoid Pride and Arrogance: Don’t be so proud of ourselves and got carried away by worldly matter. Just because we are rich, wealthy, and have all the good things in the world means we are above people who don’t have it all. 
  10. Don’t Make Fun of Others: People who think highly of himself like to make fun of others. Allah has warned us about this as well:

Be humble and hold the ego by prioritizing other people’s right then asking for our own. Once we give people their rights, we would also have our rights fulfilled as well. Allah says:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَسْخَرْ قَوْمٌ مِّن قَوْمٍ عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ وَلَا نِسَاءٌ مِّن نِّسَاءٍ عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِّنْهُنَّ وَلَا تَلْمِزُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَلَا تَنَابَزُوا بِالْأَلْقَابِ بِئْسَ الِاسْمُ الْفُسُوقُ بَعْدَ الْإِيمَانِ وَمَن لَّمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ

 

“O you who believe! (Let) not ridicule a people [of] (another) people, perhaps that they may be better than them; and (let) not women [of] (other) women perhaps that they are maybe better than them. And (do) not insult yourselves and (do) not call each other by nicknames. Wretched is the name (of) disobedience after the faith. And whoever (does) not repent, then those – they (are) the wrongdoers.” (Surah AlHujurat: 49:11)

 

The feelings of freedom are bliss which is achieved when a Muslim surrender himself to the will of God. After reading how to deal with ego in Islam, you will find it no longer hard to hold it down. Living humbly will not cause harm to us. It will make us a better person instead. Allah loves His humble servants and He will give that servant a big reward upon holding his ego in. Allah says:

 

ا جَرَمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْتَكْبِرِينَ

 

“No doubt that Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal. Indeed, He (does) not love the arrogant ones.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:23)

 

Don’t be so proud of ourselves and got carried away by worldly matter. Just because we are rich, wealthy, and have all the good things in the world means we are above people who don’t have it all. Never credit the achievement we have to us because without Allah everything is not going to happen. Allah says:

 

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ

 

“Those who believed and find satisfaction their hearts in the remembrance (of) Allah. No doubt, in the remembrance of Allah find satisfaction the hearts.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:28)

 

Forgiveness is the best means of nurturing one’s soul towards purification. Forgiveness is getting the upper edge and moral defeat to others who have done wrong but you forgive them instead of having the power and win their hearts. Allah says:

 

وَجَزَاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِّثْلُهَا فَمَنْ عَفَا وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ

 

“(The) recompense (of) an evil (is) an evil like it. But whoever pardons and makes reconciliation, then his reward (is) on Allah. Indeed, He (does) not like the wrongdoers.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:40)

 

We, humans, are dependent entirely upon our souls because feeding it with the right contents nurture it and in return allows us to do productive deeds. A soul like living things needs food to feed on and to respond in accordance. Feeding toxic and illegal things makes it rusted and despondent which eventually trap us in the tribulations of Satan. Allah says:

 

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا

 

“And worship Allah And (do) not associate with Him anything, and to the (do) good, and with the relatives, and the orphans, and the needy and the neighbour (who is) near, and the neighbour (who is) farther away, and the companion by your side and the traveller and what possess[ed] your right hands. Indeed, Allah (does) not love (the one) who is [a] proud (and) [a] boastful.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:36)

 

On the contrary, feeding it with positive food turns it into enliven soul keeping the faith of a person alive. So may Allah help us see our shortcomings and enable us to work on them. And may Allah not make us like him who sees a splinter in his brother’s eye and fails to see a tree branch sticking out of his eye.

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