Hadith / Ibn Taymiyyah

Ibn Taymiyya: Explaning the hadith of kibr (pride)

Ibn Taymiyya’s Explanation of the Hadith Prohibiting Pride

(kibr)

The great Hanbali mujtahid, hadith scholar and exegete Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya[1] wrote in reply to a question on pride:[2]

سئل رحمه الله‏:‏ عن معنى قوله صلى الله عليهوسلم‏:‏ ‏(‏لا يدخل الجنة من كان في قلبه مثقال ذرة من كبر‏)‏ هل هذا الحديث مخصوص بالمؤمنين أم بالكفار؟‏ فإن قلنا مخصوص بالمؤمنين فقولنا ليس بشيء؛ لأن المؤمنين يدخلون الجنة بالإيمان‏.‏ وإن قلنا مخصوص بالكافرين فما فائدة الحديث ‏؟‏

فأجاب‏:‏

لفظ الحديث في الصحيح‏:‏ ‏(‏لا يدخل الجنة من في قلبه مثقال ذرة من كبر ولا يدخل النار من في قلبه مثقال ذرة من إيمان‏)‏ فالكبر المباين للإيمان لا يدخل صاحبه الجنة كما في قوله‏:‏ ‏)إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ‏(‏ ‏[‏غافر‏:‏60‏]‏ ومن هذا كبر إبليس وكبر فرعون وغيرهما ممن كان كبره منافيا للإيمان وكذلك كبر اليهود والذين أخبر الله عنهم بقوله‏:‏ ‏)َفَكُلَّمَا جَاءكُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لاَ تَهْوَى أَنفُسُكُمُ اسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ فَفَرِيقاً كَذَّبْتُمْ وَفَرِيقاً تَقْتُلُونَ‏( ‏[‏البقرة‏:‏87‏]‏‏.‏

والكبر كله مباين للإيمان الواجب فمن في قلبه مثقال ذرة من كبر لا يفعل ما أوجب الله عليه ويترك ما حرم عليه بل كبره يوجب له جحد الحق واحتقار الخلق وهذا هو ‏[‏الكبر‏]‏ الذي فسره النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم حيث سئل في تمام الحديث‏. ‏‏(‏فقيل‏:‏ يا رسول الله الرجل يحب أن يكون ثوبه حسنا ونعله حسنا‏.‏ فمن الكبر ذاك ‏؟‏ فقال‏:‏ لا إن الله جميل يحب الجمال الكبر بطر الحق وغمط الناس‏). وبطر الحق جحده ودفعه وغمط الناس ازدراؤهم واحتقارهم. فمن في قلبه مثقال ذرة من هذا يوجب له أن يجحد الحق الذي يجب عليه أن يقر به وأن يحتقر الناس فيكون ظالما لهم معتديا عليهم فمن كان مضيعا للحق الواجب؛ ظالما للخلق‏.‏ لم يكن من أهل الجنة ولا مستحقا لها؛ بل يكون من أهل الوعيد‏.‏

فقوله‏:‏ ‏(‏لا يدخل الجنة‏)‏ متضمن لكونه ليس من أهلها ولا مستحقا لها لكن إن تاب أو كانت له حسنات ماحية لذنبه أو ابتلاه الله بمصائب كفر بها خطاياه ونحو ذلك زال ثمرة هذا الكبر المانع له من الجنة؛ فيدخلها أو غفر الله له بفضل رحمته من ذلك الكبر من نفسه؛ فلا يدخلها ومعه شيء من الكبر ولهذا قال‏:‏ من قال في هذا الحديث وغيره‏:‏ إن المنفي هو الدخول المطلق الذي لا يكون معه عذاب؛ لا الدخول المقيد الذي يحصل لمن دخل النار ثم دخل الجنة؛ فإنه إذا أطلق في الحديث فلان في الجنة أو فلان من أهل الجنة كان المفهوم أنه يدخل الجنة ولا يدخل النار‏.‏

فإذا تبين هذا كان معناه أن من كان في قلبه مثقال ذرة من كبر ليس هو من أهل الجنة ولا يدخلها بلا عذاب بل هو مستحق للعذاب لكبره كما يستحقها غيره من أهل الكبائر ولكن قد يعذب في النار ما شاء الله فإنه لا يخلد في النار أحد من أهل التوحيد وهذا كقوله‏:‏ ‏(‏لا يدخل الجنة قاطع رحم‏)‏ وقوله‏:‏ ‏(‏لا تدخلون الجنة حتى تؤمنوا ولا تؤمنوا حتى تحابوا ألا أدلكم على شيء إذا فعلتموه تحاببتم ‏؟‏ أفشوا السلام بينكم‏)‏ وأمثال هذا من أحاديث الوعيد. وعلى هذا فالحديث عام في الكفار وفي المسلمين‏.‏

وقول القائل‏:‏ إن المسلمين يدخلون الجنة بالإسلام فيقال له‏:‏ ليس كل المسلمين يدخلون الجنة بلا عذاب بل أهل الوعيد يدخلون النار ويمكثون فيها ما شاء الله مع كونهم ليسوا كفارا فالرجل الذي معه شيء من الإيمان وله كبائر قد يدخل النار ثم يخرج منها‏:‏ إما بشفاعة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وإما بغير ذلك؛ كما قال صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏(‏شفاعتي لأهل الكبائر من أمتي‏)‏ وكما في الصحيح أنه قال‏:‏‏ (‏أخرج من النار من في قلبه مثقال ذرة من إيمان‏)‏ وهكذا الوعيد في قاتل النفس والزاني وشارب الخمر وآكل مال اليتيم وشاهد الزور وغير هؤلاء من أهل الكبائر؛ فإن هؤلاء – وإن لم يكونوا كفارا – لكنهم ليسوا من المستحقين للجنة الموعودين بها بلا عقاب‏.‏

ومذهب أهل السنة والجماعة‏:‏ أن فساق أهل الملة ليسوا مخلدين في النار كما قالت الخوارج والمعتزلة وليسوا كاملين في الدين والإيمان والطاعة؛ بل لهم حسنات وسيئات يستحقون بهذا العقاب وبهذا الثواب؛ وهذا مبسوط في موضعه والله أعلم‏.‏

 Translation

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya (Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Regarding the Prophet’s statement: “Anyone who possesses a speck of pride (kibr) in his heart will not enter Paradise”[3] – is this hadith specific only to the believers or [is it specific only to the] unbelievers? If we were to say that it is specific for the Believers then [is not] our statement trivial considering [the fact that] the believers shall enter Paradise due to their belief (bi’l-iman). If, on the other hand, we were to say that the hadith is specific for the unbelievers then what is the relevance of the statement?

He answered:

The wording of the hadith in the Sahih[4] is: “Anyone who possesses half a mustard seed of Pride (kibr) in his heart will not be granted admission to Paradise. And anyone who possesses half a mustard seed of belief (iman) will not enter the [Eternal] Fire.”

Pride that openly opposes and negates belief results in the banishment of the one who holds it from entering Paradise as is found in Allah’s statement: (And your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me, I will respond to your [invocation]. Verily! Those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!).[5] This is the pride of Iblis (the Devil), Pharaoh and all the others who possessed the pride which invalidated belief. This is also the pride that the Jews possess and those whom Allah has described to us by saying: (Is it that whenever there came to you a Messenger with what you yourselves desired not, you grew arrogant? Some, you disbelieved and some, you killed).[6]

Pride, in its entirety, openly opposes the essentials of belief. As such, he who has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart will not act upon that which Allah has obligated, nor will he abstain from that which Allah has prohibited. Instead, his pride will result in his disavowal and rejection of the truth and instil in him contempt of others. This, precisely, is the explanatory definition of pride provide by the Prophet as is found in the complete version of [the initial] hadith: “The one who possesses an atom’s weight of pride in his heart shall not be granted admission to Paradise”. He (saw) was asked: “[But] O Messenger of Allah! A man likes to have fine clothing and footwear. Is this included in Pride?” He responded, “No. Allah is Beauty and loves Beauty. Pride is the rejection of truth (batr al-haqq) and condescension of others (wa ghamt al-nas).”[7]

The statement ‘batr al-haqq’ denotes disdain and rejection of the Truth, while ‘ghamt al-nas’ implies contempt and condescension of others [from amongst mankind].

Therefore the one who possesses half a mustard seed of [pride] rejects the Truth that he was ordered to accept and act upon. At the same time, [the pride] instils in him a sense of condescension that inculcates in the individual an oppressive demeanour producing transgression over the rights of others. The one who neglects his obligations [due to his rejection of them] and is oppressive to the people, he is not to be amongst the people of Paradise [while in this state], or deserving of it. On the contrary, such an individual is to be counted amongst the people who are threatened with punishment!

His (saw) statement: “Anyone who possesses a speck of pride in his heart will not be granted admission to Paradise” implies that the individual is not from the people of Paradise and is not deserving of it. But if he repents, or he possesses righteous deeds (hasanat) that expiate his sins, or Allah has severely tested him in the form of calamities that have expunged his sins, or similar things; then for that individual the recompense of pride – which originally was a barrier for him to enter Paradise – is eliminated and he gains admission [to it]. Similarly Allah, due to Divine Grace, may forgive the individual [the sin of] Pride. None shall gain admission [to Paradise] with an atom’s weight of Pride. As a result, whoever states that in this hadith, and other [hadith that have a similar theme] that the thing that is being negated is unconditional admission [to Paradise] without punishment [for the sin of pride] and not the admission to Paradise that is granted to those who have entered the Fire [to be purified and cleansed] and then are allowed admission to Paradise thereafter and if [a hadith explicitly declares that a particular person is in Paradise or that a particular person is from the People of Paradise, then it would be understood that the person would enter the Paradise and not enter the fire [beforehand].”

After this clarification we come to understand the true meaning of these narrations as being that the one who possesses an atom’s weight of pride in his heart is not from the people of Paradise [up to that point] and shall not gain admission into it without punishment [for his sin]. Surely he deserves punishment – due to the enormity of the sin – similar to those who perform the major sins (alkaba’ir). Allah may punish him in the Fire as long as He wishes, but none from amongst the people of Tawhid will remain in the Fire eternally. [This is to be the way we understand all the hadith that have a similar meaning as in the meaning of] his (saw) statement: “The one who severs the ties of the womb shall not enter Paradise”[8] or “You shall not enter Paradise until you believe. And you shall not believe until you love one another. Shall I inform you of something that if you do you shall [truly] love each other? Spread the greetings of Salam amongst yourselves.”[9] And other narrations like it that contain threats of Punishment. In this way, we understand that the hadith is general and can be attributed to both the unbelievers and the Muslims.

If one says, ‘all the Muslims enter Paradise due to their Islam’ then the response is that not all Muslims enter Paradise without punishment. Surely the people who have been threatened [with punishment in the Hereafter due to their sins] will enter into the Fire to remain in it for the period that Allah so wills even though they are not unbelievers. The individual who has some belief coinciding with major sins may enter into the Fire and exit from it as a result of the shafa`a (intercession) of the Prophet or by other reported means as articulated by the Prophet when he (saw) said: “My intercession (shafa`a) is for the people who commit majors sins from amongst my Umma.”[10] And he (saw) said as is reported in the Sahih: “I shall bring out of the Fire the one who possesses half a mustard seed of belief.”[11] In this way we understand what is in store for those whom Allah has threatened with punishment – the murderer, fornicator, the one who consumes alcohol, the one who misappropriates the wealth of the orphans, the one who gives false testimony and others who perform the deeds of the people of major sins. They – even if they are not unbelievers – are not deserving of the Paradise that they are promised [as Muslims] without first being [cleansed and purged through] punishment.

The way and belief (madhhab) of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’ l-Jama`a is that the deviant sinners (fussaq) from amongst the general body of Muslims are not going to be eternally punished in the Fire as held by the Khawarij and the Mu‘tazila. They are not complete in their religion, belief and obedience to Allah. They have good and bad deeds that necessitate a measure of punishment and reward. This is a concise presentation regarding the issue.

And Allah knows best.

 

 


[1] Some primary biographical sources for his life include: Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa’l-Nihaya, vol.14, pp.134-140; al-Kutubi, Fawat al-Wafayat, vol.1, pp.44-58; al-Karmi, al-Kawakib al-Durriyya, pp.138-231; al-Bukhari, al-Qawl al-Jali, pp.100-135; Ibn al-`Imad, Shadharat al-Dhahab, vol.6, pp.80-86; al-Dhahabi, Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, vol.4, pp.1496-1498 and al-Shawkani, al-Badr al-Tali`, pp.vol.1, pp.63-72.

[2] See Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu` al-Fatawa, vol.7, pp.677-679. English translation of the fatwa adapted from http://abdurrahman.org/character/speckofpride.html

[3] Narrated in the Sahih of Muslim (no. 91) from `Abd Allah b. Mas`ud.

[4] As in the Kitab al-Tawhid of Ibn Khuzayma, vol.2, pp.771-772.

[5] See Q. 40:60.

[6] See Q. 2:87.

[7] Muslim, Sahih (no. 91) from `Abd Allah b. Mas`ud.

[8] Muslim, Sahih (no. 2556) from Jubayr b. Mut`am.

[9] Muslim, Sahih (no. 54) from Abu Hurayra.

[10] Abu Dawud, Sunan (no. 4739) from Anas Ibn Malik.

[11] Tirmidhi, Sunan (no. 2598) from Abu Sa`id al-Khudri.

2 thoughts on “Ibn Taymiyya: Explaning the hadith of kibr (pride)

  1. Why do you quote Ibn Taymiyyah? He is one of the founders of Salafism and has a very controversial theological background.

  2. I am sorry but do you even know what he propagated? If yes then you shouldn’t dare as so much as mention his name. WHY WOULD WE EVEN NEED IBN TAYMIYYAH OF ALL SCHOLARS AND INFALLIBLE IMAMS TO EXPLAIN US A HADITH??

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