Darkness of Arrogance and the Light of Reasoning

On Friday May 14, 2010, Imam Omar Hazim gave a very provocative speech during the Friday sermon at the Islamic Center of Topeka, title the “Darkness of Arrogance and the Light of Reasoning.”

Omar began by giving supplications to God and honoring Prophet Muhammad as the Last prophet to humanity.

Imam Omar began his speech by stating that within reasoning is humility. Thus if we reason properly we develop humility, stated Omar. He continued that it is for this purpose that reasoning is mentioned over eight hundred and eleven times in the Quran.

Quoting the Quran Omar stated that in surah 51 verse 55 it is related to us that, “surely we advance by the power of thought”

Also in the Quran faith is mentioned exactly the same number of times as reasoning; thus the two go together. As such we pray to God because we reasonably understand the need and through faith crave His forgiveness, related Omar; this is the opposite of arrogance.

Chapter 7 verse 40 of the Quran states,

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا وَٱسۡتَكۡبَرُواْ عَنۡہَا لَا تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمۡ أَبۡوَٲبُ ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَلَا يَدۡخُلُونَ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ حَتَّىٰ يَلِجَ ٱلۡجَمَلُ فِى سَمِّ ٱلۡخِيَاطِ‌ۚ وَڪَذَٲلِكَ نَجۡزِى ٱلۡمُجۡرِمِينَ (٤٠)

“To those who reject Our  signs and treat them with arrogance, no opening will there be of the gates of heaven, nor will they enter the garden, until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle: Such is Our reward for those in sin.”

Omar states that this verse is not talking about wealth or material things. Instead it refers to a problem inherited within human beings that go far deeper than physical concerns; arrogance. As such, as taught in Islam, Muslims are to stay away from arrogance of race, gender, wealth, and birth (caste), continued Omar.

Human beings are to abstain from the prideful boasts of  (Satan) who caused Adam and Eve to slip from the Garden. They succumbed to the dark ugliness taught to them by Satan.

However, Adam and Eve then repented and submitted to God, and Adam became a messenger of God.

Omar further quoted Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak Al-Jerrahi which states that in teaching Adam about his role as caretaker of the world, God caused Adam to see three lights. Adam thus looked to his right and asked the first light to indentify itself. The light replied “I am reason and I reside in the head where I distinguish good and evil. And as I reside in the head of the human being I manifest all kinds of skills in those who have me in their skull. I am the means by which they will be able to go to paradise…” Adam prayed that God bless those who have this quality, said Omar.

Then did Adam look to the second light and ask who are you? The second light said “I am modesty and I live here inside the eye of human beings which recognizes the Attributes of God, and also I am a discriminating eye.”

The third light said my name is compassion. “And I reside in the heart of those who believe. And in the heart in which I reside there is modesty and compassion.”

God instructed Adam to choose which light he would possess. He chose reasoning, said Omar. The other lights complained, stating that they go along with reasoning and are inseparable. They stated that they are intertwined with reasoning. So the one who has reasoning by way of default also has modesty and compassion in which there is love and humility. So Adam picked all of them, continued Omar.

Then God caused Adam to look to the left, and he saw three forms of darkness. He questioned the first. The first darkness stated that it was arrogance. “My function is to make men suffer the wrath of God and I reside in the head.” However Adam informed the darkness that reasoning resides there. The darkness replied that when “reasoning leaves the human being I take its place.”

The second darkness stated that it is greed and “I reside in the eye and any who have me becomes like and animal and looses conscious discrimination; thus when modesty leaves the eye I take over.”

The third darkness stated that it was envy and “I reside in the heart. When I am there I burn my host and he/she becomes lower than animals and worst than the devil; thus when compassion leaves the heart I take its place.”

Omar stated that “we can’t be arrogant like Satan without also having greed and envy. Because all of those are connected to darkness,” so we should stay away from these grave sins that can consume us from the inside.

Omar concluded by quoting a statement from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); “A person who repents from a sin becomes like one who is sinless; and as many as our sins may be, they cannot exceed the mercy of our Lord.”

Surah 3:193

Our Lord! We have heard the call of one calling us to Faith, Believe ye in the Lord, and we have believed.  Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out from us our iniquities, and take to Thyself our souls in the company of the righteous.