لا وَحْشَةَ أوْحَشُ مِنَ العُجْبِ۔

There is no alienation more desolating than conceit.



There is no alienation more desolating than conceit.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Conceit)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

لا وَحْشَةَ أوْحَشُ مِنَ العُجْبِ۔

This Hadith highlights the destructive nature of conceit and its impact on individuals and society. To fully comprehend the depth of this statement, let us delve into the meanings of the key words.

The word (wahsha) "وَحْشَةَ" refers to a state of loneliness, desolation, or alienation. It signifies a feeling of being cut off from others, isolated, and detached. It is a state of emotional and spiritual emptiness that engulfs an individual, leading to a sense of despair and sadness.

The word (awhashu) "أوْحَشُ" is the comparative form of (wahsha) "وَحْشَةَ", emphasizing the extreme level of desolation and loneliness. It highlights the severity and intensity of the feeling, indicating that there is nothing more desolating than what is being described.

The word (al-'ujb) "العُجْبِ" refers to conceit, arrogance, or self-admiration. It is the state of being excessively proud of oneself, considering oneself superior to others, and looking down upon them. It is a dangerous trait that blinds individuals to their own faults and prevents them from recognizing the worth and capabilities of others.

To understand the significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) warns against the destructive nature of arrogance in several verses. In Surah Al-Isra, Allah says, (Quran 17:37)

And do not walk upon the earth exultantly. Indeed, you will never tear the earth [apart], and you will never reach the mountains in height

This verse reminds us of the futility of arrogance and the insignificance of human beings in the grand scheme of creation.

Furthermore, in Surah Luqman, Allah advises, (Quran 31:18)

And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful

This verse emphasizes the displeasure of Allah towards those who exhibit conceit and arrogance, highlighting the importance of humility and modesty.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith draws our attention to the devastating consequences of conceit. When individuals become consumed by their own self-importance, they isolate themselves from others and create barriers in their relationships. This alienation leads to a sense of loneliness and desolation that cannot be surpassed by any other feeling.

Conceit also hinders personal growth and development. When individuals believe they are superior to others, they become complacent and fail to recognize their own shortcomings. This prevents them from seeking knowledge, improving their character, and rectifying their mistakes. Consequently, they remain stagnant and are deprived of the opportunity for self-improvement.

Moreover, conceit has detrimental effects on society as a whole. It breeds division, animosity, and a sense of superiority among individuals. It creates an environment where people are unwilling to listen to differing opinions, collaborate, or empathize with others. This leads to a breakdown in communication, understanding, and unity, hindering progress and harmony within the community.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a powerful reminder of the destructive nature of conceit. It highlights the severe consequences of arrogance, both on an individual and societal level. By reflecting on this Hadith and internalizing its message, Muslims are encouraged to cultivate humility, recognize the worth of others, and strive for personal and communal growth. May Allah protect us from the pitfalls of conceit and grant us the wisdom to embrace humility in all aspects of our lives.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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