عُجْبُ الْمَرْءِ بِنَفْسِهِ أَحَدُ حُسَّادِ عَقْلِهِ۔

A man's vanity for himself is one of the enemies of his intelligence.



A man's vanity for himself is one of the enemies of his intelligence.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #212)

Personal Reflection

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

The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

A man's vanity for himself is one of the enemies of his intelligence.

This impactful saying highlights the detrimental effects of excessive self-conceit on a person's intellect and wisdom. Let us delve deeper into the words of this Hadith and explore its meaning in light of the Quran.

Firstly, let us examine the key words in this Hadith. The word (ujb) "عُجْبُ" refers to vanity or self-conceit, which is an exaggerated sense of self-importance and admiration. It is when a person becomes excessively preoccupied with their own abilities, achievements, and qualities. The word (husaad) "حُسَّادِ" means enemies or adversaries, indicating that vanity is one of the factors that hinder a person's intelligence.

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

And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Indeed, you will never tear the earth apart, nor will you ever reach the mountains in height

This verse emphasizes the futility of arrogance and highlights the importance of humility.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Qasas, Allah mentions the story of Pharaoh, who was known for his extreme vanity and arrogance. Despite his power and wealth, Pharaoh's arrogance led to his downfall. Allah says, (Quran 28:39)

So he [Pharaoh] was arrogant, he and his soldiers, in the land, without right, and they thought that they would not be returned to Us

This verse serves as a reminder that vanity blinds a person from recognizing their own weaknesses and leads them astray.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement in the Hadith highlights the negative impact of excessive self-conceit on a person's intelligence. When one becomes consumed by their own ego, they become closed-minded and unwilling to accept alternative perspectives or learn from others. This hinders their ability to think critically, make rational decisions, and seek knowledge. Vanity clouds the intellect and prevents growth and development.

Moreover, excessive self-conceit can lead to harmful consequences in various aspects of life. It can strain relationships, as individuals with inflated egos often struggle to empathize with others and consider their viewpoints. Additionally, it can hinder personal growth and prevent one from acknowledging their own flaws and areas for improvement. This Hadith serves as a reminder to Muslims to cultivate humility and guard against the destructive influence of vanity.

Reflecting on this Hadith, we should strive to develop a balanced sense of self-worth and recognize that true intelligence lies in acknowledging our limitations and seeking knowledge from diverse sources. We should seek to emulate the humility of our beloved Prophet Muhammad () and the Ahl al-Bayt (عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلسَّلَامُ), who were exemplars of wisdom and knowledge.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) warns against the dangers of vanity and its adverse effects on a person's intelligence. By reflecting on the Quranic verses that emphasize humility and denounce arrogance, we can understand the significance of this Hadith. Let us strive to cultivate humility, seek knowledge, and guard against the enemies of our intelligence, including excessive self-conceit. May Allah (تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to recognize our own shortcomings and the strength to overcome them.

. : . (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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