A Mazmumah Trait: Ananiah - Self-centeredness
Beloved Friday jama’ah,
Let us instill within ourselves the truest form of taqwa. A taqwa which safeguards our conduct and character from disgraceful traits. A taqwa which brings us closer to Allah s.w.t. and improves our relationship with others, until we succeed in both this world and the hereafter. Amin.
Know that Mazmumah traits, are traits that are disgraceful and reprehensible. Such traits should not be embodied by a Muslim who believes in Allah s.w.t. and His Messenger.
Rasulullah s.a.w. was sent by Allah s.w.t. to perfect the good moral character (akhlaq) of mankind. Rasulullah s.a.w. is the epitome of noble conduct, as recorded in the Quran:
Meaning: “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent model for those of you who put your hope in God and the Last Day and remember Him often.” [Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 21]
In this verse, Allah s.w.t. does not only praise the excellence of Rasulullah s.a.w.’s character and personality, but He also commands the believers to emulate the Messenger s.a.w.’s moral character and to follow in his steps.
Among the Mazmumah traits that we need to avoid is self-centeredness. This attribute causes a person to only think about his own interest without being sensitive of others. It can also mean someone who is fixated only on his own principles and opinions without considering the views of others.
Such self-centeredness is harmful to mankind. This is especially so with our increasing interdependence on each other in this world. Our economic, social and healthcare affairs are constantly inter-related. Every action that we take will definitely impact the lives of others.
Let us look at how the spread of the virus has transmitted widely around the globe as the result of some individuals’ refusals to take necessary precautionary measures. Their rejection of requests by healthcare workers to perform tests has caused the virus to spread widely at an alarming rate. This is an example of being self-centered and not taking into consideration the impact our actions may have on others.
To overcome this self-centeredness, we need to nurture in ourselves a strong sense of ‘ithar’ – or altruism. Altruism is when a person puts the needs of others above his own. In other words, an altruistic person is selfless and desires only good for other people. Rasulullah s.a.w. said, “Whoever wishes to be saved from Hellfire and admitted into Paradise as desired, let him meet his end with faith in Allah and the Last Day, and let him treat people as he would love to be treated.” [Hadith reported by Imam Muslim]
This is the trait that should be embodied by every Muslim. Especially in these uncertain times. For example, in our personal expenditures, let us not buy excessively for our self-interest, until we deprive others who need it more than we do.
Let us pray that with our sincere efforts to embody ithar (altruism) in our lives and to avoid ananiah (selfishness), Allah will protect us, our families and our country from any harm, threats and negative elements in this world and the hereafter. May Allah s.w.t. remove any mazmumah traits from ourselves and replace them with noble characteristics that will bring benefit to all.