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Lesson 55
Obscenity to Vanity

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Main Points


· This means to speak indecently as an insult, habit, or because of bad upbringing.


·  Ostentation is to seek a position in the view of people, by showing off one’s good qualities.

·  Ostentation is hypocrisy, and is a kind of disbelief.

·  Performing deeds in secret rescues the self from showing off, especially acts not commanded by the Lawgiver to be apparent, unless publicity of the act serves a legitimate public interest.


·  It is to inform a person of the insulting words that were said about him by another, so as to sever their relation.

·  Talebearing is worse than backbiting because it spreads hatred and cuts off blood relations.

·  Talebearing is only permissible to ward off evil, or as a warning for the sake of some legitimate public interest.

·  A talebearer is a corrupt person who is not permitted to give witness.

Vanity and arrogance

·     Vanity is pride and haughtiness because of self admiration , so it leads to self-conceit. It afflicts a person when he deceives himself concerning his positive attributes. Among the forms of vanity are being proud of one’s physical appearance, one’s genealogy, one’s kinship, one’s wealth, and one’s knowledge and opinion.[27]


Evidence from Qur'an and Sunnah


The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Allah hates obscenity.” (Reported by Abu Dawud).

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“A believing person is not that one accustomed to slander, calling curses down, or using obscene language or indecent manners.”
(Reported by At-Tirmidhi)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“When two persons abuse each other, the first one will be the sinner as long as the oppressed does not exceed the limits.” (Reported by Muslim)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“Abusing a Muslim is an act of wickedness, and fighting against him is an act of disbelief.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“And if a man abuses and shames you for something which he finds in you, then do not shame him for something which you find in him; he will bear the evil consequences for it.” (Reported by Abu Dawud)


Allah says:

]فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُصَلِّينَ. الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صلاتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ. الَّذِينَ هُمْ يُرَاؤُونَ. وَيَمْنَعُونَ الْمَاعُونَ[
(الماعون: 4 - 7)

This means: “So woe unto those performers of Salah (prayers) (hypocrites), Who delay their Salah (prayer) from their stated fixed times, Those who do good deeds only to be seen (of men), And refuse (to give) Al-Ma'un (small kindnesses e.g. salt, sugar, water, etc.).”
(107, Al-Ma`un: 4 - 7)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“If anyone wants to have his deeds widely publicized, Allah will publicize (his humiliation). And if anyone makes a hypocritical display (of his deeds), Allah will make a display of him.”
(Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (SAWS) said, "Indeed what I fear most for you is the lesser shirk (polytheism)." They said, "What is the lesser shirk O Messenger of Allah?" He (SAWS) said, "Ar-riya' (to show off)! Allah (Glorified and Supreme be He) would say to them on the Day of Resurrection, when people are  rewarded (or punished) for their deeds, 'Go to those to whom you used to show off in the worldly life and see if you can find any reward from them.' " [Ahmad].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said:

“Allah will bring forth the severest Hour, and then all the believers, men and women, will prostrate themselves before Him, but there will remain those who used to prostrate in the world for showing off and for gaining good reputation. Such people will try to prostrate (on the Day of Judgment) but their backs will be as stiff as if they are one bone (a single vertebra).” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)


Allah says:

]وَلا تُطِعْ كُلّ حَلافٍ مَّهِينٍ. هَمَّازٍ مَّشَّاء بِنَمِيمٍ. مَنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَد أَثِيمٍ. عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ زَنِيمٍ[
(القلم: 10 - 13)

This means: “And obey not everyone who swears much, and is considered worthless, A slanderer, going about with calumnies, Hinderer of the good, transgressor, sinful, Cruel, after all that base-born (of illegitimate birth).” (68, Al-Qalam: 10 - 13)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“A talebearer will not enter Paradise (unless he is punished for his evil deeds).” (Reported by Muslim)

The Prophet (SAWS) said, "Shall I tell you about the most evil amongst you? (They are those) who ever-walk about with talebearing (to cause dissension), who (accordingly) spoil (the relation) between the lovers, and who seek to distress the innocent." [Ahmad]

Vanity and arrogance:

Allah says:

]وَيَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ إِذْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ كَثْرَتُكُمْ فَلَمْ تُغْنِ عَنكُمْ شَيْئًا[
(التوبة: 25)

This means: “And on the Day of Hunayn (battle) when you rejoiced at your great number but it availed you naught.” (9, At-Tawbah: 25)

Allah says:

]فَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَاسْتَكْبَرُوا فِي الأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَقَالُوا مَنْ أَشَدُّ مِنَّا قُوَّةً أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّه الَّذِي خَلَقَهُمْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُمْ قُوَّةً[
(فصلت: 15)

This means: “As for 'Ad, they were arrogant in the land without right, and they said: ''Who is mightier than us in strength?'' See they not that Allah, Who created them was mightier in strength than them.” (41, Fussilat: 15)

Allah says:

]وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلا قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُم بِهِ كَافِرُونَ. وَقَالُوا نَحْنُ أَكْثَرُ أَمْوَالا وَأَوْلادًا وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ[
(سبأ: 34 - 35)

This means: “And We did not send a warner to a township, but those who were given the worldly wealth and luxuries among them said: "We believe not in the (Message) with which you have been sent. And they say: "We are more in wealth and in children, and we are not going to be punished.''” (34, Saba’: 34 - 35)

Allah says:

]َأَفَمَن زُيِّنَ لَهُ سُوءُ عَمَلِهِ فَرَآهُ حَسَنًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَاء وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء[ (فاطر: 8)

This means: “Is he, then, to whom the evil of his deeds made fair­seeming, so that he considers it as good (equal to one who is rightly guided)? Verily, Allah sends astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills.” (35, Fatir: 8)

Allah says:

]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تُبْطِلُواْ صَدَقَاتِكُم بِالْمَنِّ وَالأذَى[
(البقرة: 264)

This means: “You who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury.” (2, Al-Baqarah: 264)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“But when you see niggardliness being obeyed, passion being followed, worldly interests being preferred, everyone being charmed with his own opinion, then care for yourself.”
(Reported by At-Tirmidhi)