The Reflection Of Surah Al-Mulk (Ego and Pride)

We must take into consideration that when Allah Almighty revealed Surah Mulk, he was mostly addressing the defiantly disobedient, the elite of the Quraysh tribe, who took pride in their old customs and rituals. They were the most educated and learned people in their society and were extremely arrogant, haughty, and fixed in their ways. The call to Islam was a direct threat to their trade and livelihood that had been passed down to them by their forefathers, as they had sole control over the Holy City of Makkah.

Reflection of Surah Al-Mulk

Reflection of Surah Al-Mulk

In these circumstances, Allah Almighty revealed Surahs like Surah Mulk to invoke not only fear but also humility and put some sense of shame in their way of thinking. Even today, the same kind of people, full of pride and arrogance, exist. The mere mention of Allah Almighty and the call to his way of life irks them. Not only are they unwilling to hear anything, but they are also not keen to discuss or research for themselves where the truth lies. For them, it’s all about facts and what they can see.

GhaibThe Unseen
GharoorDelusion, Ego
MulkDominion

The concept of ‘Ghaib‘ (the unseen), which is an integral article of our faith, is considered an archaic, weird notion. So Allah Almighty addresses their pride with the logic that they are comfortable with. He asks them again and again to look at the sky. Not once, not twice, but three times. The Quraysh, like any other Arabs at the time of Rasool Allah (SAW), were fascinated with the sky. The stars were a source of guidance for the nighttime traveler, so Allah Almighty asked them to find any faults or cracks in the vast sky.

In Ayahs No. 3 and 4, Allah Almighty directly asks them:

“Look once again; do you see any flaws? Then look still another time; yet again, your sight will come back humbled while it is fatigued.”

The word ‘Tibaaqa‘ in Ayah No. 3 suggests that the seven heavens are not only different layers once on top of each other, but they are also seamless and so well connected that they cannot be differentiated by the naked eye. No crack or fissure can be detected by a man looking up into the enormous sky. The word ‘Fatoor‘ denotes that image. Allah Almighty is constantly reminding us to always humble ourselves and let pride take it’s seat in our hearts. We are constantly being told by him to reflect.

Why do we have so much ‘Gharoor‘ (delusion, ego) when we are only speaking of this vast creation? We already know that the earth, in comparison to the entire universe, is a tiny dot, and yet everything in this vast space runs in perfect harmony. The plants orbit the sun perfectly. The angle at which the earth is positioned is perfectly balanced to maintain its orbit. How can we possibly deny the existence of a supreme creator, Allah Almighty, without whom his dominion will collapse? Doesn’t the thought of Allah Almighty humble us?

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We want control of whatever we can get our hands on, but we fail to realize that we can never attain “Mulk” (dominion), as that is reserved for Allah Almighty alone. Our pride and ego blind us to this reality. Allah Almighty also warns us that despite the nazeers and warnings sent to nations and societies of all times, the defiant disbelievers will never accept or admit the truth, as they will have to eventually admit that they are wrong. Their own pride and ego will not allow them to make that admission. Sadly, they would have to admit their guilt in the akhirah, where their own hands and feet would bear witness to their sins.

Reflection of Surah Al-Mulk

In ayah No. 27, Allah Almighty mentions that when disbelievers witness the approaching punishment, their faces will reflects humiliation and gloom, and they will realize that they had been calling for it. Do we exhibit the same kind of pride that Allah Almighty warns againts? Do our egos prevent us from accepting the guidance of the righteous, even through we claim to be believers? Is this behavior tantamount to disbelief, a cover-up for our truth intentions?

Last Words

Do we conveniently practice a version of Islam that suits our needs and desires? Let us sincerely reflect on these questions and make a firm intention (Neeyat) to allow Allah Almighty, the Al-Mobeen, the clear, the manifest one, to remove the veils of heedlessness that have blinded us. We must disallow our pride and ego from coming between us and him. Let us not repeat the same mistake made by Iblees, who was perhaps one of the greatest believers in Allah Almighty but allowed his pride to lead to his downfall. May Allah Almighty guide us all on the straight path. Ameen.

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