The Price of Arrogance

‘Give them an example. There were two men; We (Allah) gave one of them two gardens of grapes, and surrounded both of them with date-palms, and placed vegetation between them. Both the gardens brought forth their fruit, and suppressed nothing from it, and We caused a stream to flow through them.’ (Surah Kahf, Verse 32-33)

Junaina was passing inappropriate comments at Rabiah, yet again. The habit of ridiculing Rabiah had become a form of entertainment for her. It had been eight months into Rabiah’s marriage and she could already feel how this new house, its inhabitants had conveniently turned bitter against her. Particularly Junaina, her sister-in-law, the one filled with arrogance. She was the sort of person who had a superiority complex and though of herself as the only capable person alive. She was completely ruthless and judged people based on their weakness or shortcomings. This formed the base of her jealousy for Rabiah who was better than her in all regards.

Rabiah tried to make several conversations with her but she merely turned her face away. There were many ways in which Junaina tried to mentally harass Rabiah like constantly comparing their lives. She compared everything – their homes, clothes, friends, interests and belittled Rabiah in every aspect. But out of all the things she did, the worst one was trying to disrupt Rabiah’s marriage.

Every time Rabiah said something, Junaina would interrupt with a nasty, rude remark, indicating that Rabiah didn’t have any right to speak her mind. There were always new schemes and plans where Junaina would speak lies about Rabiah and try to jeopardise her marriage.

She had been blinded by her arrogance and ‘the good life’ that Allah had blessed her with. But instead of thanking Allah (swt), she believed that it was all her doing and didn’t understand that Allah (swt) expects His blessings to be used for doing good to others.

“And he had wealth. So, he said to his companion while conversing with him, “I am greater than you in wealth and stronger in manpower. And he entered his garden while he was doing wrong to himself. He said, “I do not think that this will ever perish…And even if I am sent back to my Lord, I will surely find a better place than this to resort to.” (Surah Kahf, Verse 34-36)

Rabiah endured with patience all the harsh words and behaviour thrown her way. She knew Allah (swt) was watching and if he has recommended marriage as a source of well-being upon his creation, then all this will end soon. She knew, these were her difficult days and that only Allah (swt) had the answer to this problem. She refrained from speaking about this to anyone, even her parents. What good would that do? It will only make them feel more helpless and anxious. She knew that someday, she will receive her share of happiness and comfort from Allah (swt). And truly, it just took few years of patience, when one day a shocking news changed the entire course of Junaina and Rabiah’s life.

‘My husband is having an affair and has decided to leave me,’ cried Junaina. ‘I don’t understand what went wrong!’ Rabiah was shocked at various levels. Firstly due to the unfortunate news and secondly due to Junaina’s unchanged attitude. ‘Did she really didn’t know why all this happened!,’ Rabiah thought to herself.  

She tried to get the message across as politely as she could. ‘Have patience.’ She suggested Junaina. ‘All will be well. Allah is watching. His justice is precise and He is always with those who have been wronged.’ But Rabiah’s empathy was taken as her weakness once again. And rather than changing her behaviour towards Rabiah and learning from the experience, Junaina continued on her pitiless acts. How can Rabiah have a good life when she is suffering so intensely. Ignorantly, Junaina continued worrying Rabiah which further worsened Junaina’s situation.

Said his companion, as he was conversing with him, “Do you deny Him who created you from dust, then from a drop (of semen), then He made you a perfect man? As for me, I believe that Allah is my Lord, and I do not associate anyone with my Lord. Why, when you entered your garden, did you not say, ‘(Everything is) as Allah wills. There is no power except with Allah’? If you see me inferior to you in wealth and children, then, it is likely that my Lord will give me (what is) better than your garden, and will send to it a punishment from the heavens, and it will become a barren land. Or, its water will sink deep in the earth, so that you will never be able to search it out.” (Verse 37-41)

Junaina went through a terrible divorce (which could have been prevented, had she changed her behaviour). She lost her husband, her home, her belongings and several years of her life, that she dedicated in making her marriage work. All her work was reduced to nothing in a minute. But her arrogance didn’t allow her to see the fact. She didn’t accept, that what had happened to her was a warning from Allah (swt) to turn to Him. It was a sign, which required immediate action and change of course. Her arrogance and belief that she was the reason behind her achievements incurred Allah’s wrath and led to this heavy lose.

And its produce was overwhelmed by calamities and he stood wringing his hands (in anguish) over what he had invested in it, while it was fallen down on its trellises….There were no supporters for him beside Allah, who could come to his help, nor was he able to defend himself. That is where the power of protection rests with Allah, the True God. He is the best in rewarding and best in requiting. ( Verse 42-44)

As for Rabiah, Allah bestowed on her, her share of happiness. She welcomed Allah’s trial and tribulation which hits every woman after marriage. She had the choice to leave or suffer silently. She decided patience to please Allah (swt) was a better option. And in return, Allah (swt) blessed her with a life filled with ‘Afiya’ (all form of goodness).

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