Surat Alnahl - Verses 22 to 25

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إِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۚ فَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ مُنْكِرَةٌ وَهُمْ مُسْتَكْبِرُونَ {22} لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْتَكْبِرِينَ {23} وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ مَاذَا أَنْزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ ۙ قَالُوا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ {24} لِيَحْمِلُوا أَوْزَارَهُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۙ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ أَلَا سَاءَ مَا يَزِرُونَ {25}

My understanding

In the last entry, I spoke about how when counting your blessings, it’s best to start from the ground up. In this post, I’ll argue that when comparing yourself to others, it’s best to start from the top down. This is primarily an exercise in keeping your ego in check.

Whenever I start feeling good about all the things that I’ve done, whether that’s a project that is going really well, or a charity that I may have given.. I feel a sense of pride. Of accomplishment. Now this is healthy in small amounts .. but it’s also dangerous in large ones.

The idea here is to compare what you’ve accomplished, to what the greats have. Suddenly, you’re not so hot anymore. I think part of the reason why many rulers, even in this day and age, have delusions of power is because they surround themselves with yes-men .. people constantly telling them how humanity is so much better as a result of them, and that they are doing what no other man has done before.

Don’t have a head full of yes-men.

TL;DR: Look down to see how far you’ve come, but don’t forget to look up to see how far you still need to go.