Humblebragging : The Muslim Version
Grantland.com wrote this article titled “Humblebrag Hall of Fame” and while I was laughing away reading it, it also sparked off a whole collection of memories in my brain of the Islamic or the Muslim version of humblebragging that I have come across, or have been guilty of.
In the article, the writer defines it as such:[quote]A Humblebrag is basically a specific type of bragging which masks the brag in a faux-humble guise. The false humility allows the offender to boast their “achievements” without any sense of shame or guilt.[/quote]
The writer started a Twitter account (@humblebrag) to re-tweet all the humblebrags around. Here are some examples from the article:
- @chrissyteig: “what the heck does one wear to a meeting at the style network? seriously. Whatever doesn’t clash with boasting. Seriously.
- @oprah: “Recognize my foot? http://t.co/xMj5Cya” Oprah, you don’t gotta brag. You’re Oprah.
- @TotesMcGotes: “I just realized I’ve only showered in ONE of my FIVE showers since I’ve moved in here. This must change #totesproblems”
So … much … gold. Love the third person “Totes problems” hashtag at the end.
Our Prophet SAW constantly spoke of its importance, and he embodied humility in the most perfect manner. This article is neither to offend nor to criticize (and by saying that, you know that it will most likely be quite offensive) but merely to act as a reminder to all of us how the ego (nafs) is never at rest and wants a stake in fame.
I am also not suggesting that people who write any of the below are really bragging. They might just have been extremely happy and wanted to share their joy with others. People do get excited and zealous and I understand that. I am not above these people. I’m writing this in hopes that we would be more aware of the stuff we broadcast, and to be clear of our intentions typing certain “Status Updates” or tweets and actually publicly displaying them.
Although I will not be re-tweeting or mentioning any names (all the examples below are made up!), you’d probably have seen a variation of some of these around, either on Twitter or Facebook. Because I most certainly have.
“Had a private session with Habib Umar (or insert some other scholar’s name) last night. Very pleased this great man remembered my name masyaAllah. Who am I really.”
We’re very pleased for you too. A great man remembering your name? You must be a great man too.
“Counting down: 3 more hours till maghrib and I can break my fast. Can’t believe I’ll be completing my goal of fasting for all of Rajab & Sya’ban insyaAllah! Go me!”
Okay, maybe I pushed it too far with the “Go me!” but even without it, it would still have been nauseating.
“530am. Mosque is really empty. Very sad that people don’t pray fajr at the mosques these days.”
Glad you’re not like the rest of us lazy souls.
“God is really testing me. Need to remind myself that all Prophets and saints have great tests too, and its only to raise their ranks.”
A humbler alternative: Tests are also to remove sins. Did you forget that?
“An elder man insisted on kissing my hand earlier. Really uncomfortable when they do that to me.”
Really uncomfortable to read about you being uncomfortable. How about being uncomfortable posting that?
- What truly annoys me is when a debate breaks out on Facebook, someone will quote Imam as-Shafii:
“The foolish one addresses me with words of disgrace, but I hate to respond to him in a similar manner. The more ignorant he proves, the more patient I become. Just like the incense; the more it’s burnt, the more it releases its fragrance.”
Excuse me, he is Imam as-Shafii! He has every right to say what he said. If you truly knew his stature & rank with God, you would not be quoting him for your self-serving purposes.
“Alhamdulillah, dreamt of him again and he instructed me the same thing as the last dream. May Allah help me.”
Status updates or tweets about ‘dreams’ are just the worst of the lot. No explanation needed.
Abu Hurayrah RA narrated that the Prophet SAW said: “…and no one will exercise humility for Allah’s sake, except that Allah will raise him up”.
He SAW also said, “Verily Allah loves the servant who has Taqwa, and he’s rich (content), and he’s hidden (i.e. not known by the people because of his humility)”.[/quote]
May Allah protect us from being ostentatious, from glorifying ourselves, from showing off and having impure intentions! May Allah forgive us all and help us to improve ourselves for indeed we are weak ones and He is the Source of all goodness!
Ameera is the Editor of Muzlimbuzz.sg, a chronic reader and a news junkie.