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AL-MUTAKABBIR [Tremendous, the Great, the Proud]


Root Word

Mutakabbir comes from the root kaaf-baa-raa, which points to three main meanings;

  • To be great in size, rank, or dignity. 

  • To be great in age and in learning

  • To have rights, privileges, and attributes that others don’t have.


The name Al-Mutakabbir is often translated as the Tremendous, the Great, the Proud. It encompasses the meanings of the perfection of one’s self and existence, and no one can be described as such except Allah. The only pride that exists is for Allahﷻ because of Hisﷻ greatness, perfection in characters, attributes, existence, power, and authority. 

Allahﷻ has the qualities that no other being possesses. Heﷻ is mighty in His wisdom, and His power. No creation is greater than Allahﷻ. No creation can harm Himﷻ, nor can take anything from His might. All beings are created, but Allahﷻ is not. All beings are dependent on Allahﷻ, but He is not dependent on anyone for existence and sustenance. 

Al-Mutakabbir Himself says: He is Allah , other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him. [Quran, 59:23]


Greatness, power, and pride are beautifully interlinked when we speak of Allahﷻ. His majesty calls for pride. 

Imam Ghazali explains Al-Mutakabbir as the one "Who sees greatness and Majesty only in regard to himself, and looks upon others as a king looks upon his servants. And if his assessment be correct, he will be truly proud."

Allahﷻ is Allah for He uses His greatness, with pride, to bring justice - and humans, use their power, with pride and arrogance, to oppress others.

Prides suits someone who deserves it and is capable of it in the first place - not to people who do all the wrong, oppress others, and hurt others from their actions and tongue - only because they are in power. 

All the words like “to be intolerant, to be hard, to be arrogant; both in words and action, being proud, being in error, and hatefully evil, come from the same root as Al-Mutakabbir (kaaf-baa-raa) - but holds magnificent difference when used to Allahﷻ and how people fall into evil and sin because of having the pride in power.

Being in power does not make you high, especially in the eyes of Allah, unlike people - who measure someone’s worth from what they possess, what rank they have, and how much wealth they have.

Being a human, your own breath is not even yours. It can be taken away in the moment you are sinning. It can be taken away at the moment you are oppressing others. It can be taken away in the very moment when you put yourself in any place other than being a servant of Allahﷻ. SubhanAllah. 

On the other hand, how Allahﷻ uses His greatness is opposite of humans. 

Heﷻ uses His greatness and authority to do justice. Heﷻ uses His wisdom to provide what is best for us in its perfection. Hisﷻ infiniteness encompasses all the things that exist, and even never existed.

Iblis rejected the order of Allahﷻ to prostrate to Adam, because of pride, which is equal to arrogance, thinking of oneself as higher than others - which surely took him to hell for eternity. His reason was that he was created from fire, and Adam was created from clay - yet Adam was higher in rank to Allah than Iblis. SubhanAllah. 

What does Allahﷻ say about arrogant ones?

“Enter the gates of hell to abide therein; so evil is the abode of the proud” (Quran 39:72).

Your pride is doing nothing to Allah, and to the people you oppress, but only you.

“Thus does Allah set a seal over the heart of every proud, haughty one” (Quran 40:35).

The Prophetﷺ said: Allah is beautiful and loves beauty, arrogance is: rejecting the truth and looking down on people. 

[Muslim, At-Tirmidhee] 

Your pride, your wealth, your ego, your nothing is going to benefit you. Allah seals the hearts of arrogant people - and that is what makes them blind to their injustice. It makes them slaves to their ego - and Allah knows how to put arrogance and people in place. 

“And when it is said to him, guard against (the punishment of) Allah; pride carries him off to sin; therefore hell is sufficient for him; and certainly it is an evil resting place” (Quran 2:206).

Pride in oneself means not submitting to Allah, to the truth, which is our responsibility towards Allah, the purpose of our creation.  

When you choose to treat others right, you are going against Allah. When you choose to not fulfill the rights of others, you are going against Allah. When you are being proud of yourself, and arrogant, you are going against Allah.

The moment you speak only about your rights, and ignore the rights of others, you are being arrogant. 

When you feel your pain, and not of others, you are being arrogant. 

When you demand respect without giving respect you are being arrogant.

When you treat others badly and expect them to treat you well, you are being arrogant. 

When you use your power, status, and rank to oppress others, and do wrong, you are being arrogant. 

All this arrogance is dependent on one “kun” of Allah Subhana wa ta’ala. Just as Heﷻ says kun and your next breath flows, He can say ”kun”, and it can stop - making you vanish into nothing - then no wealth, no ego, no pride, no status, and no relation is going to save you - people will forget you in 10 days, and your body will start decaying in the next few weeks.

So once again, ask yourself, who are you?

What is the opposite of pride? Humbleness!

“And the servants of the Beneficent God are they who walk on the earth in humbleness…” (Quran 25: 63).

What does it mean to walk on earth in humbleness?

It does not only mean walking with your head down but having your heart in a place it is made for - submission to Allah.

Walking on earth in humbleness means to have fear of Allah in the heart. To think a hundred times when you speak. To know your place as a servant of Allah. To be more aware of the rights of others, than your own. To be able to control your nafs(soul, oneself). To be able to control your desires and emotions - To fear Allah in all aspects of life.

There was no human on earth greater than our beloved Prophet Muhammad- yet His humility towards Allahﷻ, and Hisﷺ conduct toward people was, is, and will always be an example. 

Who do we think we are?

Who are we?

The answer is NOTHING!

No matter the wealth you have, no matter how much you pray, and how much charity you do, if someone is not safe from your tongue, and your hands, it is of no use. 

How to submit to Al-Mutakabbir?

Be humble!

How to be humble?

  • Be conscious of Allahﷻ

  • Be conscious of Hisﷻ mercy in bringing you into this world.

  • Gain the knowledge of your religion.

  • Do not attach to the material things.

  • Know that your success, power, and wealth are from Allahﷻ, and not from you. 

  • Be kind and right to others.

Always remember and keep yourself grounded to your breath and the mercy of your Lord. What is this pride for when you are not even in control of your own breath? What is this arrogance for when everything you have is given to you by the mercy of Allahﷻ, and Heﷻ is capable of taking it back? 

Urwah ibn Zubair radiyallaahu ‘anhu said: I saw Umar carrying a large leather water canteen on his shoulder. I said to him, ‘O Amir-ul-Mu’mineen, you shouldn’t be carrying that’. Umar replied by saying, A delegation came to Medina and I saw their obedience to me, and some ‘nakwah’ entered into my heart and I wanted to destroy it.

We all know of the strong personality of Umar radiyallaahu ‘anhu and yet when a small amount of pride (nakwah) entered into his heart, he hurried in an attempt to destroy it before it destroyed him.

These are the people of Allah. These are the greatest of the people that ever existed and walked on this earth, and this is their humility, love, and fear towards Allah - so, who are we?


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submission is healing - spiritual journey - spiritual healing - islamic spirituality

Sanniya Arif

A cozy corner, warm lights, clouds, pen, a journal, Quran, and coffee is what I am made of.
By profession, I am copywriter, editor, and designer - By soul, I want to be a rain drop, or a leaf that falls on the cold, wet ground.
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