Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Compliments are bad for you.

Every now and then I discover how complete Islam is. It teaches us human how to live on this earth, how to treat one another, what's good and bad for one another. Recently, I've discovered some hadith on compliments that is actually contradicatory to the advice given by the Westerns. Western psychologists says compliments are good.

We've been told to give compliments and that it would increase the recipient's self confidence. Well it does, in fact sometimes, it does it so much, that the recipient has high expectations that others will see it the same way. This is especially dangerous when the compliment given is not even true.. the just to be nice kind.

Compliments, with reminders can increase self confidence - but having them always, actually makes a person over confident or believing that we're more than we really are. In worse cases, arrogance sets in.

I'm used to getting compliments, and of course I feel macam kepala ni membesar sikit when I get them. And frankly, I find myself macam having this air of arrogance even though it's only a little and tak ketara - like knowing or expecting others to see me like that. It's a feeling that I sometimes feel, is hard to avoid - it just comes. And some of them do and say it out and that makes it worse. Sometimes I remember to istighfar and remind myself, this comes from Allah SWT.

Another thing is.. when you keep getting them.. you keep expecting them, and when it doesn't come for quite a while.. you somehow feel.... like losing a bit of self confidence. Unless you remind yourself again, it's a blessing (or not) from Allah and Allah is free to take it back anytime.
I came across these hadiths:

1) It is reported on the authority of Abu Bakrah, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: A man praised another man in the presence of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), whereupon he said: Woe be to you, you have chopped the neck of your friend, you have chopped the neck of your friend, he said this twice. If one of you has to praise his friend at all, he should say: I think (him to be) so and Allah knows it well and I do not know the secret of the heart and Allah knows the destined end, and I cannot testify his purity against Allah but (he appears) to be so and so. (Sahih Muslim - 5319)

2) Abu Musa, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) saw a man lauding another person or praising him too much. Thereupon he said: You killed him, or you sliced the back of the man. (Sahih Muslim - 5321)

So the thing is avoid praising people too much, and if you have to praise someone, do remind them at the same time, that it comes from Allah, and how it is in the end, remains to be seen.

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