What is ya’s (despair) and ujub (self-conceit, vanity)? It is good for man to regret the mistakes he made and sins he committed in the past but this can lead man to despair. How can we be saved from it?

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What is ya’s (despair) and ujub (self-conceit, vanity)? It is good for man to regret the mistakes he made and sins he committed in the past but this can lead man to despair. How can we be saved from it?

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(editor) on Fri, 12/01/2018 - 15:47

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Both of them are harmful to the spirit: YA’S AND UJUB...

They are two big enemies of our spiritual world. The shortest definition of ya’s (despair) is "a person’s thinking that he will definitely go to Hell", and ujub (vanity) is "a person’s thinking that he will definitely go to Paradise". In other words ya’s means "to lose all hope of Allah’s mercy", and ujub is "to feel safe from His penalty".

However, it is Allah who creates the good and the evil. When man applies to the causes of the good and evil, he is regarded to have wanted Paradise or Hell. The slave asks and Allah answers. However, asking is not enough for the realization of the result. Everything occurs only after Allah wishes and creates.

There are two enemies of the line of consent that is expressed as "moderation" in Allah’s speech: ifrat (doing too much of something) and tafrit (doing too little of something).

One of them leads man upward and the other downward, to destruction. If it is thought that the earth represents "moderation", it is ifrat to approach the sun and tafrit to go down to the layer of magma; both of them burns and destroys man.

One ring of the extremes that cause man to go astray is "ya’s and ujub". The disorder of "despair" occurs in people who fail to worship and do charity. The disorder of "vanity", which leads to conceit and arrogance, occurs in people who succeed but who cannot control their souls. The former is tafrit and the latter is ifrat. Both of them are harmful.

The source of ya’s is determined as follows in Mesnevî-i Nuriye:

“O friend! He who cannot do righteous deeds and worship fears penalty and falls into despair.” (Mesnevî-i Nuriye, p. 65)

The first illness that a person who believes in the hereafter but who cannot make his soul practice Islam is ya’s. A person who catches this illness should remember the generosity, grants and forgiveness of God Almighty and should think that His mercy is so vast as to cover his sins. Thus, he will get rid of the illness of seeing himself as "a person who will definitely go to Hell" and remain away from the misfortune of ya’s.

This issue is explained as follows in the Quran:

“Say: ‘O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’” (az-Zumar, 39/53)

The opposite of ya’s is in question in the disorder of ujub. A person practices Islam but he attributes this divine grant to his own soul, regards himself superior to others and thinks he will definitely go to Paradise.

The cure for overcoming this disease is expressed as follows in Mesnevî-i Nuriye:

“To trust in one’s deeds is ujub. It leads man to heresy. For, man has no right in the righteous deeds and charity he does; they do not belong to him; he cannot trust them.” (Mesnevî-i Nuriye, p. 65)

At this point, to listen to the following divine warning in the Quran will open the way to salvation:

“Whatever good, (O man!) happens to thee, is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul.” (an-Nisa, 4/79)

All of the good deeds that exist were taught to people by prophets and Allah created all of the conditions necessary to do them. For instance, to tell the truth is a god deed. This good deed was thought to people by divine books and prophets; besides, it is Allah who creates all of the conditions necessary to tell the truth like the mouth, tongue, salivary gland, larynx, brain, nervous system and air. 

When man thinks of them, he sees that he has a very little share in that good deed. In such a good deed that can occur when thousands of divine miracles come together, the share of man is only tending toward that good deed and using his partial free will in that way.

Instead of boasting and trusting in oneself, it is necessary to know it like that, to thank Allah and to feel gratitude toward him. Those who do not do so will fall into the pit of sins.

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