Following are some of the debasing charachteristics along with the remedy of eradicating them, taken from “Good Character” by Shaykh Maseehullah Khan (Raheemahullah).
Hirs – Greed
Total attachment to / engrossment in materialism. It has no end as a person with greed desires more and more irrespective of how much he/she has attained. It is the root of all ills i.e. immorality is greed for pleasure, arrogance is greed for fame
Treatment: cut down on expenses – check extravagances and avoid luxuries. Act against the Nafs (contrary to one’s desires) abstaining not only from the Haraam but also from certain items which may be Halaah but not essential. This is termed “Mujaahadah” Tama’
This is a stage beyond Hirs where greed drives one to deliberately transgress the Shari’ah.
Treatment: same as for greed but with greater emphasis on Mujaahadah.
Daroogh – To Lie
To speak an untruth. Even to relate to others what has been related to one without first personally verifying it falls within this heading.
Dangers & Consequences: Lying leads to disgrace and punishment
Gheebat – To Backbite
To relate in a person’s absence anything about him in a manner that would offend him, even if it may be the truth. It should also be noted that Gheebat is not necessarily restricted to derogatory remarks but includes insinuations, gestures and mimicy which are offensive.
Dangers & Consequences: Gheebat has been equated with the act of eating the flesh of one’s dead brother in the Qur’an and in the Hadith it has been related that it is worse than fornication.
Prevention: Look at people’s good qualities and speak well of others.
Treatment: Consider words carefully before uttering them. Speak minimally, and only if it is beneficial and avoid idleness
Hubbi Jaah – Love for Fame
The desire to capture people’s hearts – to attain rank and prestige / to be held in esteem and be ruler over Allah’s creation / to have others submissive and obedient
Dangers & Consequences: Creates jealousies and if unchecked it leads to ‘Ujb and Takabbur
Prevention: Remain unknown i.e. avoid publicity and limelight. Analyse all praise and compliments. Is one really deserving of these? Is there not even a trace of insincerity in one’s actions?
‘Ujb – Conceit
To consider one’s achievments in matters of Religion and the world to be self-attained (i.e. not from Allah subhaanahu wata’ala) without fear of any loss.
Dangers & Consequences: ‘Ujb is a step towards Kibr (Pride – which is detestable) and one who has ‘Ujb recedes from Allah subhaanahu wata’ala’s grace and invites His wrath.
Prevention & Treatment: Acknowledge that all achievements are blessings from Allah subhaanhua wata’ala and that He has the power to take them away. Look closely at one’s own faults and shortcomings while also looking at the good in the many people who are better and more pious than one’s self.
Takabbur – Arrogance
This is a stage beyond ‘Ujb: (which is conciet) and Takabbur is conciet plus an attitude of superiority i.e. others are regarded with disdain and contempt.
Danger & Consequences: Takabbur makes one opinionated, quick-tempered, stubborn, disdainful towards others and one becomes haughty in one’s behaviour. It was Takabbur which made Shaytaan disobey Allah subhaanahu wata’ala causing his downfall. It is very subtle and one can easily be decieived into thinking that one does not have this illness within one’s heart.It is very dangerous as a person with even an iota of Kibr in his heart will not enter Jannah.
Prevention & Treatment: Along with the treatment mentioned for ‘Ujb one should acknowledge that only Allah subhaanahu wata’ala is perfect in all His qualities and one should look at one’s own insignificance i.e. one’s beginning was a mere clot of blood and one’s end will be a lifeless corpse and between these two stages one is walking around with a container (one’s bowels) full of filth. Therefore there is no cause for arrogance. One should humble one’s self in front of those one considers inferior and extol their good qualities.
Riyaa – Ostentation / Show / Insincerity
To have an intention of appearing good or pious in the eyes of others and thereby enhance one’s dignity in appearing obedient to Allah’s will. The intention is not solely to gain the pleasure of Allah.
Prevention & Treatment: Riyaa is an offshoot of Hubbi Jaah therefore Hubbi Jaah needs to be treated. One’s intention should be corrected BEFORE and action, DURING it and After it. Optional worship should be performed in privacy wherever possible and do it in abundance . In this manner Riyaa will disappear as habit takes over and will make way for sincerity to develop.
Hasad – Jealousy
Hasad is a name given to that condition where one sees somebody in good circumstances and one becomes displeased at it and further, one desires that the good circumstances be destroyed.
Dangers & Consequences: The person with this condition loses contentment and peace of mind. This person will feel vexed and frustrated and pines away in the anticipation of his “opponents” disgrce. Such a person’s good deeds become annulled and he invites Allah’s wrath.
Prevention & Treatmenta: Suppress any feelings of jealousy and act against their demands. Remember that such charachteristics arise instinctively and are not within one’s control. Be humble and hospitable with the person one is jealous of and speak highly of them
Hiqd wa Keenah – Malice & Hatred
When one has Ghussah (anger) – for personal reasons and not for the sake of Deen – which one is unable to vent and one knows this anger to create feelings of hatred, to the extent of planning revenge, one is said to have Hiqd and Keenah. Merely being upset by somebody, even to the extent of avoiding conatact with that person is not Keenah as log as there is no intention nor desire to harm him. This feeling may arise instinctively and as such it is not sinful.
Dangers & Consequences;Vexation, frustration, discontentment etc. destroy the inner peace of a person just as jealousy does and of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said that two persons having malice for one another are not forgiven.
Prevention & Treatment: Treating anger related bad qualities will prevent the developement of Hiqd and Keenah. Overlook the faults of the person who is the object of one’s Hiqd and associate and be friendly with him even though it may be difficult