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ARROGANCE OR PRIDE


The word arrogance according to dictionaries it means behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people or an attitude of superiority. The Arabic word for Arrogance is ‘KIBR’. Arrogance is a blameworthy characteristic which is the feature of Iblees and his cohorts in this world, those on whose hearts Allaah has placed a seal. The first one who showed arrogance towards Allaah and His creation was the accursed Iblees, when Allaah commanded him to prostrate to Adam and he refused and was arrogant [1] [2]

 

Table of Contents

 

Islamic meaning of Arrogance

The Prophet explained the meaning of pride when he said: He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise. A person (amongst his hearers) said: Verily a person loves that his dress should be fine, and his shoes should be fine. He (the Prophet) remarked: Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people. Sahih Muslim 91

 

Pride is only for Allah

Pride is not befitting for anyone except Allaah. Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Prophet () said: Allah Most High says: Pride is my cloak and majesty is my lower garment, and I shall throw him who view with me regarding one of them into Hell. Sahih Muslim 2620, Classed as Sahih by Shaikh Albani in Sunan Abi Dawud 4090 and sunan Ibn Majah 4174 [3]

 

Quran

I will turn away from My signs those who are arrogant upon the earth without right; and if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. And if they see the way of consciousness, they will not adopt it as a way; but if they see the way of error, they will adopt it as a way. Quran Surah Araf 7:146

 

Assuredly, Allah knows what they conceal and what they declare. Indeed, He does not like the arrogant. Quran Surah Nahl 16:23

 

Enter the gates of Hell to abide eternally therein, and wretched is the residence of the arrogant." Quran Surah Gafir 40:76 [4]

 

Hadith

It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. Mas'ud that the Messenger of Allah () observed: None shall enter the Fire (of Hell) who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of Iman and none shall enter Paradise who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of arrogance or pride. Sahih Muslim 91 and Sunan Ibn Majah  Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 59

 

Types of Arrogance

Arrogance is of several types, including the following: 

  1. When a person does not accept the truth and produces false arguments against it, as we have mentioned in the hadeeth of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood, “Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” 
     
  2. When a person admires himself for his beauty or handsomeness, or the fineness of his food or clothing, so he feels proud and arrogant and feels superior to people. 

 

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said (or Abu’l-Qaasim (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said): “Whilst a man was walking, dragging his garment with pride, with his hair nicely combed, Allaah caused the earth to swallow him and he will go on sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”  Sahih al Bukhari, 3297; Muslim, 2088 

 

A similar case is the story of the friend of the man whose companion spoke to him arrogantly. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  “And he had property (or fruit) and he said to his companion, in the course of mutual talk: ‘I am more than you in wealth and stronger in respect of men’Quran Surah al-Kahf 18:34

 

It may be that he was boasting about his tribe and linage. [5]

 

Worst form of Pride

Among the worst forms of pride is that which prevents man from benefiting from knowledge, accepting the truth and complying with it.

 However, a prideful person may have some knowledge, but his prideful soul does not let him comply with the truth, as Allaah, The Almighty, Says (what means) “And they denied them those (Ayaat) wrongfully and arrogantly though their ownselves were convinced thereof...” Quran, Surah Naml 27:14

 

And (what means): “They said: Shall we believe in two men like ourselves…?"[Quran; 23:47]

 

And also (what means): “You are no more than human beings like us!” [Quran; 14:10] [6]

 

The Degrees of Pride

As far as pride is concerned, scholars and worshipers of Allaah are of three degrees:

 

The first degree is that pride is inculcated in the heart of any of them, so he sees himself better than the others, but he tries to rectify himself and act humbly.

 

The second degree is that any prideful person among them shows pride and arrogance in public sittings through such acts as proving how he is more excellent than his counterparts and devaluating whoever does not show him respect.

 

The third degree is that he shows pride and arrogance through words; for example, he may show how proud he is of himself, his accomplishments, his lineage, etc., aiming to show how he is better and more significant than the others or than a certain person.

 

Some qualities of the prideful person

  1. He likes that people should stand up for him, whether on his coming or while he is sitting. However, the Muslim scholars view that it is recommendable to stand up for parents, just rulers, and virtuous people.
     
  2. He does not walk except with someone walking behind him.
     
  3. He does not visit anyone because he feels that he is better than people (and thus it is they who should pay him visits.)
     
  4. He does not like that anyone should sit or walk beside him.
     
  5. He refuses to carry even his own belongings under any circumstances.
     
  6. He does not help his wife in any of the house affairs, contradicting what the Prophet used to do. [7]

 

 

Punishment for Arrogant

It was narrated from ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb via his father and grandfather that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, the arrogant will be gathered like ants in the form of men. Humiliation will overwhelm them from all sides. They will be driven to a prison in Hell called Bawlas, with the hottest fire rising over them, and they will be given to drink of the juice of the inhabitants of Hell, which is teenat al-khabaal.”  Jami at Tirmidhi, Vol.4:2492; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2025. 

 

Remedy for Arrogance

One of the remedies for arrogance is to think of yourself as being just like other people and realize that they are like you, they were born from a mother and a father just as you were, and that taqwa (piety, fear of Allaah) is the true criterion of superiority. 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  “Verily, the most honourable of you with Allaah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious)” Quran Surah al-Hujuraat 49:13

 

The arrogant Muslim should realize that no matter what he achieves, he is still too weak to attain a stature like the mountains in height or rend nor penetrate the earth (cf. al-Isra’ 17:37), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allaah likes not any arrogant boaster.

And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses” Quran Surah Luqmaan 31:18-19

 

Al-Qurtubi said: 

The phrase “nor walk in insolence through the earth” is a prohibition of arrogance and is enjoining humility. Marah (translated here as insolence) is excessive joy, or it was said that it means being arrogant in walking, or thinking too highly of oneself.   [8]

 

References

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arrogance

[2] [3] [5] [8] http://islamqa.info/en/9229

[3] http://islamqa.info/en/9229

[4] [6] [7] http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=articles&id=135879

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