The definition of pride from a Hadīth
“Arrogance is to reject the truth knowingly and to belittle other people.”
This Hadeeth exposes two harmful qualities of a man both dealing with one’s exaggerated ideas of self-importance. The first suggests that one is more important than the truth. The second suggests that one is more important than other people.
It was arrogance that made Azaazeel, a devout servant, into Shaitaan (Satan). Similarly, the Jews and hypocrites who met Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) knew that indeed he was the Messenger of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). Their arrogance, though, kept them from accepting it.
Arrogance has been called the mother of all spiritual sicknesses, or the root of all sicknesses of the heart. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) warned that a person having even an iota of arrogance in his heart will not enter Jannah (Paradise).
Three people are deserving of punishment.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) has mentioned that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Most High, will not speak to three groups of people on the Day of (Resurrection) Qiyaamah. He will not even look at them with His Mercy and He will subject them to the most excruciating of punishments.
An old man who fornicates. Although fornication is just as abominable in youth but in old age it is much more despicable.
A king who lies. Lying is worse for a king because he has none to fear.
An arrogant beggar. Arrogance is worse for a beggar because he has nothing to be proud of.
The reality of pride
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) has mentioned that the person who has arrogance equivalent to a mustard seed will not enter Jannah. Someone asked: “I like my clothes and shoes to be nice and clean. Is this also arrogance?”
The Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) replied: “No. Allah loves and appreciates beauty. He wants to see the effects of His bounties and blessings on His bondsmen. Allah dislikes a wealthy person from adopting the appearance of a poor person. Arrogance means that a person looks down upon others (believes that he is superior to others). The person who keeps his shoes in order, patches his clothes, and prostrates to Allah is free of arrogance.”
The most detestable person
Prophet Hadhrat Moosaa (Moses) once asked Allah: “Which of your creation is most detestable in Your sight?”
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) replied: “The person whose heart is filled with arrogance, whose tongue is harsh, whose conviction is weak and whose hands are miserly.”
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) dislikes arrogance
Muhallab Bin Mugheerah, who was in the army of Hajjaaj, once passed Mutarraf Ibn Abdullah walking arrogantly. Mutarraf told him: “Oh servant of Allah! Allah does not like this walk.”
Muhallab retorted: “Do you not know who I am?”
Mutarraf replied: “I know you very well. You were originally a drop of dirty fluid and will soon become a stinking corpse. At this point in time you are carrying a load of feces (filth) with you.”
After hearing this Muhallab changed his walk.
The highest form of humility
Hadhrat Umar said: “The highest form of humility is that you greet every Muslim, and you are pleased with the simplest place in a gathering and that you dislike being praised.”
The humility of Salmaan Faarsi
Hadhrat Salmaan Faars after being appointed as the governor of Madinah Munawwarah, was once walking through the marketplace. Mistaking him to be a slave, someone instructed him to carry his goods. Hadhrat Salmaan happily complied. As they were walking through the streets, people began to wonder in astonishment. Each one of them said: “O the Sahaabi (Companion) of Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)! May Allah have mercy on you! Allow us to carry the load.”
However, Hadhrat Salmaan refused their offer and continued to carry the load. When the person realized his blunder, he apologized for not recognizing the governor. Hadhrat Salmaan said: “Do not worry about it. Just keep walking.”
The two eventually reached the destiny. The person was so embarrassed about his behavior that he vowed never to employ the services of anyone.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: “Wealth does not decrease when spent in charity (but rather increases). Forgiving the transgressions of others raises a person’s ranks. If three traits are not found within a person when he dies, he shall enter Jannah:
No one likes a person who is arrogant, haughty, proud, or condescending. We detest a person who belittles others and walks around carrying his ego. Similarly, we naturally love people who are humble, polite, and easy to talk to. As human beings we tend to appreciate those who respect and honor us. The cure for arrogance is just the opposite, viz. Humility. Some basic guidelines pertaining to the remedy:
Be conscious of the harms and detriments of arrogance at all times.
Seek the guidance of the learned and pious Ulamaa and Mashaaikh.
Do not associate yourselves with those who are arrogant and haughty, instead adopt the company of those who are humble.
Ponder over the reality of the Aakhirah (Hereafter), especially the grave.
Ponder on the reality of our lives, that we were created from a drop of dirty fluid, one day we will be placed in the grave where insects and worms will feed off our bodies. Ponder on our weaknesses and most importantly, one must constantly supplicate to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) for guidance and perseverance.
One of our recent Ulamaa, Shaikh Maseehullah Khan, said: Arrogance is remedied by reflecting on the Splendor, Glory and Majesty of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). This reflection will produce in one a realization of one’s own lowly position. Your own excellences will then recede into nothingness. Also, humble yourself in the presence of those whom you regard as your inferior. Be respectful to them so that you become imbued with humility.
The fruit of patience is comfort and the fruit of humility is love. The pride of a believer is his Rabb, his honor is his religion. On the other hand, the pride of the hypocrite is his lineage and his wealth is his honor.