By Imam Zakariyah Sarumi
Arrogance or pride is the blamable characteristic of a person that Allah Almighty dislikes the most. Arrogance is the feature of Iblees (Satan) and his followers in this world. We all know that the first one who showed arrogance towards Allah (SWT) and His creation was Iblees. When Allah Almighty commanded Iblees to prostrate to Adam, he refused to do so and was arrogant, and said, “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.”
Allah Almighty said in the Noble Quran about the greatest sin arrogance (pride) in these words: “(To them) it will be said, “Enter the gates of Hell to abide eternally therein, and wretched is the residence of the arrogant”, (Quran, 39:72). According to the Holy Quran, arrogance (pride) is the sin that will be severely punished by Allah Almighty. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said that pride is the disease which is the greatest sin in the sight of Allah Almighty; one who is proud is arrogant. People who are arrogant will not enter paradise. Prophet (SAW) said, “One will not enter Paradise if one has an atom’s weight of arrogance in his/her heart.” (Tirmidhi).
Arrogance or pride is when an individual thinks too deeply about himself, and when he tends, moreover, to consider others as inferior to him. On the contrary, when one thinks of himself as small and insignificant, is known to be modest and this characteristic is called modesty. When someone considers others superior to himself, that is called humility. Allah loves those who possess these great qualities and disliked those who in any case have the arrogance. In the Noble Quran, Allah Almighty says: “… truly He likes not the proud”, (Quran, 16:23). Pride or arrogance is disliked the most because it is a thick veil which hides one’s shortcomings from his own view, and thus prevents him from removing them and attaining perfection.
Arrogance leads people to sickness of the mind and incorrect behaviour. People who live in a state of pride and betrayal reside in a dark internal world. A world full of a sincere dread of losing, making a mistake, being humiliated, stress, doubt, hatred, anger, and passion. Arrogant peoples’ behaviour is always expected to make them appear more valuable and superior in the eyes of other people. In other words, they feel superior to others. Allah Almighty turns the arrogant people away from being guided with his signs. For those people, Allah Almighty says in Holy Quran: “I will turn away from My Ayahs (verses of the Quran) those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right, and (even) if they see all the Ayahs (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons signs, revelations, etc.), they will not believe in them…” (Quran; 7:146).
The most severe arrogance is being arrogant against Allah Almighty by rejecting submission and worshipping Him. Allah Almighty says about these arrogant people in the Holy Quran, “Verily! Those who disdain My worship (because of arrogance), they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” (Quran, 40:60). The person who is arrogant or proud likes that people should stand up for him, whether on his coming or while he is sitting, does not like that anyone should sit or walk beside him. An arrogant people live in a constant state of discomfort due to which they never find peace in life. When pride finds its way into the hearts of Muslims, it quickly affects the way they talk, act and treat others.
May Allah Almighty keep us all away from this disease of arrogance and pride! Ameen.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And surely, We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being); then We told the angels, ‘Prostrate yourselves to Adam’, and they prostrated themselves, except Iblees (Satan), he refused to be of those who prostrated themselves.
(Allaah) said: ‘What prevented you (O Iblees) that you did not prostrate yourself, when I commanded you?’ Iblees said: ‘I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay’”.(Quran 7:11-12).
Arrogance is one of the characteristics of Iblees, so whoever wants to be arrogant should realize that he is acquiring a characteristic of the devil, and that he is not acquiring a characteristic of the noble angels who obeyed their Lord and fell down prostrate. Moreover, arrogance may be the cause of a person being deprived of paradise and may mean that the Lord of Glory will not even look at him, as it says in the following two hadeeth:
1 – It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (SAW) said: “No one who has an atom’s-weight of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, what if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good?” He said, “Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” Narrated by Muslim, 91.
2 – It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Whoever lets his garment drag along the ground out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” Abu Bakr said: “Sometimes my garment slips down on one side, unless I pay attention to it.” The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “You are not doing that out of pride.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3465.