In Islamic terms, arrogance is self glorification in such a way as to make one look down upon others, humiliating them and turning a deaf ear to their pleas for what is right. Highlighting the serious consequence of arrogance, the Prophet (salallahu alayi wa sallam) said: "Whoever has an atoms weight of arrogance in his heart will never enter Paradise. A man said, One loves that his dress should be fine, and his shoes should be fine. The Prophet (salallahu alayi wa sallam) replied, Verily, AIlaah is Graceful and loves Grace. Arrogance is disdaining the Truth and contempt of the people. (Muslim)
Is Arrogance Different from self-dignity?
There is a difference between arrogance and a sense of self-dignity. While self-dignity implies the recognition of the blessings of Allaah and expression of gratitude for them; arrogance embodies the denial of Allaah’s blessings and expression of ingratitude for them. Manifestations of Arrogance There are many symptoms of this disease and they include: Walking proudly or in a haughty manner: Allaah says, "And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, AIlaah likes not each arrogant boaster." (Q31[Luqman]:18)
Talking in a pompous way: The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, Allaah’s Messenger was neither a Fahish (one who had a bad tongue) nor a Sabbaba (one who abuses others) and he used to say while admonishing somebody, "What is wrong with him? May dust be on his forehead!" (Bukhari) Being vain in dressing: The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: AIlaah will not look, on the Day of Resurrection, at the person who drags his garment (behind him) out of conceit. "On that Abu Bakr said, "O AIlahs Apostle! One side of my Izar hangs low if I do not take care of it." The Prophet said, "You are not one of those who do that out of conceit." (Bukhari) Taking Pride People standing up whenever You come in or pass by them The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "Whoever likes to have others stand up when he comes in, will reside in Hell forever (AbuDawud) The love of becoming the leader of preceding others in walking or talking or sitting in the front and the like.
Causes Of Arrogance: Arrogance is a reflection of excessive self-admiration, an admiration conducive to the contempt of others, feeling superior to them. Its causes are ingrained in some of the various other moral flaws that afflict a Muslim. From the cause of arrogance are the following: Wrong Standard of Evaluation When a person evaluates matters in terms of wealth and power, the "superiority" of wealth which he finds with himself often causes him to become not only arrogant but also proud and heedless towards Allaah and His commands. Comparing Ones blessings against others Some people who are endowed, for reasons only Allaah knows, with blessings denied to others (such as good health, a wife, children, money, social position, knowledge, eloquence, talent for writing, the power to influence others, or the support of followers etc.) are blinded by such worldly allurements and forget the Provider of these and come to compare and contrast between the blessings they enjoy with what others have. They conclude that others are inferior to them, hence they degrade and contempt them.
This is arrogance. Allaah sets a parable of such a trait: "Set forth to them the parable of two men: for one of them We provided two gardens of grape-vines and surrounded them with date palms; in between the two We placed tillage. Both gardens yielded their crops and did not suffer any loss, and we made a river flow right through the middle of them. And he had fruit, so he said to his companion, debating with him: "I have more wealth than you and more people under me." (Q18[Kahf]: 32-34) Trusting Too Much In One’s Ability: When a person believes so much about himself and what he can do, he may be led into being arrogant unless he balances it with a corresponding belief that Allaah is the Source of all good. Some believe that their property is the fruit of their own effort and intellect. They resemble Qarun, the arrogant tyrant whom Allah destroyed and who said, "This has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess." (Q28[Qasas]:78)
How many are those who are heedless of Allah's Lordship and who believe that their possessions and successes in matters of life are due to their own efforts and abilities. One should trust what is in Allaah’s Hand more than what is in one’s own. One should not place more trust on ones wealth, knowledge and "connections" than on Allaah, the false belief that blessings are permanent, some people are driven into arrogance because of the belief that there cannot be a change in current status. They forget that Allaah apportions the goods of this world according to His Wisdom While He is raising someone in status, He is at the same time degrading another somewhere.
Preceding others in doing good: A sense of arrogance and superiority might arise from having, preceded others on the path of doing good, from being a forerunner in certain fields such as learning or calling to Islaam or fighting in the cause of Allaah or education and the like some people are endowed with the privilege of being forerunners on the path of virtue and good deeds-and they are likely to look down upon those who follow them along this path, wondering, who are these people? Where were they when we embarked on our arduous mission along the road of thorns and suffering? Effects Anxiety and depression: The arrogant, driven by the desire to seek recognition of their matchless superiority, are often met with resistance from people with dignity. Thus they become frustrated, a disappointment engendering anxiety from which the arrogant suffer, this in addition to his excessive preoccupation with himself which precludes him from recognizing Allah and remembering Him, thus depriving him of a sense of security and true happiness. Allaah says: "But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down." (Q20[Ta Ha]:124)
Inability to detect ones faults: An arrogant person who thinks that he has attained perfection in everything, is unwilling to probe into himself or undertake a self-critical examination of the different aspects of his personality so that he forfeits any opportunity for self-correction. Moreover he is reluctant to listen to the advice of others. Such a man would be immersed in the labyrinth of his sins and faults until he dies the death of sinners and wrong-doers to have a permanent residence in Hell: "Say: shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds! They are those who deny the Ayat of their Lord and the Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter).
So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall not give them any weight. That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved and took My Ayat and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery." (Q18[Kahf]:103-106) Denial of entry into Paradise The last effect of arrogance in ones heart is to be denied entry into paradise. The height of arrogance is to be arrogant towards to the words and command of Allaah. The effect of this is a denial of entrance to Paradise."Whoever has an atoms weight of arrogance in his heart will never enter Paradise. "(Muslim) The remedy to the flaw of arrogance is to take care of the causes of the disease and particularly reflecting on the helplessness of man against the decree of Allaah.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited