One of the greatest display of pride and arrogance was of fir'aun (pharaoh) such that it brought him to his own destruction.

Pride such as lineage, ancestry, wealth, position or status among people, then this is an act of Jaahiliyyah and is not permissible.

Sahih Muslim (1550) its narrated from Abu Maalik al-Ash'ari (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: "There are four matters of Jaahiliyyah in my ummah that they will not give up: pride in one's forefathers, slandering lineages, seeking rain by the stars and wailing (for the dead)."

In sahih Muslim (5109) its also narrated from 'Iyaad ibn Himaar al-Mujaasha'i (may Allah be pleased with that) that the Messenger of Allah (sa) said one day in his khutbah: "Allah has revealed to me that you should be humble so that no one will boast to anyone else and no one will transgress against anyone else."

Al-Majd Ibn Tamiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Allah has forbidden on the lips of His Prophet two types of mistreatment of people: pride and transgression against them and scorn.
Fayd al-Qadeer, 2/217

The guideline with regard to this issue is: whatever is a source of pride and honour because of religion is part of the religion and is praiseworthy; any source of pride other than that is blameworthy.

But feeling proud because of doing acts of obedience and worship means feeling happy that one has been enabled to do that and feeling proud of belonging to people who do that, and praising Allah for saving him from shirk and its people, and from sin and its path.

As for looking down on the slaves of Allah and feeling that one is above them because of acts of obedience that one has done, this is the worst type of pride and arrogance, and the one who is like this is on the brink of disaster and there is a danger that his deeds will be thrown back at him.

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, and said, "I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay."

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."
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 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'"
[al-Kahf 18:34]
It may be that he was boasting about his tribe and linage.


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.


Sheikh Adnan Abdul-Qadir is an Imam and a Khateeb in a masjid in Kuwait, where he resides. He is actively involved in dawa'h and teaching both in Kuwait and abroad. Over the years he has conducted many lectures and training courses, some of which have been broadcast on TV in Kuwait. He has also authored a number of beneficial books on various subjects. The Sheikh has visited the UK on numerous occasions, delivering extremely beneficial and inspirational talks and seminars for which he is well known.


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