Nabi (S.A.W) said: “The Fire complained saying: ‘I am the dwelling of the arrogant and the tyrants’.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
Exhibit A: I’m in the middle of an argument. Thunder strikes, wonders of wonders, I’m on the wrong side of the fight. I soldier on, because THIS IS A MATTER OF SELF-PRESERVATION. You don’t back down from a skirmish, homie. Yeah, it’s pride, but within reason.
Exhibit B: I refuse to acquaint myself with lowly peasants who are not in possession of light-up sneakers. Because, c’mon, those are pretty cool. This is screaming pride. Sidenote- In retrospect, the situation may seem unrealistic. It isn’t. ‘The Froggie’ crew being a case in point. Allow me to elaborate. When we were prefects, there existed a group of girls that only sat with people that wore Froggies (It’s a school shoe brand. A SCHOOL SHOE BRAND!). I was in awe of this. I mean, I realise that teenagers can be arrogant, but that was almost too ridiculous to pass test.
Taking pride in your dress, in your work, in your doings does not one arrogant make (it makes better sense when you reread it). Improper pride is when a person does not accept the truth and produces false arguments against it or when he admires himself for his beauty or handsomeness and feels superior to people.
Abdullah ibn Mas’ood narrates that Nabi (S.A.W) said: “No one who has an atom’s-weight of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good?” He (S.A.W) replied, “Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” [Muslim]
How you differentiate between the two? Any action done proudly (example: Hijab) because of Islam, is admirable. Any action done with pride for any other reason is chargeable.
Nabi (S.A.W) further explained the meaning of pride when he said: “Pride is to disdain the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt people.” [Muslim]
In other words, being prideful means that you have no respect for other people. That you have an exaggerated sense of feeling good. Pride deprives the prideful person from Jannah because it prevents him from acquiring the qualities of the believers. Among those being that he likes for others what he likes for himself. That he be humble, and not envious. An arrogant person cannot restrain his anger, nor refrain from gossiping about others. Ultimately, he is possessor to all blameworthy morals. And these ‘morals’, a product of our ego, hold us back. It prevents us from benefitting from Knowledge, accepting the truth, and complying with it.
The first one who showed arrogance towards Allah and His creation was Shaytan. When Allah commanded him to prostrate to Adam (A.S), he refused and was arrogant, and said, “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.”
‘Amr ibn Shuaib narrates via his father and grandfather that the Nabi (S.A.W) 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.” [Al-Tirmidhi, 2492]
Remember, you take one step towards Allah, Allah takes ten steps towards you.
May Allah protect us all and grant us the ability to overcome our Nafs.
Love and Duas,