Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.
I find that many people believe that they are never in the wrong. This stems from a line of thinking that allows for the individual to believe they are right, no matter what. This trail of thought of course leads to the evil known as arrogance.
You may find this either amongst yourself, or within other people. I’d like to speak of this from the angle of those that receive advice. When you offer words of advice, the advisee may often respond with the following two words, ‘-I know’. Now what I’m referring to is a specific kind of ‘I know’. The kind that seems to reject any advice you seem to offer, based on some underlying concepts that have manifested in their personalities. It’s the kind where they feel as though their scope of knowledge, their competence and their wisdom is being attacked. It’s when they reject what you offer straight away because they deep down are offended by the words that are indifferent to their ways of action. Because they feel this way when such words are uttered towards them, they are quick to believe that you are wrong, all of which is initially based on a feeling of apprehension. Now why do they feel apprehensive? Because they are fearful of ‘being wrong’, they cannot accept the ways suggested by another, they can only coincide with that which suits them. They give themselves an exaggerated sense of importance, because they are governed by elitism, and anything that will cause a ripple in their inner school of thought, needs to be tossed out and rejected immediately.
So when they are being offered advice, they will not see the value in what is being said to them. They won’t understand that somebody has taken the time to carefully construct their advice in accordance to the specificity of that individual’s situation. They will not stop to think that you have taken time out of your own life to think about how you can better theirs. They will not see this as your kind action out of love and care that you implement out of your humanitarian duty. Because their conceited mind frame clouds their lens so that they cannot see that people will not (always) do things because they spite you, because they want you to lose face, because they are looking down on you. It’s not right to think the worst of people, and concluding above all, you are right to believe as you believe, and right to do as you do.
Our Prophet (peace and blessing’s of Allah swt be upon him), explained so simply,
“No one with an atom’s worth of arrogance will enter paradise.” A man asked, “But a person loves that his clothes are seemly and his sandals are seemly.” The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied,” Indeed Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is denying truth and holding people in contempt.” (Muslim)
That’s exactly what being arrogant does. It deforms your world view to think the worst of people, and absolutely unable to accept anything else, even if it be good for you.
It will impede your ability to improve as a person. It stops you from changing to become better. Because you believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. It kills you from doing right by yourself.
For a while now, I’ve always believed that arrogance is nonsensical. This idea that ‘I am great/ all that/ always right’, just doesn’t make sense. For what on earth gives you the right to think you are perfect? Pride?
Pride: A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of one’s close associates, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. Defined by Sir Google.
You’re kidding me… right?
If you having had achieved such glorious positions in life turned you in to a prideful hence an arrogant person then really you haven’t achieved anything at all. Superficially, you may have. In front of others you may have. But it’s definitely diminished an important part of you, the part that’s so easily left behind and forgotten about in the process of all of your achieving.
It’s called humility.
It means that you’re ungrateful with the means that allowed you to achieve. It means you haven’t thanked and glorified what has actually allowed for you to excel. It means you believe you did everything on your own, that those legs that you walked with, you did that on your own. Those hands you wrote with, all on your own too. The food you ate, the clothes that covered you, the roof that sheltered you, all of these basic things and all of those extraordinary things such as waking up early every day, staying away from socialising and entertainment, everything that took part in leading you to your success, you truly believe it all came from you.
You never ever thought to think about the giver of your sight, your sustenance, and every other mean that was necessary to bring you towards your fame and glory. And because of that, you don’t see your blessings as blessings. You see them as everything you’re entitled to because of the mere fact that you were born with them, when really you did nothing to earn your body in its perfect and functional form. Now when you utilise this body to survive well and then to succeed, because you have only chosen to perform particular actions that have led to your success, you somehow believe you’re extraordinary and believe that you have earned this all on your own.
Have you understood my point yet?
I’ll illustrate this hypothetically. If an athlete received his limbs from somebody, entered the Olympics, became world champion, would he become arrogant about it? Or would he thank the person that donated his limbs to him? The latter of course, he’s grateful to the person that gave him the initial means to succeed, those arms and those legs.
So why do we become arrogant when our means to achieve has actually come from the being that provides for us, and gave us every single mean in the first place? Why do we forget that in actuality we don’t own anything? Why do we forget the One that gives us everything so we can prosper? It’s because we don’t realise this fundamental truth. That we have come from God, and He has given us everything. Because we remain in ignorance about this, we are truly the most ungrateful. So arrogance has room to creep in now. It can consume your personality, and lead you to believe you really are above everything else because everything has come from you, when really you’re far from the truth.
There is so much irony in this. We people can come to believe in this self-ownership thing, even though we have no control over our body’s ageing processes, or to put it simply, what afflicts us in life, as well as when we part from this world due to death. So much is already there for you to see that God owns you, and He gives you everything. You don’t own yourself, or your success. But because you don’t know this, you glorify yourself instead. Nauthubillah.
At this point it should be easy to perceive that arrogance which diminishes your humility also kills your faith. It’s because it leads us to become ungrateful towards Allah swt. Such a thing is prime in the decline of today’s moral integrity.
A good person is characteristic of a good heart. So take heed on working on that soul of yours.
“Beware, in the body there is a flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart.”- Al-Bukhari & Muslim.
If you feel as though you’ve benefitted from this post, do share it with others inshaAllah. JezhakAllahukhairun, Apple.