Self-respect and Arrogance

Dear questioner,
May Allah bless you and increase you in good.
Self-respect and Arrogance
There is a distinction that we should keep in mind between self-respect [i’zzah] and pride or arrogance [kibr]
As for self-respect, it means we should never bring ourselves low before others due to their wealth or status. Rather, we display dignity and self-respect. We need to show that money and power are not means that Allah has honored by their intrinsic value. Instead, we magnify what Allah has magnified, like knowledge and good character, etc.
Warning against arrogance
As for arrogance, then this is very dangerous. That is when a person feels or deems himself better than others.
Allah says, ” Surely Allah does not like whoever is arrogant, boastful.” [Quran31:18]
The Prophet ( peace and blessings be upon him) said, “He who has, in his heart, an ant’s weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah.” Someone said: “A man likes to wear beautiful clothes and shoes?” Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty. Arrogance means ridiculing and rejecting the Truth and despising people.”
Imam ibn Ata’illah says, ” If you’re aware of your humility, then you are arrogant.”
The Cure
Among the cures are the following:
(1.) Reflecting upon the origins of your creation and your ultimate return to Allah. We were created from sperm, and we will return to the dust of the earth. One of the early righteous forebears, to amplify our humbleness, said, “A man carries between his two sides feces.” In other words, what could be a legitimate source of our pride?
(2.) Fear Allah about your good deeds not being accepted as a reason for your arrogance. ” “Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are pious [al muttaqun]” [Quran 5:27]
(3.) When you feel you better than someone else, ponder that Allah could change that person and make them better than you; likewise, He can take away His blessings from you, and you could end up in their state.
(4.) The fact is you know you have sinned while you assume others [ you look down upon] have committed sins. You don’t know what good deeds they have done that may earn them the pleasure of Allah.
Finally, no one knows what is in the hearts of others; we do not even know what is in our hearts. How can we be so sure of ourselves when we read the companions’ stories like Umar [Allah be pleased with him], who used to fear having hypocrisy in his heart! Hasan al Basri said, ” No one fears hypocrisy except the true believer. And no one feels secure from hypocrisy except the hypocrite.”
That should scare all of us from having any claims to being righteous. Imam ibn Ata’illah says, ” If you’re aware of your humility, then you are arrogant.”
Further recommended reading:
I recommend for further reading on this topic is a book in English called “Purification of the Heart” by Hamza Yusuf.
[Imam] Yama Niazi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani