What is the Islamic Understanding of Pride?
Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: There are narration that speak about the cardinal sin of lowering ones clothing below the ankle out of pride. What is the Islamic understanding of pride – whether in general or in specific to this narration. I am aware (please correct me if I am wrong) that is it disliked to wear clothing below the ankle if not out of pride though if out of pride, the sinful however i do not know what the Islamic understanding of Pride is so can you kindly explain.
Clothing Below Ankles
Before defining pride, what we find in many of the work of the four schools of thought is that it is disliked without a sin (makruh). This is not to deny though that there are many scholars today who hold that it is prohibited to for men to have their clothing below the ankle.
The definition of Arrogance (kibr) according to Ibn Juzay is, “A person thinking highly of themselves and looking down upon others.” Imam al-Ghazzali in his Forty Foundations defines pride as, “The reality of arrogance (kibr) is that one deems himself superior to others in regards to qualities of completion which leads to snobbish and overjoyed”.
The Causes and Signs of Arrogance
Arrogance can be caused by having knowledge, worship, lineage, courage, strength, beauty, wealth, or prestige. Some of the effects of arrogance is that a person would want a high position in gatherings, being the first while walking, looking down on others, being hateful towards others if they don’t begin with salam, or that when he looks at the masses its like he is looking at donkeys.
What Pride leads to
Arrogance will cause a person to be driven away from the signs of Allah (Quran 7:146). Ibn Zukri said, “As long as a person is arrogant his heart will not submit to truth, accept it, nor benefit from it.”
(Mawlud, Purification of the Heart)