On Conceit ['Ujub], Arrogance [Kibr] and Pride [Fakhar]:


On Conceit [‘Ujub], Arrogance [Kibr] and Pride [Fakhar]:

Conceit is a deep-seated disease. It is when the servant looks at himself with the eye of honour and self-glorification, while looking at others with the eye of lowliness and disdain.

Its effect on the tongue is that he says, “I this” and “I that.” As accursed Iblīs said, “I am better than him; You created me from fire and You created him from clay” (7:12). Its result, when in company, is believing oneself to be above others, seeking, to have precedence and to take pride of place at gathering. In discussion, it results in an aversion to being contradicted.

The arrogant person is one who, when warned, haughtily rejects the advice, yet, when warning others, does so aggressively. Anyone who sees himself as better than one of Allah’s creature is arrogant. Rather than being arrogant, you should realize that the virtuous one is the one considered by Allah in the Final Abode, and that is something that is unseen and depends upon one’s state at death. Your conviction, therefore, that you are better than others is pure ignorance. Rather, you should not look at any other person without seeing that he is better then you, that his merit surpass yours, and yourself as nothing.

Imam Ghazzali in “The Beginning of Guidance” translated by Mashhad al-Allaf.