Overcoming arrogance

Arrogance is a highly unlikeable attribute in Islam. Allah does not like it when a person is arrogant. Holy Prophet said if a person has arrogance equal to the size of mustard in his heart, he will not enter paradise.

He also said, “The one who is the first one to say Salam is purified from arrogance”.

Arrogance means considering yourself superior to others for example, putting yourself before others, trying to sit at a better spot in the masjid, condescendingly looking at others, getting angry if someone tries to give advice, and proving yourself right even when you are wrong. All these actions are objectionable in Islam.
Imam Ghazali writes in his book that due to arrogance, the door of Islamic fortune gets closed, and the arrogant person looks condescendingly at others. He further writes that an arrogant individual gets involved in anger and envies others. No one can please an arrogant person; he is full of himself, and he does not care about the world. Therefore, no one likes a person with these characteristics.

Our Prophet Muhammad has taught us to practice his teachings which can enable others to like and respect us. He said, “You cannot enter Janat unless you accept Islam, and you can not accept Islam unless you love each other”. Then he said, “I will teach you the things to help you love others”. He said,” افشوا السلام بينكم”, “Spread Salam among each other”.

The biggest obstacle in spreading Salam is arrogance. An arrogant person expects others to bow down before him and say Salam to him because he considers himself superior. This superiority complex arises when one considers he has more knowledge, more money, or a higher family status. The greatest challenge is to practice humility even if you have all these things.

It is an aspect of human nature that when a person is in a better position, he considers others inferior to him. A person who owns a vehicle starts considering a pedestrian inferior to him. Holy Prophet said, “A vehicle owner should say Salam to a pedestrian, the pedestrian should say Salam to the one sitting there and few people should say Salam to many people”.

By practising this hadith of the Prophet, arrogance will be eliminated from the hearts of Muslims. When a person says Salam to another, it means he is wishing the other person for his well-being. Even if the other person is arrogant, he will accept the other person’s Salam and respond to it. This will eventually soften his heart and remove arrogance from his personality.

The Holy Prophet has also encouraged young individuals to say Salam to elders. He said,”افشوا السلام بينكم”. It is the Sunnat of the Holy Prophet to say Salam to everyone around you. In Surah Nissa Ayat 86 Allah says:

“َ اِذَا حُیِّیْتُمْ بِتَحِیَّةٍ فَحَیُّوْا بِاَحْسَنَ مِنْهَاۤ اَوْ رُدُّوْهَاؕ”
“If someone says Salam to you, respond to that person by saying Salam in a better way than him”.

This tells us that it is extremely important to respond to Salam. If a person says Asalamualikum first, the other person should not repeat Asalmaualikum, rather he should respond with Walikum Asalam. Hazrat Usman Bin Hussain says when a person approached the Holy Prophet, he said Asalmaualikum, prophet responded to Salam and said, 10 blessings are written for him. Another person came and said Asalmaualikum, prophet responded to Salam and said, 20 blessings are written for him. Another person came and said Asalmaualikum, the prophet responded to Salam and said, 30 blessings are written for him.
Whenever a person says Salam, he should always say it wholeheartedly. This will not only increase blessings for him but also contribute to love and peace in his life. Therefore, saying Salam is the best way to eliminate hatred, envy, and arrogance from our lives. May Allah protect us from this evil.

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