Article from Islamonline.net on arrogance.
By Naseema Mall **
20 Feb, 2006
Most of the time, people naturally do not like to be criticized, nor do they like to be accused of being ignorant. But some people are arrogant and some people enjoy criticizing others. In Islam, arrogance is completely unacceptable and was the first sin ever committed when Iblis (Satan) refused to obey Allah's command to bow down to Prophet Adam (peace be upon him): [And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate to Adam". So they prostrated except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns; he disobeyed the command of His Lord] (Al-Kahf 17:50).
But is criticism always bad? Not necessarily so, if it is constructive criticism and its aim is to offer useful advice intended to help or improve something and not to insult or deliberately hurt a person's feelings.
If you think about it, there is no point in being arrogant. After all, we are all created from clay, and we are all going to die and be judged by Allah. And if some people think they have a right to be arrogant because, for example, they possess more material wealth, then none of their wealth will follow them to the hereafter. In fact, the more one has, the more one will be held accountable for.
Some people may feel that they are humble simply because they feel they are religious. However, did you know that the worst type of arrogance is when you consider yourself to be more religious than others?
So how can we try to be humble? Well, first we should make du`aa' to Allah to protect us from arrogance and to keep us humble. We should bear in mind that humility means that you:
- Accept someone's apology
- Accept criticism if it is the truth
- Never feel that Allah owes you something for worshiping Him
Think about the above. Could you easily accept someone's apology? Could you handle criticism if it was the truth? And if you think that Allah owes you something for worshiping Him, then you should remember that we worship Him for our benefit, not His, because Allah has no needs.
Perhaps you are wondering, "shouldn't I feel a sense of achievement when I do well in my exams or sports, or feel happy when I'm with my friends?" Naturally, when we do well at something, we feel confident and excited, and the adrenalin runs through our body. Sure, we should feel confident and happy, as long as we constantly bear in mind that all the good things in our lives are a favor to us from Allah and are a blessing. We should also remember that we should ask only Allah for the good things we want in our lives.
Fortunately, when we ask Allah for anything we want, we don't have to go through an intermediary. We can ask Him directly! That is the beauty of salah. Isn't it amazing that when we supplicate to Allah, especially when we want something, that we don't have to make an appointment? Allah is always there for us. Supplication is the essence of worshiping Allah because it is an acknowledgement that He is the only One Who can do anything for us. If you're wondering, "How come I don't always get what I ask for?" then keep in mind the following when you supplicate to Allah:
- He may not grant you a request in order to prevent you from harm.
- He may not grant you what you asked for in this life but will grant you a greater reward on the Day of Judgment.
When you supplicate to Allah, you should be in a state of purity, humility, and sincerity. While we can supplicate to Allah any time we want, it would be best to try and select proper timings, if possible, like during the last third of the night before dawn, or while prostrating and immediately after salah(sholat) while you still feel close to Allah.
When you supplicate(doa), have complete faith and confidence that Allah will respond.
** Naseema Mall is from South Africa and works as a freelance journalist. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.