Why is Pride Such a Big Sin in Islam?

15 September, 2020
Q Assalamu alaikum, may Allah's blessings be upon you.My question is regarding the idea of pride. I understand that it does not lie in honesty and decency for one to have the intention to show off in front of another while performing an action, as in this case, it equates to the action not being done at all, due to insincerity and impurity of one's intention.Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) too stressed on how indecent it is to have showing off one's own ability as the motive behind an action, by classifying it as the most dangerous minor shirk.I strongly believe in Allah's commands and have no doubt that it is wrong to have such intentions.But I would like to know, just to understand this whole thing better, why does one attach such ideas and intentions to actions that are meant to help us find our own truth? In short, I would like to know more about why pride (that leads one to show off) is so sinful and wrong , even if it's only a small feeling of it.

Answer

Short Answer:

  • When pride finds its way into the hearts of Muslims, it quickly affects the way we talk, act and treat others. This is why it should be avoided and we should stay away from it just like any other sin.
  • The most severe sin is being arrogant against Allah Almighty by rejecting submission and worshipping Him.

………….

Thank you for your question,

Why is Pride Such a Big Sin in Islam?

Prophet Muhammad said,

“One will not enter Paradise if one has an atom’s weight of arrogance in his/her heart.” (Tirmidhi)

All human beings have the tendency to become proud but there are different degrees of pride. It could be so little that it becomes unnoticeable and yet it could grow to be eventually a larger amount. That is why we always pray to Allah not to make us among the proud and arrogant people.

Pride brings confusion in the religion of Allah and thus it corrupts the heart and prevents it from thinking about over the verses of the Quran.

How salah (prayers) curbs pride

As Muslims, Allah commanded us not to bow before anyone but him. That is why performing Salah is very important in Islam because Prophet Muhammad said it is the only thing that separates Muslims from the unbelievers.

During Salah, everyone lines around each no matter which position they hold in society.  Prostrating during Salah shows how humble a Muslim can be because the closest way Allah can be to his servants is when the servants prostrate to him. As Muslims, Allah commanded us not to bow before anyone but Him.  

Islam teaches us to be humble to one another. One of the characteristics of a good Muslim is humbleness and humility, pride is a characteristic of Satan. Pride could make people disobedient towards the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

The negative effects of pride

It is only pride that will make a Muslim not forgive another Muslim, when their forgiveness is being asked. Hence, a proud person will start thinking that he or she is better than others, forgetting that we were all created from clay and we have a grave to go to and Allah to answer to.

Pride causes people not to be content and they are eternally in pursuit of power and position. Pride pushes people away from the religion of Allah and the curse of Allah is on the proud and arrogant. 

“I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.”  

Allah Almighty said in Noble Quran about the greatest sin arrogance (pride) in these words:

“[To them] it will be said, “Enter the gates of Hell to abide eternally therein, and wretched is the residence of the arrogant” (Quran, 39:72).

According to the Holy Quran, arrogance (pride) is the sin that will be severely punished by Allah Almighty. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad said that pride is the disease which is the greatest sin in the sight of Allah Almighty; one who is proud is arrogant. People who are arrogant will not enter paradise.

People who live in a state of pride and betrayal reside in a dark internal world full of a extreme fear of losing, making a mistake, being humiliated, stress, doubt, hatred, anger, and passion.

Arrogant people’s behavior is always expected to make them appear more valuable and superior in the eyes of other people. In other words, they feel superior from others.

Allah Almighty turns the arrogant people away from being guided with His signs. For those people Allah Almighty says in Holy Quran:

“I will turn away from My Ayahs (verses of the Quran) those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right, and (even) if they see all the Ayahs (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons signs, revelations, etc.), they will not believe in them…” (Quran; 7:146)

The sin of being arrogant against Allah

The most severe sin is being arrogant against Allah Almighty by rejecting submission and worshipping Him. Allah Almighty says about these arrogant people in Holy Quran,

“Verily! Those who stray from my worship (because of arrogance), they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” (Quran, 40:60).

The person who is arrogant or proud likes that people should stand up for him, whether on his coming or while he is sitting. Nor likes that anyone should sit or walk beside him.

Arrogant people live in a constant state of discomfort due to which they never find peace in life. Like sea salt water, the thirst is never quenched with it.

When pride finds its way into the hearts of Muslims, it quickly affects the way we talk, act and treat others. This is why it should be avoided and we should stay away from it just like any other sin.

May Allah save us from this dangerous disease of the heart. Aameen.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

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