In all traditions, arrogance or pride has been described as a major disease of the heart, but in the Islamic tradition we see how it stops personal development by occluding the light of guidance from penetrating the heart. When the heart of a man becomes blind, he uses his gift of choice in a wrong way, causing his arrogance to make him come off the natural way of life, causing corruption.
A proud person competes with the Supremely Great, who is Perfect in all respects. Nobody or nothing is comparable to Him, then how can someone believe they are better than anyone else or give greatness to anyone more than God?
In conveying God’s words, the Prophet (SWAS) is reported to have said:
Grandeur is My cloak and pride is My garment. Whoever competes with Me in one of these two, I will cast him into the Hellfire.
Arrogance causes people to reject the truth even when they realize that it is the truth. They mistakenly believe that they are perfect and they end up looking down on people and despising them.
Without guidance, we misuse our power of choice making wrong decisions leading to the development of many bad traits such as deceit, envy, and anger. Pride is due to the absence of natural self-confidence. Why would we ever want to prove to others that we are better than them? Arrogance sometimes develops when we keep carrying our emotional baggage from our past. We feel inferior to others so we try to look better than them.
The worst kind of arrogance might be that we become deluded that we are better than others because of our knowledge. Our adept use of knowledge and fancy words, makes Satan puff us up. Seeking knowledge for any intention other than self-development is destructive. How can someone acquire knowledge to look good in front of others by winning arguments, while it makes them occluded from the truth, deviating them more and more from the natural way of life?