Ibnul Qayyim: Reasons for Kibr (Arrogance)

Reasons for Kibr
listed by Ibnul Qayyim Al Jawziyyah (rahimullah)

We were taught some of the reasons for arrogance. Ibnul Qayyim (Rahimullah) mentions the four most common reasons for people falling into kibr or arrogance. These could also be reasons for people splitting away form each other or thinking that their belief is better and thus more deserving of honor than others. We are using the definition of kibr as stated by the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam). The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) said,

“al Kibr is when you argue with the truth and you look down upon people.”

Arguing with the truth means to argue with clear evidences. For example when someone says the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam) said so and so and you sau “but” and follow it up with an excuse thats not valid in order to justify a preconcieved idea. Also to look down upon people includes taking away their rights, being unjust to them and oppressing them. The following four reason were mentioned by Ibnul Qayyim (rahimullah) as the most prevalaent ones in his time,a nd they apply to us as well:

  1. Aql – Logic or intellect
  2. Qiyaas/Fiqh – Analogy or Madhabee Rulings
  3. Dhawq – Personal Feelings – whims, desires, or maybe even personal intuitions
  4. Siyaasa – Politics

There might be others besides these that are reasons for arguing with the truth or looking down upon others. Some examples of how these cause a person to become arrogant are:

1. Aql – Intellect

People use their intellect to gain arrogance, they try to outsmart others at times to seem superior. Eventually, if it is not controlled, it gets to people’s head that they think that they are always right or their reasoning is always right. Logic and intellect is used to gain arrogance. In order for soemone to respond to intellect or logic, it requires a smarter logic to overcome the other logic or reasoning. The only thing that cuts off the roots of this intellectual argumentation which might go to and fro is revelation. Our teacher gave us a very powerful statement. He said, “Knowledge without revelation is speculation” which is so true.

This can apply not only to people looking down upon others or oppressing them but it also is true for rejecting the truth. So many are the examples and the sects that have developed in Islamic history that have rejected the truth which is revealed in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam), by relying solely on their intellect and giving it more importance than it actually deserves.

2. Qiyaas/Fiqh or Analogy or Madhabee rulings

This is very common in our lives today and it was soemthign that had become frequent in Ibnul Qayyim’s time. People often would rather stick tot he ruling of their madhab even if went agains the proof. This became so common and it still is today. A statement that I remember that Ustadh Muhammad alShareef mentioned in in one of his lectures or in a Q&A session was that of some of the die-hard Malikis that used to say “We will follow Khaleel even if it opposes the daleel”. Khaleel also known as Matn al Khaleel is a basic maliki text that any beginning Maliki has to study, and some of the Malikis would say we will follow it even if it will oppose the dallel, which is the textual proof. So Ibnul Qayyim mentions that the Madhab’s ruling is oen of the reasons people might reject the truth when it is presented to them.

3. Personal Feelings – Dhawq

The example mentioned here in class were some of the Sufis who ascribe new ideas or beliefs or acts of worship, even if they aren’t found in the Sunnah to reject the truth or make it a basis of their actions or worship. Also they use these personal feelings, intuitions, whims, and desires to make themselves look better than others as well. The concept of kashf falls under this as well. When people have these illussions or intuitions to do things even if it went against the Sharee’ah or has no basis in the Sharee’ah.

4. Politics

People sometimes use politics to show their might and get what they want in order to reject the truth. The example given here are the Shee’ah or Raafidah, they rejected the truth because of political reasons. Also this can apply tot he rulers and people in authority as well. They tend to do things and follow things for purely political reasons. The example sof this are many in our time and need not be mentioned explicitly.

May Allah help us become more humble and show us humility in our worship and daily life, and remove any kibr we might have in ourselves.

Allah knows Best.

9 Responses to “Ibnul Qayyim: Reasons for Kibr (Arrogance)”


  1. 1 soulawakened September 26, 2006 at 4:16 am

    here check out this video…it’s imam answar al awlaki

    Good to show non Muslims to explain about Ramadan.

  2. 3 right in two September 26, 2006 at 2:57 pm

    ////////////////////
    Hello people,

    There’s someone promoting a stupid blog: http://chrisgoestomiami.blogspot.com don’t visit it – it’s definitely not worth it.
    ////////////////////

    what does that have to do with this blog?

  3. 4 right in two September 26, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    Danish, salam, do you believe there is any possibility of arrogance by some of those in the Salafi school?

  4. 5 danishhasan September 26, 2006 at 6:52 pm

    Walaykum As Salaam, off course there is, not only a possibility, but it is evident in many. Arrogance has plagued all of humanity throughout hisrtory, in one way or another. Allah Knows Best.

  5. 7 danishhasan September 29, 2006 at 4:13 am

    wa eyyakum

    “””” ////////////////////
    Hello people,

    There’s someone promoting a stupid blog: http://chrisgoestomiami.blogspot.com don’t visit it – it’s definitely not worth it.
    ////////////////////

    what does that have to do with this blog?””””

    I think thats just a way to get peopel to visit their blog…so lame

    Salaam

  6. 8 Subs May 30, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you for the article. Mashallah we must learn to be humble in everything we do before it is too late.


  1. 1 Yasir Qadhi and his Words on Discerning Truth Amongst the Various Muslim Groups « IBN AL HYDERABADEE Trackback on November 25, 2006 at 4:56 am

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Fiqh As Sawm

Islamic Rulings Surrounding Ramadhan and Fasting. Based on “Manar As Sabeel Fi Sharh Ad Daleel” Of Shaykh Ibraheem ibn Duwaiyan (d. 1353 AH) as explained by Br. Salim Morgan. Transcribed and Edited By Ibn Al Hyderabadee

Prologue Introduction

Chapter 1: Fasting in Ramadhaan
1. A pillar of Islam 2. Obligation of Fasting 3. Sighting of the Moon for start of Ramadhaan 4. One reliable witness' presence is sufficient 5. Conditions that make Ramadhan Obligatory for an Individual 6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness 7. Requirements of a valid fast 8. Obligations to fulfill during fasting 9. Recommended acts of fasting

Chapter 2: Permissions and Prohibitions

1. Impermissible to break fast during Ramadhan 2. Prohibited to fast for a woman in her menstrual or post-partum bleedin 3. Obligatory to break it when it is required to save a person’s life 4. Recommended to break fast for one who is ill and fears harm from fasting. 5. Recommended to break fast when one is traveling 6. Permissible for one to break fast who begins a journey while fasting 7. Permissible for a pregnant or nursing (breast feeding) woman 8. Change of condition of a person doesn’t obligate one to refrain from eating and drinking the rest of the day. 9. Prohibited to fast a voluntary fast instead of an obligatory one.

Chapter 3: That which Invalidates Your Fast

1. Intentional Intake of anything into the abdomen 2. Intention to break fast 3. Fluctuating Intention to fast 4. Vomiting intentionally 5. Menstruation or Post Partum Bleeding 6. Masturbation 7. Marital Relations 8. Cupping for both parties 9. Death 10. Apostasy 11. Above are Exempted in some cases

Chapter 4: Repayment
1. Missing a day of fast in Ramadhan
2. When does one make up a missed fast
3. If missed fast are not made up until few dats before next Ramadhan
4. Missed fasts first or voluntary?

Chapter 5: Recommended, Disliked, and Impermissible Days of Fasting
1. Recommended Every Other Day Sawn Dawood
2. The three white days of every Islamic month
3. Six days of Shawwaal
4. Month of Muharram and the 10th
5. Ten days of Dhil Hijja and that of Arafat
6. Disliking of the month of Rajab
7. Disliking of the day of Friday
8. Disliking of the 30th of Shabaan
9. Impermissibility of fasting on the two Eids
10. Completing of a voluntary fast is not Wajib

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