Self-conceit is a soul disease. Read Soul Diseases for more details. It means to be proud of yourself, to believe that you are better than others, and to believe that everything you do you do it because you are a good person even your worship. Like after you pray you say I prayed all the prayer with reverence, Allah definitely will reward me. Or when you like your looks and start to show others that you are more beautiful than them. Believing that you are a better person because you are good-looking.
This doesn’t mean that a Muslim shouldn’t have self-confidence. Self-confidence means believing in yourself and this is recommended. This also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t count the blessings of Allah. Or be satisfied by what has been given to you because this is also recommended. But in the case of self-conceit you don’t thank Allah for his blessings because you think it is from you. And you keep showing off what you have.
Self-conceit is Haram as it is considered shirk. When you do riyaa, you do it because you want to show people what you do so they are amazed, and when you have self-conceit you do the worship because you want to be proud of yourself, you say to yourself: “no one does what I do, I did so and so and so”
Allah says in Surat Alfatiha:” It is You we worship and You we ask for help” in case of riyaa, you commit shirk in the part of “it is You we worship”, and in case of self-conceit, shirk is in the part “and you we ask for help”.
The person that has self-conceit believes that he can do anything without any help. He believes that if he plans something, it has to go according to what he planned not according to Allah’s will.
Self-conceit is always dispraised in the Quran, Allah say: “and [even] on the day of Hunayn, when your great number pleased you, but it did not avail you at all, and the earth was confining for you with its vastness; then you turned back, fleeing.” [At Taubah 25].
And in Surat Al Hashr: “and they thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah” [AL HAshr 2]. They believed that their fortresses that they built will protect them from Allah.
Al Qurtubi said: “Self-conceit is seeing yourself with the eye of perfection, and forgetting the blessings of Allah”
How to treat self-conceit?
- Always remember Allah’s blessings on you.
- Remind yourself that everything that you have is from Allah.
- This Dunya is a test, during ease and hardship. Allah say: “Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned” [Al Anbiyaa 35]
The test during ease is graver than the test during hardship because you don’t know it is a test. How to pass the ease test? By thanking Allah with your tongue, believing that the blessings you have are all from Allah not yourself, and using these blessings in good deeds.
Even when you have lots of blessings, you should know that this is a test and to pass it you should do these previously mentioned things.
To treat self-conceit, regardless what you are proud of, remember that Allah is the one who gave you that blessing and he can take it from you any instant. So always thank Allah for all you have.