Fatwas of Ibn Baz
(Part No. 9; Page No. 268)
A- How to cure haughtiness and acquire modesty
Q: There are many legal texts from the Qur'an and the Sunnah recommending modest acceptance of Truth and kindness to people. Such texts praise those who are modest and mention their instant reward. On the other hand, there are also many legal texts forbidding arrogance and haughtiness and displaying the punishment for such people. Thus, how can a person cure himself of haughtiness and be modest?
A: There is no doubt that it is obligatory upon every Muslim to beware of haughtiness and seek modesty. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever humbles himself to Allah, He elevates him a rank." The arrogant person is liable to be destroyed by Allah (Exalted be He). We implore Allah to grant us safety. Once someone said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “I like to wear beautiful clothes and shoes. Is this out of arrogance?” The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty. Arrogance means ridiculing and rejecting the Truth and despising people. i.e. ridiculing and rejecting the truth when it opposes one's desires and despising people, because an arrogant person considers other people less than him and that he is much more important than them. This can be due to a person's eloquence, wealth, position, or other reasons. Such a person could turn out to be poor. In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are three persons whom Allah shall neither speak to on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify, nor look at, and they shall have a painful torment: an old adulterer, a lying king, and an arrogant destitute person.”
(Part No. 9; Page No. 269)
It is most detestable that a pauper should be arrogant and haughty, because one may be enticed to be arrogant due to wealth and fortune. Thus, if a pauper is characterized by arrogance this reflects an innate trait and nature.
Modesty is leniency, good manners, and treating people well. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The dearest and the closest of you to me on the Day of Resurrection will be those who are the best in behavior. Virtue is a kind disposition.
Thus, let us remember the Majesty of Allah and that it is He Who gives wealth, position, authority, beauty and so on. Let us remember that part of being grateful for this is to be modest and not arrogant. Let us not be haughty because of our wealth, office, origin, beauty, power, or other things. Rather, let us remember that these are bounties conferred upon us by Allah (Exalted be He) and that part of being grateful for such bounties is to be modest, humble, and not to be arrogant or treat others haughtily. This is because arrogance leads to oppression, lying, and unfairness in word and action. It leads a person to consider himself superior to his brother due to either wealth, beauty, position, origin, or other things you could imagine. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Pride is disdaining what is true and despising people. Rejecting the truth when it opposes one's desires is arrogance, whereas despising people means to belittle them and deem them inferior and unworthy of just treatment, greeting, and so on.
If a person can remember his weakness and that he is created from weak sperm that was created from semen of despised water; that he needs to enter the bathroom to empty his body of urine or excrement; that he needs to eat to be able to live, and that if he continues to disobey Allah (Exalted be He), his end will be in Hellfire. If he can recognize his weakness and poverty he will not be arrogant.
Source: Fatwas of Ibn Baz