What is an example of human arrogance

Sura 31 verse 18Of arrogance and cockiness

"[My dear son], do not look contemptuously at people! And do not walk on earth full of arrogance. See, God does not love anyone who is conceited, proud."

The sura from which this verse of the Koran comes is entitled with the male name Luqman. The early Quran commentators have different views on who Luqman actually was. However, they all agree that he was neither a prophet nor a messenger of God.

But let us consider what the Koran itself reports about him. God says in verse 12 of the same sura that he gave Luqman wisdom. Luqman passes these on to his son in the further course of the text, packaged in advice and admonitions.

The Qur'an is not tied to time or place in matters relating to human nature. Therefore, the Son may represent all those who read and hear the verses here and now or in the future.

In the verse that was quoted at the beginning, Luqman addresses a total of three points that are of great importance in interpersonal coexistence because they have a decisive influence on relationships.

It begins with a warning that one should not turn away from people with contempt. It warns against pride and arrogance - qualities that alienate people from one another. They help people harden themselves towards others, so that they treat one another badly, despise one another or even insult one another.

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For God, all people are equal in dignity. Neither social status nor personal wealth distinguishes one from the other. Neither of these gives a person the right to feel better about other people.

The second admonition is: "And do not walk the earth in arrogance". This admonition is found very often in the Koran. Humans should become aware of their creativeness and dependence on God and not forget that in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The call for more humility not only protects against megalomania, but also against social distance.

The third admonition warns against being conceited because God does not love people with these qualities. We all know, on the one hand, that as a person you are always exposed to the danger of feeling such impulses and turning away from people who you feel superior to. On the other hand, we all know how difficult it is to live with conceited people and not follow the reflex of avoiding a relationship with them.

God's statement that he also does not love those who act presumptuously and are haughty, is a strong incentive for a believer to repeatedly look critically at his feelings, motives and actions and to constantly improve himself. Through the social interactions that result from this, people can experience divine care.




Dr. Tuba Isik, University of Paderborn (Deutschlandradio / Bettina Fürst-Fastré)