THE CURE OF ARROGANCE, ACCORDING TO IMĀM ‛ALĪ (Islamic Ethics)
The cure of arrogance is being humble. For example, prophet Dāwūd became a political leader. He was both a prophet and a political leader. The following has been taken from the book Man Lā yahdaruh al-faqīh: a voice came from the sky: “Dāwūd, you are a good servant, but you make a living from the public treasury.” Dāwūd cried to Allah for forty nights until Allah taught him how to make armor. Then, Dāwūd would make and sell armor for a living. It has been related that he sold every piece of armor for 300 Dirham. He would give 100 Dirham in charity, 100 Dirham to the public treasury and would spend the rest of it on himself.
Likewise, his son Sulaymān, who had power over jinn, men, birds and other animals, would make a living from making and selling baskets.
It is understood from traditions like these that a person who has obtained power can fight against arrogance if he makes his living like other people; if he is humble. I will not say; “I’m the president!” or “I’m the one behind the desk!” or “Others must stand when I walk in the room!”
In a tradition, Imām Sādiq (a) ordered one of his highest companions, Muhammad bin Muslim to take some dates next to the Kūfa Mosque and sell them. Even though Muhammad was part of the upper class in society he, with all of his heart, accepted the order. One must fight against arrogance even if it is by selling dates.
But then again, is it not arrogance to take a position whereby one accuses another of arrogance as well?