Islam on Narcissism

Luqman 31:18: And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful. 

Advertise on TMV

Advertise on TMV

Luqman 31:18: And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful. 

NARCISSISM noun, excessive or sexual interest in yourself and your appearance. 

ORIGIN – from Narcissus, a beautiful youth in Greek mythology who fell in love with his reflection. 

So what’s the deal? 

Well, narcissism, though it is a widely used term now, cannot be under emphasised in its relevance in the past years. People call it ‘ego’ or ‘ego-centrism’. Celebrities and politicians have sometimes a condoning level of narcissism, when they refer themselves as “the best”, “the one”, “king”, “unstoppable” etc. 

Narcissism sometimes gets confused with self-love and self-admiration. Narcissism is totally different from this. Loving oneself is necessary, but, that shouldn’t allow oneself to get to a point where they start to think that they are better than any one. 

An-Nisa’ 4:36: 

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbour, the neighbour farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful. 

What are the signs?

1) Narcissists lack empathy.

2) They are often arrogant, patronising or haughty towards others.

3) They are envious of others or think that others are envious of them.

4) They will exploit others for their own needs.

5) “The narcissist is a person exhausted by his own absence”, narcissists tend to protect their fake/false image and due to this their energy is strained.

6) Self-esteem and narcissism are totally different. People mix these two, but, people with self-esteem are mostly humble while narcissists never really are.

7) They think they can attract anyone; usually self-admiring. They mostly use their looks to get what they want.

8) Feels grandiose – means, feeling bigger and elaborate than they actually are.

9) Gaslighting – this means distorting another person’s perception reality to a point where they start to question themselves. It creates doubts, confusion, fear, terror, paranoia etc. in a person’s mind. 

Islam on narcissism 

Luqman 31:18: 

Advertise on TMV

And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful. 

One of the most detestable things in the sight of Allah SWT is pride and arrogance. Prophets and Angels, the most noble of creation, were never arrogant. It is a very unique characteristic of Iblees. 

In the above verse, we can see that even the way we walk angers God. He says he does not like the one that walks triumphantly or that is self-deluding and boastful. 

One of the examples in Islam which deals with narcissism is the case of Firawn. He had no empathy with anyone else. Until Allah SWT humiliated him and got Jibreel (as) kicking him in the face which made him say, “I believe in the Rabb of Bani Israel and nothing”. 

Also did the evil Abu Jahl got the similar kind of treatment when Abdullah bin Masud (Ra) climbed onto his chest while he was dying – the last thing he saw was someone standing on him! 

On the other hand, the Rasoolullah (saw) didn’t abuse his powers. Everyone adored him, he doesn’t need to walk with the poor and live with the slaves. Even the enemies were at his mercy; SubhanAllah, all he showcased were compassion and mercy. He could have bought palaces etc. Even at the last moment, he was afraid of whether he conveyed his message properly. 

Narcissism boils down to pride 

Narrated Abdullah bin Mas’ud [radhi-yAllahu ‘anhu]: Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Whosoever has pride in his heart equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall not enter Paradise.” A person (amongst the audience) said, “Verily, a person loves that his dress should be beautiful, and his shoes should be beautiful.” The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) remarked, “Verily, Allah is the Most Beautiful and He loves beauty. Pride is to completely disregard the truth, and to scorn (to look down upon) the people.” 

[Sahih Muslim, Book of Faith, Vol.1, Hadith No. 91 (S.S.M. 54)] 

How to deal with a narcissist

1) Step one in dealing with a narcissist is to STOP dealing with them.

2) If something/someone you feel is putting you down, distance yourself from it.

3) Don’t try to one-up with the narcissist; if they play games with you, you don’t try to do the same with them.

An article in the Huffington post by a Rabbi, Alan Lurie, the author of Spiritual Narcissism, writes about everything that the Prophet (saw) warned us from. It says feelings of self-love is the end goal of your spirituality. 

One way to get rid of ego is to attach it to a cause that is greater than it. 

May Allah SWT protect us from the pride and narcissism and evil that is manifested in the man of Firawn. May Allah protect us from being pharaohs ourselves and may He not test us. Aameen. 

Advertise on TMV

Advertise on TMV

Advertise on TMV



Advertise on TMV

Advertise on TMV