One of the most important conditions of faith is modesty. A verse in the Qur’an reads: "The people who truly do believe in Our signs are those who fall to the ground prostrating when they are reminded of them, and glorify their Lord with praise, and are not arrogant" (Surat as-Sajda, 15). Believers are constantly aware that Allah does not love anyone who is vain or boastful, therefore they are always modest.
The morality of Islam entails submission to Allah, and submission entails acknowledgement of one's weaknesses. Believers, who recognise that everything belongs to Allah, and that they themselves are weak and in need of Him, also act modestly towards Allah's other faithful servants. Being arrogant is contrary to faith, and the Messenger of Allah (saas) tells the believers to be humble and to treat each other like brothers in a hadith:
Do not envy one another; do not inflate prices one to another; do not hate one another; do not turn away from one another; and do not undercut one another, but be you. O servants of Allah, brothers. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: he neither oppresses him nor does he fail him, he neither lies to him nor does he hold him in contempt. Piety is right here -and the Prophet (saas) pointed to his breast three times. It is evil enough for a man to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. (Muslim)
Arrogance and modesty especially manifest themselves during human relations. The conduct of Iblis, as related in the Qur' an, best illustrates this point. Iblis refused to prostrate himself to the Prophet Adam. Being aware of Allah's infinite might, it was illogical for him to openly claim superiority over Allah. But, it was his pride that was hurt. It was the Prophet Adam to whom he showed arrogance, and thereby exposed his rebellious intent towards Allah.
Consequently, arrogance, which is, in actuality, a sin against Allah, manifests itself during the relations of one person with another.
Surely, modesty also manifests itself under the same conditions. Believers show their submission to Allah by behaving modestly towards His believing servants. Aware of the fact that they are not responsible for the creation of their qualities, they are grateful to Allah, and never forget that Allah may reclaim any of these at any time. Fearing punishment from their Creator, Who is the Possessor of infinite power, they take refuge in no one but Him. This submissiveness of the believers, and their fear of Allah, is related in a verse as follows:
Say: "No one can protect me from Allah and I will never find any refuge apart from Him." (Surat al-Jinn, 22)
An intelligent and experienced person well acquainted with the Qur'an can detect the minor faults and weaknesses in the faith of people and advise them. This is a praiseworthy quality, yet that does not mean he himself is free of mistakes. On contrary, he must strive to avoid committing the same errors; otherwise, he may earn Allah's disapproval rather than reward for his advice.
Do you order people to devoutness and forget yourselves, when you recite the Book? Will you not use your intellect? (Surat al-Baqara, 44)
It is unlikely that someone able to recognize a fault in others will fail to recognize it in his own soul. Undoubtedly, he is also aware of his own wrongdoings and sins. This shows that he is very insincere. For instance, it would be hypocritical for a liar to call people to truth and sincerity, or for someone who does not pray to call others to regular prayer. An advisor who fears Allah would surely be the first one to avoid committing sins. The conclusion to the verse above, "Will you not use your intellect?" makes it clear that people should practice what they preach.
Deviant attitudes such as the desire to control others, have one's word respected or be influential underlie hypocritical behavior that lies outside Qur'anic morality. This kind of motivation will neither protect the interests of the religion nor correct the mistakes and sins of Muslims. If one gives these warnings out of the fear of Allah and out of concern that these errors should not be committed, he is more concerned that he does not commit the same sins himself. But when he counsels and advises only to attain status, respect and esteem, the manipulation of faith-related issues for personal benefit will only lead to great disappointment in the Hereafter.
When a Muslim sees another committing an error that he himself is guilty of, he can let him know that he too is trying to correct that same mistake. Then the two can encourage one another toward improvement and by doing so, earn the pleasure of Allah.