”Being Arrogant to those Who are Arrogant”
Question: I noticed that when someone passed by one of my friends and greeted him, my friend not only did not reply but also gave him a rather haughty look. When I asked him why he did that, he told me that the other person was arrogant and that the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “Arrogance to someone who is arrogant is charity.” Is this Hadeeth authentic? And is what my friend did correct?
Answer: When one is arrogant with one of the servants of Allaah, he is perpetrating one of the major sins, and no one is permitted to be arrogant with another, even if another person is himself arrogant. One cannot cure another person’s arrogance by being the same with him; rather, one may help him by advising him sincerely and warning him about Allaah’s punishment, by saying, for example, “Fear Allaah, for verily arrogance is one of the major sins.” The Hadeeth mentioned by the questioner is false” it has no basis and is not authentically related from the Prophet (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam).
Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen
Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 7, Page 169, Brunei