The pride that the Qur’an discusses most is the personal pride of the person who is ignorant, a disbeliever, or does not submit in humility to Allah. This pride is not the same emotion that psychiatrist Donald Nathanson examines, which is pride in opposition to shame. Nathanson’s pride-shame axis places pride and shame in opposition with each other; healthy and natural pride is the feeling of pleasure in our own competence, and shame is an impediment to positive affects that always exists in terms of other negative affects. Pride as deserved self-respect is notably absent from the Qur’an. In modern times, this type of pride is very important to oppressed peoples. In many societies around the world, Muslims are being oppressed. In looking at the Qur’anic verses and the ahadith (plural of one hadith) on pride in conjunction with the verses and ahadith on oppressed peoples, I believe that the Qur’an does not prohibit pride in one’s identity as a Muslim or in any other identity as a member of a marginalized group. This paper argues that pride in one’s identity can promote self-preservation as well as social and political resistance. Both of these goals are supported by the Qur’an as well by theorists of the shame-pride axis. I propose that a pro-resistance and anti-oppression reading of the Qur’an permits pride in the oppressed aspects of one’s identity. I will further argue using feminist theology and liberation theology that pride is an ethical necessity for marginalized and oppressed peoples.


Religions; Religions -- Philosophy; Religions -- History


Relics, Remnants, and Religion: an Undergraduate Journal in Religious Studies

Publication Date




Publication Place

Tacoma, Washington


The University of Puget Sound