There are three things: 1. Ujub 2. Kibr 3. Takabbur
All three are different things. Where will you find the definition of these things in the books of Fiqh? There is another science altogether that will teach you what these things are.
Ujub means vanity; self-conceit
Kibr means to be arrogant; to think of yourself better than others,
& Takabbur means to act as if you are better than others
in other words, Kibr means that in your heart you view yourself to be better than other people and takabbur means you actually demonstrate that kibr.
For example if people are in a line, you think you are better than them, so you go and cut the line. The students are getting food, you think you are better than them so you go and get the food first. So, to actively do something because you think you are better than somebody – thats Takabbur. To think that you are better than someone but not do anything actively – thats Kibr.
And Ujub – which is in one way the lowest level, but it is the last level that a person removes from their heart. Ujub means Vanity and Self conceit – it means to look at yourself and think how great you are. Instead of praising Allah swt that Alhamdulillah-e-rabbil alameen; to praise yourself.
Oh look, I recite so nicely. Oh, look how good my Arabic is, nobody’s Arabic here is like that. Look what a big Scholar I am. Look what big work I’m doing – so, to notice the nay’mahs that Allah swt has Given you, but instead of attributing them to Allah swt, attributing them to yourself ; to your skill; to your qabiliyyah – instead of looking at maybe what was your qubooliyyah. So, that is called Ujub.
[An excerpt taken from a talk by Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed db briefly defining the three different levels of Takabbur that enter a person’s heart]