When Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) would walk in the streets, he would walk amongst the labourers so that nobody would point to him out of respect, and so that the people would think him to just be another labourer, and would therefore not point to him out of respect.
[Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa (9/465)]
I’ve anounced it weeks ago here it finally is, may it be beneficial to both you and me. Amin.
“Call on Your Lord with humility and in private, He does not like those who exceed His bounds“
[The Heights 7:55]
Humility to God includes that one realises and understands that He is our Creator, He is the One who supplies us with all our necessities, our sustenance. This needs to be realised over and over again, we need to internalise it.
We need to submit to Him in every action that we do:
“Say, my prayers and devotions, my living and my dying are all for God, Lord of all the Worlds.” [6:162]
We can’t talk about humility to anyone without first having humility to Allah swt. as the One who created us and gave us everything that we have whether we see it as good or bad. Everything that we have gained is a favour from Him and everything we’ve lost is a favour from Him.
Contemplating on the complexities of life should humble us of the greatness of Allah swt. in the Quran it is said:
O people an example has been struck, so listen carefully: those who you call on besides Allah could not, even if they combined all of their forces, create a fly, and if a fly took something away from them, they would not be able to retrieve it.
This Verse is quite interesting. Firstly, the passive is used, removing the One who gave the example. Telling the people to just think logically, to not let their conceived notions come in between their thinking. Secondly, it uses a small creation telling us to be humble, we could never create something even as small as a fly. Thirdly, it highlightes our inability to change anything that Allah swt. wants, by giving the example of a fly, acting beyond our and any of our false gods controls.
Ibn Al Qayyim says this about humility,
“There are two realities which we must fully grasp in order to be truly characterized with the noblest characteristic of humility. First and foremost is to come to truly know Allah’s perfection, His abundant favors upon us and how we are fully dependent upon Him. Secondly, we have to come to know ourselves, where we come from and our numerous weaknesses and shortcomings.”
Finally the Prophet saw. said:
“God only increases a person in status if he forgives, and no one ever humbles himself before God but He will raise him in status.” (Muslim)
Aisha (radhiAllahu ‘anha) said:
“People are paying no attention to the best act of worship: Humility.”
[Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah (13/360) Ibn Hajr graded this Athar as being Sahih]
This month theme as I’ve repeated myself often the last few days, without actually having written anything about it as of yet, is Being more humble. So in this first post on this topic in a similar format to the first post on thankfulness (in German) last month I’ll begin with a definition of humility.
Humbleness or Humility is the absence of any feeling of being better than others, having or showing modest or low estimate of one’s importance. In the English language we directly derive it from old French which derives it from Latin. Humilis meaning low or lowly which is taken from the word for ground, humus. In Arabic again there are many words to denote humility one is tawadaa having a similar meaning to the latin to lower one’s self or to submit. Another is Hawna another still is Khasha’a, both of these can however also be taken negative, as in humiliation. When used to describe Muslims however they’ve always been given good qualities. So in the Quran using the word Hawna it says,
“The servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on the earth…” (25:63)
I read once in an article on the virtual mosque that Humility can be divided into 3. Humility before God, humility in relation to the Religion and humility in relation to people. Over the next few weeks I will God willing write a little bit about each of these.
I’ll end this post today with something I gained from a lecture yesterday and then with a hadith. The Sheikh mentioned that Humility is the virtue that all other virtues are rooted in. From having humility you will automatically bearing in mind the definitions above be respectful in your dealings with everyone you meet. You will not think yourself as being better than anyone, therefore not being arrogant. You’ll be thankful for the blessings that you have been granted, because you are not arrogant to think, that you deserve such and such without giving any effort.
Forgiveness, Courage, Justice they all are interrelated leading to one another opening doors for you, you never thought of.
Finally a hadith,
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
Let him be humbled, let him be humbled. It was said: Allah’s Messenger, who is he? He said. He who finds his parents in old age, either one or both of them, and does not enter Paradise.