Humility in Islam

humilityIn a society which is solely concerned with the self, how to ensure that the self is put before others, often at the expense of others; not caring about anything but self-gratification, in this society with those values a person’s spiritual state is constantly under attack. Where greed, arrogance and selfishness are rife, a logical consequence will be the absence of humility as a person must forego this trait to pursue these others.

Islam tries to embed humility in the hearts of its adherents. It tries its best to then nurture this humility, to better that person. The main causes for arrogance are destroyed and limited.

For instance, people tend to be inclined towards arrogance if they believe their birth is better than another persons. Satan fell into this, “[ Allah ] said, “What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?” [Satan] said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.” (7:12) If a person is white he may think that he is superior to a person who has a darker skin tone, Islam destroys this notion of racism, so arrogance cannot sprout from your birth, regardless of the shade you came out with. Rather, when one ponders over the fact that in order to be born he had to pass through both the male and female genitalia then arrogance dissipates faster than snow in the Sahara.

While a person might be under the assumption that humble people do not get anything, they believe that arrogant people get more blessings. This is simply not true. The difference is not the amount of blessings you mention, rather, it is the realisation that the blessings are solely from Allah and thanking Him: “And if you should count the favor of Allah , you could not enumerate them.” (14:34) It is gratitude for the blessings of Allah that will increase them, not boasting about them, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]” (14:7)

We have become deceived, we fallaciously believe that arrogance is a positive trait. That is shows confidence, strength and importance, contrary to this we think that humility is a sign of meekness. The Prophet of Allah (SAW) has stated: “Never does a person humble himself for the pleasure of Allah, except that Allah elevates him” (Muslim)  The humble man’s station will be elevated in this world and the next. Due to his humility the hearts of the people will become inclined towards him, and Allah will reward him for this humility on the Day of Judgement.

Allah has mentioned those people of humility in the Quran; “And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility” (25:63) He has referred to those who have the trait of humility even in walking as His servants. The servants here are always humble, they do not become arrogant even in the slightest of matters. However, we see now it has become a trend to walk with arrogance, apparently walking like you have a pimple on your posterior is a sign of masculinity. This is not the walk of the Prophet (SAW), nor the walk of his followers.

Similarly, the Prophet (SAW) has counselled us in regards to humility; “Indeed Allah has revealed to me, you should be humble, and not boast to one another, nor commit injustice to one another” (Muslim) From this Prophetic tradition we should understand that these three things are of profound importance for us. If you are humble you will not boast, and normally those who are arrogant are oppressors not the people who are humble.

May Allah give us the ability to become humble servants. May he protect us from becoming arrogant and save us from the Fire. Ameen.



Author: Al-Faysal Ali

Student of knowledge. Avid reader. History addict.

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