Today we are going to talk about something that all of us are in need of – humility. Our children are extremely in need of it, so that they become humble towards their parents. Students need it, so that they can be humble towards their teachers. Even speakers, scholars, and learned men are in need of humility, so that they become humble towards Allah (swt).
According to Prophet Muhammad (sa), Allah (swt) had revealed to him that we should become humble. So from the outset we learn that humbleness and humility is not optional. It is a revelation by Allah (swt) – something that is compulsory, as we cannot become arrogant in Islam. We cannot show off and boast about the blessings that Allah (swt) has given us or look down upon people. Humility was one of the qualities of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa), and he was an example for us to follow.
Once, a man came to the Prophet (sa) to give him allegiance and found him sitting under a tree. The Prophet (sa) noticed that the man was a bit nervous, as he was going to meet the Prophet of Allah (sa). Muhammad (sa) stood up and walked towards the man. He told him: “Calm down, my brother, calm down, my brother. I am only the son of a Quraishi woman, who used to eat dried meat.” (Tirmidhi) He reminded the man of his own poor upbringing, instead of looking down upon him.
Firstly, humility means to accept the truth from anyone who says it – verify it and then accept it. Secondly, humility refers to treating all the people of all classes with the same respect, humility, and humbleness.
As mentioned in a Quranic Ayah, Luqman told his son not to walk on the earth with pride: boasting about yourself, your body, your beauty, or your handsomeness. There will always be some people who will walk around looking down upon others or having excessive pride in themselves. However, if you know your origin, you will never act arrogantly. What is your origin? Allah (swt) mentions in the Quran that we were created from a clot, a drop of water, and mud. How can mud and water be arrogant? Subhan’Allah.
The opposite of humility is arrogance. Prophet Muhammad (saw) said that anyone whose heart has an atom weight or a mustard seed weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah. Can you imagine this? Looking down upon people with only one mustard seed of arrogance in your heart – you will not enter Jannah. May Allah (swt) save us all, Ameen.
Practical tips on how to kill the ego in your heart:
- Engage in humbling work. Clean the toilets in the Masjid – when you go down on your knees and clean the toilets from the dirt, it will kill your ego, Insha’Allah.
- Show respect to your parents. Kiss your mother’s and father’s hands every single day. Do not miss even a day. Care for the people who made you who you are today – this will go long way in humbling your ego.
- Find people who are less fortunate than you and invite them for a decent meal or buy them some new garments. This will make them feel that they are cared for.
- Sit and eat together with your maids at the dining table and listen to their stories.
May Allah (swt) help us all to walk on this earth with humility, Ameen.
Video courtesy Youth Club Karachi. Transcribed by Sana Mohsin.