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Be Humble: It’s a Sunnah

Prophet Muhammad: The Humble Servant

The essence of being Muslim is being humble.

The word “Muslim” itself means to submit oneself in ultimate humbleness to Allah.

But it is a great irony of the human soul that when we become more humble and submissive to Allah, we fall into a grave trap. We tend to grow in arrogance because we feel our level of submission is better than that of others.

It was this same trap that Satan fell into. Once upon a time, Iblis (Satan) was so pious that he was allowed to worship with the angels. In one twist of events, Iblis was cast out and became the accursed.

His Offense?

Arrogance, Pride, Boastfulness.

He refused to bow to Allah’s creation of man because he thought himself to be better than man.

{(Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Truly I am going to create man from clay. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him…

(Allah) said: ‘O Iblis! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with both my hands? Are you too proud (to fall prostrate to Adam) or are you one of the high exalted?’

(Iblis) said “I am better than he. You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.} (Quran 38: 71-76)

It is true that we, mankind and Iblis and his kind, were created differently. And it was this difference that caused Iblis to be proud, to hate mankind and become cursed by Allah. We can see this same arrogance and haughtiness played out every day in the hearts of mankind.

Whether we perceive ourselves to be more pious, more intelligent, better at making money, or just from a better race of people, we too often get caught in the trap of thinking we are better. And we end up hating those who are different from us out of arrogance.

Allah says:

And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, God likes not each arrogant boaster. (Quran 31:18)

Allah has created all of us differently with an array of strengths and weaknesses.

So, how can we avoid becoming arrogant toward others as Satan is toward us?

How can we truly be humble?

The best example is that of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). After all he was truly the best of creation and the most humble.

The Prophet’s Humility with the Less Fortunate

“A woman who was afflicted with partial derangement in her mind said:

“O Messenger of Allah, I want something from you. He said: ‘see on which side of the road you would like (to stand and talk) so that I may help you.’ He then stood aside with her on the roadside until she got what she needed.” (Muslim, 2326)

In this short hadith, we will find many examples of the humility of the Prophet.

If he wanted to, the Prophet could have stood in the road and spoken to the woman. And he would have been praised for it. But he did not think himself so important to block the road even while doing a good deed.

In addition, Prophet Muhammad does not admonish this woman for approaching him in such a coarse way. Nor does he turn his nose up at her because she is disturbed. He instead treats her with kindness and provides her with what she needs.

Prophet Muhammad knew that no one is more important than another. He also knew that if Allah had willed, he would be in the same mental state as the woman.

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