Islam and humbleness

Humility is a key attribute taught by Islam, Islam teaches and commands its followers to be humble, and to not be arrogant and boastful. A major problem with human behavior that has always existed has been pride and arrogance, people who think they’re better than others, and as a result of this bad trait it extends to how they treat others, which is usually not in a very good manner.

Being humble doesn’t only lead to good character, but it also leads to good actions, because if one is humble, then that person will definitely be good in his dealings towards other, due the humbleness that person will not think of himself as better or superior to others, and hence he will treat people in a proper manner rather than treating people in an inferior manner if he had the trait of arrogance and pride. So humbleness isn’t simply about the character, but it also extends to our actions, which is why being humble is such an important trait to have, and this is why Islam is very clear on the issue.

The Quran is very clear on this:

And worship God [alone], and do not ascribe divinity, in any way, to aught beside Him. And do good unto your parents, and near of kin, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the neighbor from among your own people, and the neighbor who is a stranger, and the friend by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom you rightfully possess. Verily, God does not love any of those who, full of self-conceit, act in a boastful manner (4:36)

“And turn not thy cheek away from people in [false] pride, and walk not haughtily on earth: for, behold, God does not love anyone who, out of self- conceit, acts in a boastful manner. (31:18)

[Know this,] so that you may not despair over whatever [good] has escaped you nor exult [unduly] over whatever [good] has come to you: for, God does not love any of those who, out of self-conceit, act in a boastful manner (57:23)

Do not walk upon the earth exultantly. (17:23)

So the Quran is very clear on the matter, making it clear that God does not love the arrogant and boastful, that the people should not act in this fashion, and that they should not walk upon the earth in an arrogant manner.

The people are to act in the opposite of these bad traits, in a humble manner instead:

The servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say words of peace. (25:63)

The hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are also very clear on the matter:

Verily, Allah has revealed to me that you must be humble towards one another, so that no one wrongs another or arrogantly boasts to another. (Sahih Muslim 2865)

So the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught the people to be humble towards each other, to treat each other fairly and properly, not to be arrogant and boastful over one another, which leads to people behaving badly towards one another.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) even warned that anyone with arrogance in his or her heart would not enter paradise:

It was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No one who has an atom’s-weight of arrogance in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man said, “O Messenger of Allaah, what if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good?” He said, “Allaah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” (Sahih Muslim 91)

This hadith shows the severity of arrogance from an Islamic perspective, and as the prophet explained, the arrogance he was referring to is the type of arrogance that leads a person to looking down on other people. As we said at the start of the article, being arrogant and boastful is not simply a negative characteristic to have, but having this bad trait also extends on how you behave towards other, the behavior is not good. Due to the arrogant trait the person has, that person thinks he is better, and because of this belief, he treats other people badly, looking down on and them and so on. So as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught, a person who has this trait in their heart, would not enter paradise.

In conclusion, Islam is a religion of humbleness, it is not a religion for the arrogant, Islam enjoins upon its followers to be humble and non-boastful over others, treating people kindly and fairly. If the spirit of these Islamic teachings were taken to heart, in both a manner of belief and application, then indeed our society would become a much better society, a very fruitful and just society.

Categories: Islam

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