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The Series Of The Manners: Humbleness

Zeinab's Photo Zeinab 30 Jan 2005

The series of the Manners: Humbleness

by Amr Khaled

Translated by [img]daralislamlive(contact admin if its a beneficial link)

Accepting the truth from any person:

When you hear about a humble person, what feelings does that invoke? You can't even express your feelings towards this dignified attribute, can you? Therefore you should know the meaning of humility. Humility has two meanings:

The first meaning: Accepting the truth from any person who made you aware of it. Some people do not accept the truth, except from people they can trust, so if the truth comes from someone who was less well off or in an inferior position, it is not accepted. But humility is completely different. Acceptance of the truth comes from any person whether they were poor or rich, lofty or simple, strong or weak, enemy or friend. Are you one of those kinds of people? Would you be accepting of the truth and regardless of where it came from?

The second meaning: This involves treating people gently, whoever they may be; the worker or the employer, the prince or the pauper, the downtrodden and the noble. Are you treating all people with same degree of gentleness and affection?

The origin of the two definitions:

It is well-known that the opposite of Humility is arrogance. The Prophet (PBUH) described arrogance as: "Suppression of the truth and looking down on people".

Looking down on people means that you approach poor and simple people while being haughty and snobbish, believing yourself to be in a higher position, where you don't even greet them, smile at them or even talk to them.

The benefits of being humble

The Prophet (PBUH) says: "He who was humble for the sake of God, God would elevate". Whereas the more arrogant a person is the less God would elevate him and the less people would love them. Do you not want to be elevated by God (SWT)? I can hear you saying: "Yes"! Then you should be humble!

The highest of Orders:

The Prophet (PBUH) said: "He who was humble for the sake of God by one degree, God (SWT) would then elevate them to a degree till they reach the uppermost of high Orders, and he who was arrogant to God (SWT), God (SWT) would then lower him for a degree till he reaches the lowest of low Orders", (Narrated by: Muslim (Hadeeth: 6535)).

Ask yourself which of the two you are. And by how many degrees? Whatever the reply was, don't you agree that we all need to be more humble?

Be humble it's an order:

The Prophet (PBUH) said: "God (SWT) has inspired me to being humble, so that no one would be more laudable than the other and no one inferior to other". (Narrated by: Abu Dawood (Hadeeth: 4895).

If you are arrogant and acted in a superior way towards God's creations and you are not pleased with this and want to change your attitude you then should be humble. Isn't the order given by God (SWT) enough?

Zeinab's Photo Zeinab 08 Nov 2005

The earth is the shortest way to the sky:

The Prophet (PBUH) says: "God (SWT) says: He who was humble as such (and the prophet (PBUH) kept lowering the inside of his palm to the ground until it reached it), God (SWT) would elevate them like that (and the prophet (PBUH) raised his palm upwards facing the sky until it was high up)".

The more humble you are to God through your dealings with people, the more God (SWT) elevates your faith. Observe the comparison between the two words: the earth and the sky.

Note: Since we walk with our feet on the ground, it is deserved for humility's sake that we prostrate our foreheads on the ground.

He does not enter heaven!

The Prophet (PBUH) said: "He who has the weight of a speck of arrogance in his heart does not enter heaven", (Narrated by (Muslim: 263)).

Another narration says: "He who has a mustard seed's weight of arrogance in his heart does not enter heaven".

Ask yourself now; is there a speck of arrogance in your heart? It is a very important issue, imagine on Judgment Day that you have prayers, Fasting, Charity, Hajj, Umrah and good deeds, but you are arrogant! As a result you don't enter heaven! So don't be like the worshipper who has bad ethics.

Listen to Luqman's advice:

God (SWT) says through Luqman's advice to his son: 'And do not raise your cheek over people and do not walk on earth frivolously'[Chapter Luqman].

The Arabic word describing raising your cheek over people is derived from an illness that affects the camel on its neck, where it can't put its neck in its normal position, and walks with its neck twisted. Observe this great Quranic comparison; I can feel you imagining what this scene looks like. Just a question: In what state is your neck?

Practical Examples

Humility is of the prophet's manners:

The companions said: "The prophet (PBUH), when shaking hands with someone did not withdraw his hands till the other party withdrew theirs, and if he saluted he saluted fully, and did not turn his face away till you turned yours, and used to sit where the last person was seated, and he was ever smiling."

How far are we from those characters? You salute people as quickly as you can, saying: "I'm busy", so are you busier than the Prophet (PBUH)? Do you salute people while you're facing them? Or do you just shake hands, whilst not even looking at them? If you're the manager, do you greet people with a cloudy face? If you do any of those things you cannot be considered to be humble. Why don't we learn humility from our Prophet (PBUH)?

Zeinab's Photo Zeinab 08 Nov 2005

Ease on yourself:

From the Prophet's (PBUH) humility: A man came to the Prophet (PBUH) trembling (where he thought that he was going to enter on one of the kings), so the Prophet (PBUH) said: "Ease on yourself, I'm not a king! But I'm the son of a lady who used to eat dried meat in Makkah". (Narrated by Ibn Majah (Hadeeth 3312)). Dried meat was the food of the poor, being dried meant that it would not go off.

Have you ever reassured someone who was intimidated at meeting you by saying how simple or normal you were? Arrogant people might relish those moments, of people feeling inferior to them. We should learn from the Prophet's (PBUH) humility.

An example of the Prophet's humility to God (SWT) is that he used to ride a donkey whilst he was able to do otherwise. In the day on which Khaibar was liberated, the Prophet (PBUH) came back from the victory of Khaibar on his horse where everyone was waiting for him, and when he as soon as he got back he asked for the donkey and got off of the horse! His aim was to be humble to God (SWT).

No more excuses:

The Prophet (PBUH) used to serve his family by patching up clothes and shoes and milking his goat as well as by doing other things. (Narrated by Imam Ahmed (Hadeeth 167/6). Don't be surprised, this is the humility of the Prophet (PBUH) and no one enters heaven except behind the Prophet (PBUH)).

So, no more excuses after today. From today you are the one who will be getting the groceries and helping your parents! Renew your intent and consider the Prophet (PBUH) your guide.

What Humility is this?

Do you know how the Prophet (PBUH) entered Makkah after the victory of its liberation? He entered with his head down. It was narrated that: They even saw the Prophets (PBUH) forehead not far from the camel.

After he and his friends were tortured, and were killed you still find humility in the Prophet's character. Who would do this nowadays? A great victory, but in return there is a greater humility! Be humble and God (SWT) will send mercy on you.

You also have the examples of the companions in their humility. Abu Bakir Al-Siddiq, used to clean the house of an old lady in spite of his status. What was his status? He was God's messenger's Caliph; commander of the faithful!

Who are we? Some of us might not even clean the house, or help our mothers, or even our wives, and the girl might say to her mother: "I'm busy now; I'm a university student, why should I clean the house?" You might not even do not do it in your own house! So what of Abu Bakr who does it in the house of an old lady! Aren't you ashamed?

Zeinab's Photo Zeinab 08 Nov 2005

A very difficult question and a very simple answer:

Observe our master Abu Bakr's humility in this situation. A man came and asked for a piece of land, so this was granted but Abu Bakr asked that the man go to let Umar ibn Al-Khattab be a witness to that. So the man went to Umar and told him that Abu Bakr had written some land for him and had ordered for Umar to be a witness to it. Umar then replied: "I swear I won't witness it, you used to take land when Islam was weak, but now Islam is strong", then he took the paper and tore it. So the man went back to Abu Bakr and said: "I swear I do not know who the Caliph is, you or Umar"? So Abu Bakr said: "He is, if he so wishes".

Imagine if you were in the position of Abu Bakr, Commander of the faithful, what would you have done? Praise to God that you are not in his position. Could you be humble in that situation?

But I'm one of the Muslim's:

From the amazing examples of humility is the humility of Ali ibn Abi Talib in this situation. After the death of Lady Fatima (may God be pleased upon her) our master Ali had another wife, and he used to sit with his wife's son (and he was Mohammed ibn Al-Hanifa). Mohammed then said to his father: "O Father who is the best among the Muslims after the prophet (PBUH) ?" Ali replied: "Abu Bakir Al-Sidiq", "Then who?", asked Mohammed. "He replied: "Umar ibn Al-Khattab", Mohammed then asked: "I was worried that if I asked him who's next that he would say: "Uthman", so I said: "then you"? He then replied: "O' Son, but I'm one (man) of the Muslim's".

The path to Humility

Humility when dressing:

There are some of examples of humility in our life, and we should start with humility in dressing. A man came to the Prophet (PBUH) and said: "O' God's messenger, I love my clothes to look good, is this anything to do with arrogance?" The Prophet (PBUH) said: "No, God (SWT) is beautiful and loves beauty". (Narrated by Muslim (Hadeeth 261)).

There are some people who think that humility in dressing is by wearing the worst clothes. Beware of giving people this impression which is 'the religious person is a person with no dress sense'. You should wear the best of clothes and this how you should be. However do not be arrogant and show off. Let people know that religious people can dress well too.


The prophet (PBUH) said: "While a man was prancing in his gown, God (SWT) then ordered the earth to swallow him up and he wallows in it until judgment day". (Narrated by Muslim (Hadeeth 5434)).

This is a message for each girl and boy: Be humble in your dressing and beware of being arrogant. Aren't you worried that God (SWT) might the same thing to you? Be humble to God (SWT) and remember he who is humble for God, God (SWT) elevates.

Zeinab's Photo Zeinab 08 Nov 2005

Be humble with your relatives and especially...!

Be humble with your relatives and especially with the poor ones! Think of it and start caring of them, ask about them, visit them and offer them help. Beware to just being loyal to your rich relatives! Don't you fear God (SWT)?! Would you not visit your relatives just because they are poor? Where is the humbleness that you have learnt?

Being Humble with people who are lower than you in the social status and knowledge:

Be humble to people who are lower than you, socially or intellectually, and do not look down at people as if they are lower than you. Beware of being proud and saying I'm the son of a noble man. Don't be delighted by your knowledge and be humble to God (SWT) otherwise...

To be humble to those who have taught you:

Be humble to your teachers and beware of being sarcastic towards them. Avoid making fun of them. Learn the humility of the sons of the caliphs who used to carry their teachers' shoes.

Being humble with those whom you teach:

All those who call people to Allah should be humble, and make sure they do not embarrass people you are teaching by making fun of them or laughing at those who make mistakes. You wouldn't like this treatment yourself and you may discourage people from religion. So be humble so that people may love Islam.

The best humility is the time where you are between the hands of God (SWT). Beware of pretence or doing something so that people may see you in your optional night prayers or your fasting or your wearing the hijab. Be humble between the hands of your Lord.

Steps to achieve humility

What do I do to be humble, and so that humility an authentic moral of ours? This is a new initiative for you. Read, not for the aim of reading, but to understand then apply and finally teach others.

First: Know your God:

From the things that would help you be humble, is to know God (SWT) and observe His majesty in His creations.

Zeinab's Photo Zeinab 08 Nov 2005

Second: The practice:

After that you have known God (SWT), apply what you have read practically. Beware of reading it just for fun! It should be for understanding and applying. So start from now and eat with the workers one time and with your servant at another time; clean your house, and wash the dishes, and say: I'm the one who is responsible of the house keeping today! Kiss the hands of your parents. Visit your poor relatives and ask about them always. Don't be sarcastic to anyone no matter who they are. Use public transportation instead of your car for a day. Go out in smart, clean clothes but remain humble. Carry your neighbor's heavy bag and help him to carry it home. Don't be happy when someone praises you! Don't get angry with those who are bad to you. Be kind to those who are financially deprived. Greet the security guard and ask him about his health and how his children are and so on.

In conclusion: The best way to let humility be an authentic moral in your life is by searching for the most difficult tasks which you do not like doing, and actually completing them. If you do so, humility would become as essential to you as water and air! You wouldn't be able to live without it.

How do you know that you are humble?

If you really would want to know if you are humble or not, you have to ask one of your friends, or neighbors, or children or your relatives. The most important thing is that they are a person you trust. Therefore you would know if you are humble or not.

And remember, for remembrance benefits the faithful:

Open your hearts, and renew your intentions and accept from me this gift: "The Prophet (PBUH) was one of the most humble people, and the furthest from arrogance. He forbid anyone to stand for him as they do for kings, and he used to visit the poor people, and sit with them. He used to accept servants' invitation and sit between his friends, he even used to stitch his shoes and clothes, and work with his hands as anyone would work in his house. He milked his goat and did his own work by himself. He didn't allow anyone to walk behind him. He was never arrogant to his male and female servants. He served those who served him with the same food or dress. He never told a servant off for doing anything or leaving anything. He loved the poor people and sat with them and attended their funerals, and never insulted a poor person for their poverty".

Remember: He who has a speck of arrogance in his heart does not enter heaven. O Allah, bless us with humility, and make us love being humble, O Allah we seek refuge from arrogance. O Allah help us remember you, praise you and worship you. Ameen.

umar abdullah's Photo umar abdullah 14 Nov 2008

very good read, and once again i have a question.

humbleness seems to be very important in Islam. almost as important as modesty.

how dose one achive all these morals? like, maybe i am trying to rush things to fast, but i am having a hard time understanding all this at once.

is it faith that is supposed to held all these morals together? and if so, how can i make my faith stronger?

thank you once again, you are doing grat things for Islam, may Allah guide and protect you ameen.

Zeinab's Photo Zeinab 15 Nov 2008


From my experience bro morals whatever they are should not be forced upon the self because they need to be integrated within the personality and the self so they come naturally. It is good to review ones behavior but it is impractical for one to be consumed by it.

We all have these morals but think of it how to avoid their opposite to achieve the target moral, you want to be humble and modest do not be proud or arrogant.

Things that humble are usually acts of charity, helping someone out, or some type of social service.

Morals are part of faith but not all of it, to make your faith stronger it usually entails doing things to become closer to Allah (SWT) and following what HE ordained. I know mistakes will be done we all do mistakes what you do after the mistake that is important if you repent and ask Allah for forgiveness, vow not to do it again and learn from it that is the good path.

I don't believe anyone can say they have reached perfect faith, it is an ongoing thing or else how can we be in continuous need to please Allah (SWT) otherwise.

Take joy in faith bro and praise Allah for everything for you worrying about these issues is a good thing. :no:

Ameen you too bro


umar abdullah's Photo umar abdullah 15 Nov 2008

yeah i think your right, im am consumed with trying to get this all prefect.

although since i posted this, i have felt better and learned things, but this basicly confirms what i thought.

you are doing good things for Islam sister, keep it up :sl: