Humility In Different Circumstances and Situations

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Abu Hurairah [may Allaah be pleased with him] reported that Allah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him], “Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another except that Allah increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status”. [Sahih Muslim 2588]

Regarding the statement, “No one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status”, Al-Qaadee Iyaadh [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “This statement has two sides: one of them is that Allah [The Exalted] will grant him this in the worldly life as a reward for his humility to Him, and his humility establish love, status and honor for him in the hearts. The second (affair) is that this will be his reward in the Hereafter for his humility”. (1)

Allah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] said, “Allah revealed to me that you should be humble (amongst ourselves), so that neither is one boastful towards another nor transgresses against another”. [Sahih Muslim 2865]

Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen [may Allah have mercy upon him] said, “It means that everyone (behaves) humbly towards the other and not to exalt oneself over the other; but rather one (considers) himself just like the other person or honours him more. One of the customs of the pious predecessors [may Allaah have mercy upon them] was that a person among them dealt with someone who is younger than him like his (own) son; someone older than him like his (own) father and someone similar to him like his (own) brother; so he looked at the one who was older with honor and reverence, the one below him with compassion and mercy, and the one similar to him as his equal. So, no one oppressed another. This is one of the affairs obligated on person to adorn himself with, and that is to be humble for the sake of Allah [The Mighty and Majestic] and (behave) humbly towards his Muslim brothers”. (2)

Imaam Fudayl Ibn Iyaad [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Humility is that you humble yourself to the truth and accept it from the one who says it. Humility is that you accept truth, even if heard from a child or the most jaahil person”. (3)

Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] mentioned -in Sharh Hilyati Taalibil Ilm – the six distinguishing signs of beneficial knowledge, then he stated that the third of them is that a person increases in humility whenever his knowledge increases, so he does not become arrogant towards the people. Then the Shaikh said, “If there is a co-occurrence between humbling oneself to the truth and humbling oneself to the people, then one should give precedence to humbling himself to the truth. For example, if there is a person who curses (or abuses, reviles etc) the truth and rejoices due to his enmity against the one who acts upon the truth, then in this case one should not be humble in the presence of this person; rather one should humble himself to the truth and debate this man (i.e. the one who reviles the truth), even if he belittles or speaks against you, do not give concern to what he says, because the truth must be aided”. (4) (see footnote a)

Imaam Ibn Hibbaan [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “It is obligated on a sensible person that he adheres to humility and avoids pride. Humility is of two types- the first one is praiseworthy and the other is blameworthy. Praiseworthy humility [necessitates] abandoning insolence and mockery. Blameworthy humility [occurs] when a person humbles himself in the presence of one who possesses the things of the worldly life and desiring what such a person possesses. Therefore, a sensible person maintains his abandonment of blameworthy humility in all circumstances and he does not depart from praiseworthy humility”. (5)

Imaam Ibn Hibbaan [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “It is obligated on a sensible person to cling to humility and avoid being haughty. And if humility did not contain any [good] trait, except that whenever a person has a lot of humility he is increased in status, then it would have been obligatory upon him not to adorn [himself or herself] with other than it”. (6)

Imaam Ibn Hibbaan [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Indeed, none is haughty towards another (person) until he becomes amazed with himself and sees himself as having virtue over others”. (7)

Imaam Ibn Hibbaan [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The Poet said, ‘Do not walk on the earth except with humility, for how many a people beneath it were of a higher status than you! And if you are in a state of honour, good and strength, then how many people have passed away who were more powerful than you!'”. (8)

Footnote a:

[Ref 1: إكمال المعْلِم شرح صحيح مسلم – 8/59]
[Ref 2: Sharh Riyaadus Saaliheen. 3/524. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 3: Madaarj As-Saalikeen 2/342]
[Ref 4: Sharh Hilyati Taalibil Ilm – pages 253-254. paraphrased]
[Ref 5: An Excerpt from Rawdatul Uqalaa page 58. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 6: An Excerpt from Rawdatul Uqalaa. Page: 58]
[Ref 7:An Excerpt from Rawdatul Uqalaa: page: 61]
[Ref 8: An Excerpt from Rawdatul Uqalaa page 61]

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