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Raise Yourself to the Rank of Humbleness to Get Closer to God

(Ibn Ata’s Words of Wisdom: Part 28)

“A person is not humble if he thinks that he is above his acts of humbleness.

And a humble person thinks he is below his act of humbleness.”

This is a very important step and it is about humbleness. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

A person humble to Allah, Allah will raise his ranks. (Muslim)

Humbleness vs Pride

In this step of the journey, we would like to raise our ranks one step by being humble. Allah Almighty had given warnings in the Quran about something that is called al-kibr, or pride. When you have the false pride, not the positive side of pride, if you feel that you are better than others.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned that whoever has a seed of false pride in their heart will never enter Paradise.

You can’t really attain Paradise in the Hereafter on the day of justice and the Day of Judgment if you have this false pride, if you feel you are better than people.

And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful. (Quran 31:18)

To boast and to feel that you are better than others and to have this arrogance is a major problem and that is because you are not able to evaluate people properly.

How Do I Assess People?

I should assess them according to how close they are to Allah, not who they are in the world, the titles they have, or where they are in the structure, the political, the economic… All of this is irrelevant. What is relevant is who they are with Allah Almighty.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught the companions that a man passed by the circle of the companions and he asked them:

What do you say about this man?

They reply:

“If he asks for a woman’s hand, he ought to be given her in marriage; and if he intercedes for someone his intercession should be accepted; if he speaks, he should be listened to.”

So Prophet Muhammad kept silent. And then another man passed by. He asked them:

What do you say about this man, now?

They said:

“If he asks for a woman’s hand in marriage, he should not deserve to be married; if he intercedes for someone, his intercession should not be accepted; and if he speaks, he should not be listened to.”

So the Prophet said:

The second (poor man) is better than an earthful of the first man. (Al-Bukhari)

Prophet Muhammad is teaching them a lesson, not to judge people based on poverty and richness, but to judge them based on who they are, not their outlook.

If we judge people according to who they are, not their outlook, we will be humble with everybody, because we really don’t know who is better and who is worse; who is closer to Allah and who is further from Him.

True Humbleness

So, when I don’t know the status of that person, I will treat the person assuming that they are better than me.

Therefore, when I am humble, I’m humble truly and I feel that I am lower than my act of my humbleness; versus somebody else who is nice to a person and they feel that they are bringing themselves down in order to be nice to that person and that is acting above their act of humbleness, and that is not true humbleness.

We ask Allah to give us this very important step of humbleness and to raise our ranks. We ask Allah to guide us to the rank of humbleness.

A Journey to God (Folder)


About Dr. Jasser Auda

Jasser Auda is a Professor and Al-Shatibi Chair of Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College South Africa, the Executive Director of the Maqasid Institute, a global think tank based in London, and a Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at Carleton University in Canada. He is a Founding and Board Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, Fellow of the Islamic Fiqh Academy of India, and General Secretary of Yaqazat Feker, a popular youth organization in Egypt. He has a PhD in the philosophy of Islamic law from University of Wales in the UK, and a PhD in systems analysis from University of Waterloo in Canada. Early in his life, he memorized the Quran and studied Fiqh, Usul and Hadith in the halaqas of Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. He previously worked as: Founding Director of the Maqasid Center in the Philosophy of Islamic Law in London; Founding Deputy Director of the Center for Islamic Ethics in Doha; professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Alexandria University in Egypt, Islamic University of Novi Pazar in Sanjaq, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the American University of Sharjah. He lectured and trained on Islam, its law, spirituality and ethics in dozens of other universities and organizations around the world. He wrote 25 books in Arabic and English, some of which were translated to 25 languages.

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