Dec 27, 2013

Four Steps to a More Humble Me

By Hend Hegazi


In this life, we often strive to be grouped with the elite: graduates of reputable universities, employed in highly respected companies, driving luxury cars, residing amongst the high-class.

And there is nothing wrong with striving for perfection. One famous hadith states,
“The most frequent invocation of the Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam was: "O Allah! Give to us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire" (Bukhari)

The danger is not in wanting goodness in this world; the danger occurs when those worldly rewards cultivate in us a feeling of superiority towards others. 

Prophet Muhammad, salallahu aleyhi wasallam, said, “He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise. A person (amongst his hearers) said: Verily a person loves that his dress should be fine, and his shoes should be fine. He (the Prophet) remarked: Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace. Pride is disdaining the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people” (Muslim). 

The only way to ensure that our hearts are free of pride, is to search our souls and be honest with ourselves. Ask yourself, “Do I want to attend Harvard because the quality of education there is unmatched? Or do I want to attend because one day I want to brag, ‘I graduated from Harvard!’” Ask yourself, “Do I consider myself superior to my neighbor because I have a better job/ more kids/ more beautiful home/ more expensive car?” I pray that none of us even hesitate to answer. But if we were being honest, the fact is that sometimes we may find ourselves at least somewhat proud. So how can we treat this illness?

Here are some steps that will, in sha’ Allah, help to cleanse our hearts of that evil:

1) Acknowledge that Allah is the Greatest. It is not enough to say Allahu Akbar; we must make it sink into our souls. We must ponder the Greatness of Allah, and in so doing, realize how insignificant we are. Yes, I may do my best to help improve the state of my home, or even the state of the world…but my Creator needs only to say to a thing, “Be” and it is. So how do we make even our souls acknowledge and continue to glorify Allah? One way is to prolong prostrations through dua’. 

Rasul Allah, sala Allahu aleyhi wa salim, is reported to have said, “The nearest a servant comes to his Lord is when he is prostrating himself, so make supplication (in this state)” (Muslim). 

The physical act of prostration shows complete submission to Allah the Great. By making dua’ in this position, we emphasize His Greatness and our humility to Him.

2) Achievements are solely from Allah. Remember that, despite our varied accomplishments, we would be able to achieve none of them were it not for Allah’s Grace. Yes, I worked hard academically, but I graduated in high standing ONLY because of Allah. Yes, I work hard at my job, but I got that raise ONLY because of Allah. Yes, I wear pretty clothes and eat good food, but that is ONLY because Allah provided them for me. I must keep in mind that my accomplishments are simply another testament to Allah’s Grace. So how do we remember this? We must make our default response to any accomplishment or compliment, -Alhamdulillah.

3) This world is insignificant. When I die, I will take with me neither my professional accomplishments, nor my academic degrees. Allah will not judge me based on the sum of my income, nor on the beauty of my clothes, nor my lineage, nor the number of children I have. He, subhana wa ta’ala, will judge me based on how I worshipped Him, and how I treated others. But how do we make ourselves remember that? Through constant dhikr: subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah, lailaha ila Allah, Allahu Akbar, Astaghfir Allah.

4) Show respect to others. Keep in mind that it is not enough to show humility only to Allah, subhana wa ta’ala; we must also show humility to His creatures. Be respectful when you speak to anyone, even in arguments, and even to young children. Be the horsey when the kids want to play, help an older person carry their groceries, bend down to remove rocks or rubbish from the street. Such actions not only show humbleness, but they also help to increase our faith. 

Prophet Mohamed salallahu aleyhi wasallam said, “Faith has over seventy branches or over sixty branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is none worthy of worship (in truth) but Allah, and the humblest of which is the removal of what is injurious from the path: and modesty is the branch of faith” (Muslim). 

Abu Huraira radhiAllahu anhu reported Allah's Messenger, sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, as saying, “Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth. And the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect. And the one who shows humility, Allah elevates him in the estimation (of the people)” (Muslim). 

May Allah rid each of us of any traces of pride. May He increase our humility towards Him and towards each other. May He elevate us in the estimation of people…and especially, in His estimation. Ameen.
-- Sahih Bukhari. Volume 8. Book of Invocations (hadith no. 398). Retrieved from
-- Sahih Muslim. Chapter: Concerning the branches of iman. In The Book of Faith (hadith no.56). Retrieved from
-- Sahih Muslim. Chapter: Forbiddance of pride. In The Book of Faith (hadith no. 164). Retrieved from
-- Sahih Muslim. Chapter: The merits of forgiveness and humility. In The Book of Righteousness, Manners and Joining the Ties of Kinship (hadith no. 6264). Retrieved from
-- Sahih Muslim. Chapter: What is to be recited in bowing and prostration. In The Book of Prayer (hadith no. 979). Retrieved from

Please comment below. Use this as an opportunity to share a thought of benefit for the sake of Allah :)


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