Good Deeds Challenge #14

“Call on your Lord with humility and in private, for Allah loves not those who transgress beyond bounds. Do not mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, but call on Him with fear and longing in your hearts, for the Mercy of Allah is always near to those who do good.” Al-Araf 7:55-56

“Successful indeed are the believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers…” Al-Muminoon 23:1-2

“Has not the time arrived for the believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed to them…” Al-Hadid 57:16

Pride can creep up on you in a number of situations- with friends, with children, with spouses, etc. We live in a world in which egocentricity has almost been made a prerequisite for survival. At its most benign, it has become a justifiable means to take care of your own needs. Its a dog-eat-dog world; disengaging from the rules of engagement might be perilous. Or that’s what we’re led to believe, anyway.

The clearest and best human example of humility is that of the Prophet (SAW). The Prophet’s (SAW) humility manifested itself in all of its forms, first and foremost through his sincerity towards ALLAH (SWT), then trickling down to all whom he encountered- even many of his enemies. ALLAH (SWT) has promised that those who walk and act humbly in this world will be elevated in their ranks. So why is it so hard to do?!

Admitting your mistakes or shortcomings can be difficult. Relenting in an argument can be tortuous. It can be tempting to pass judgment on others because of something they have said or done to you. And for some unexplained reason, it can be very difficult to stand in prayer before ALLAH (SWT) with a sincere cloak of humility, while your kids are screaming, the phone is ringing, and dinner is on the stove, bubbling over.

One scholar wrote that, ” Humility comes from knowing about Allaah and His names and attributes, and His greatness, venerating Him, loving Him and being in awe of Him; and also from knowing about oneself and one’s faults, and weaknesses. From that may develop the attitude of humility, which means feeling helpless before Allaah, and being humble and compassionate towards His slaves, so that the person does not feel superior towards anyone, or think that he has any rights over anyone else; rather he thinks that others are better than him, and that their rights come before his. This is a characteristic that Allaah gives to those whom He loves, honours and draws close to Him. ”

Can you honestly say that your humility manifests itself in those ways? Do you recognize your own weaknesses? Do you forgive others their weaknesses, instead showing them compassion without judgment? This may be a difficult challenge- to reassess your lack of humility. Like I said, sometimes you engage in pompous or obstinate behavior without being cognizant of it. It’s like an unwitting trigger just goes off. Take stock, everyone. Make sure that what you are fighting over, commenting on, or focusing on is worth ALLAH’s (SWT) judgment. If you could step outside of yourself and observe, would you be proud of the way your are walking, acting, or speaking?

If you are talking to a friend, and they engage in bad behavior, stop them. Don’t be an accomplice to arrogance and pomposity (but do it privately!). If each of us can uphold the standards of humility that ALLAH (SWT) has given us, and the Prophet (SAW) has shown us, how many people around us can we affect? How much nicer would our immediate environments be. And, much like urban sprawl, maybe our environments will spread for everyone’s benefit, insha’ALLAH. Do your best, everyone. I think we all know how we are supposed to act. Try to be who you know that you should be. May ALLAH (SWT) make us humble as we stand before him, and as we deal with other people and His creation. May He (SWT) protect us from a state in which we no longer recognize our own arrogance or lack of humility. Ameen.

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~ by deedschallenge on May 24, 2008.

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