Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
22 November 2019 / 25 Rabiul Awal 1441H
The Prophet’s Etiquette of Humility
Blessed Friday congregants,
I remind myself and all of you to increase our taqwa in Allah s.w.t.. Perform all of His commands with humility, and abstain from His prohibitions.
My dear brothers,
Throughout this month, the sermons have reminded us of the beauty of character in the Messenger s.a.w. His manners and disposition were indeed unparalleled. It is an aspiration of every believer to make the Prophet s.a.w. as a role model. Allah says in Surah Al-Ahzab, Verse 21:
”Verily, in the Messenger of Allah you have a good role model, (that is) for those who hope for Allah and the Final Day, and who remember Allah frequently.”
The verse that was recited earlier speaks about those who hope for the mercy of Allah s.w.t.. We will strive to make the Messenger s.a.w. as our role model. We emulate the Messenger s.a.w., not just by obeying the Islamic laws, but also by striving to inculcate the virtues of the Messenger s.a.w. in our lives.
My dear brothers,
Indeed, if emulating him is truly something our heart desires, then we ought to know that among the virtues of the Messenger s.a.w. that we must observe is his sincerity – the sincerity in every deed and action, the sincerity in every speech and gesture.
This virtue of sincerity is essential, my dear brothers. This is because sincerity is what breeds noble characterisitcs, such as humility and being self-effacing. He who is sincere for Allah will find it easy to be humble, because he knows his Lord and Creator. He knows that all of what he has belongs to Allah. Thus, he will train himself to always be humble.
If we truly want to bring ourselves closer to Allah s.w.t., instill in ourselves good virtues, such as humility and politeness, for it is the virtue of humility that is the key that will lead to the purification of our soul and character. It is the path towards preserving good relations with Allah s.w.t. and with human beings. It reminds a servant of his servitude, of his kinship, and of his dependence on Allah and other beings. When we humble ourselves before Allah s.w.t., all our actions will follow suit in humility, with the hope that we be among those of taqwa towards Allah s.w.t. The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said:
Which means: “Charity does not reduce wealth, and Allah does not add to a servant who forgives (others) except nobility. And no person humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises him (in rank).” [Narrated by Imam Muslim and At-Tirmizi]
When we humble ourselves, we open the door of goodness for ourselves. As a believer in Allah, when our heart is filled with sincerity and is removed from arrogance, it becomes easier for us to receive knowledge. In our work life, sincerity will help us be employees who are open to constructive criticism, who will work on our weaknesses.
In fact, humility has an impact on our family lives too. Let us follow the ethics protrayed by the Prophet towards his family, and how he was open to the suggestions of his wife. He s.a.w. listens and consults.
Bad characteristics such as riyaa’ and arrogance, will not exist in a sincere person. This is because those who are filled with arrogance will only bring upon themselves negative traits.
Allah s.w.t. also reminds us to refrain from arrogance, as stated in the Surah Luqman, Verse 18:
Which means: “Do not turn your face away from people (out of arrogance), and do not walk on earth boastful. Verily, Allah dislikes every boastful and arrogant person.”
Being boastful comes about when a person feels that he is better than others around him, in one way or another.
This attitude is contrary to tawadu’, meaning humility, which is taught by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w..
My dear brothers,
Arrogance does not bring any benefit and people will not feel at ease when dealing with someone who is arrogant. In fact, when someone becomes proud and arrogant when doing something good, the good deed bears no benefit nor bring any reward for us. This would happen when there is no sincerity as a result of arrogance in our hearts.
In highlighting the importance of refraining from arrogance, there are various examples and illustrations in the Quran and Sunnah regarding the matter that we may reflect and take heed from.
An example is the arrogance of Qarun and his wealth. His arrogance made him defy God, and eventually brought him to his demise. Similarly, the story of Fir’aun shows how he arrogantly regarded himself as having divine powers. Such arrogance eventually brought destruction upon himself.
Arrogance is one of the many negative attributes that can cause conflicts which then results in innocent people becoming victims of violence and cruelty. It is our responsibility to always spread goodness, and to purify our hearts with forgiveness and to hate all forms of cruelty and violence.
Therefore, let us pray that Allah s.w.t. restore peace and prosperity to all humankind, no matter where they may be, and where on earth they stand. Let us pray that those who are confronted with the conflict will be spared from any form of cruelty and violence, and they will be able to live peacefully again. Lets remember that everything starts with a good heart and a sincere heart.
May Allah s.w.t. put an end to all conflicts in the region and the Middle East, and restore the prosperity for all of us. Amin Ya Rabbal 'Alamin.