I begin with the name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
“And by the Mercy of Allaah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you.” Qur’an 3:159
In the construction industry, the deeper the foundation, the higher the structure. In essence, for most towering structures, there is an almost corresponding deep foundation beneath the earth.
The above can be seen as a statement of fact because it is somewhat consistent with simple logic and reasoning.
Humility as a worthy virtue is one of the greatest blessings that Allaah Exalted be He, can bestow upon any of His servants. He who has been so gifted has at his disposal a tool to conquer the hearts of men. Conversely, he who has been denied this blessing will undoubtedly become blameworthy in the eyes of men even if he is highly placed in the society.
In the amazing descriptions of Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) given in the Qur’an, one of the most apt description was that found in Qur’an chapter 68 verse 4. Allaah says (the interpretation of the meaning): “And verily, you are on an exalted character.”
He was/is the best of Allaah’s creations, he had the strongest bond with Allaah and was favored with the highest level of prestige yet humility was inseparable from him. He gave his companions ride (as was with the case of ibn Abbas), he played with them (as was with the case of Zaahir), he participated in trench digging with them (as was with the case of al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib during Al-Ahzab), he would busy himself with household chores (as was narrated by Aisha (may Allaah be pleased with her) and the examples are endless. As Muslims, what can we learn from these?
It is common knowledge that a man becomes more and more ennobled by the virtue of his humility. The more he humbles himself before his Creator and interacts humbly with people the more he becomes admirable, loved and respected by one and all. The skyscrapers and high rise buildings that define the skyscape of cities like Dubai, New York and Tokyo are mostly resting on a deep foundation footing without which their imposing heights and eye catching masterpiece would have been impossible. Imagine those buildings standing on a shallow footing, a small breeze can easily force them to crumble like the house of cards.
Similarly, the higher with respect to status and authority a man aspires to attain, the lower he must be willing to bring himself down the slope of humility. A man becomes dignified and is held in high esteem in the presence of Allaah and equally in the eyes of men the more he humbles himself.
While he becomes disrespected and lowly the more he seeks to exalt himself above others and the more arrogant his disposition dictates.
To substantiate this submission, there is an authentic narration from the Prophet (Pbuh) recorded by Imam Muslim on the strength of Abu Hurayrah (RA) that he said: “Wealth does not decrease because of charity and Allaah increases His slave in honor when he forgives others. And no one humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah will raise him (in status).”
One of the commentators of this hadith Imam An-Nawawi said: “Allaah will raise him in status in this world and give him status in people’s hearts as a result of his humility and will equally raise him in status in the Hereafter.
In conclusion, just as deep foundations are dug for skyscrapers and high rise buildings so shall man humble himself low in order to gain high status.
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