Prayer is a shield against evil

How to Achieve Humility in Islam

The essence of being a Muslim is being humble. The word ‘Muslim’ itself means to submit oneself in ultimate humbleness to Allah. But it is a great irony of the human soul that when we become more humble and submissive to Allah, we fall into a gravel trap. We tend to grow in arrogance because we feel our level of submission is better than that of others. All human life carries inherent value. Our souls hold no more value or importance than the person sitting next to us, no matter where we may be sitting. A humble person appreciates the fact that the world does not revolve around him or her. Allah says:

وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ

“And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth, for Allah loves not any arrogant boaster.” (Surah Luqman 31:18)

Humbleness is one quality that a good Muslim must have, as it’s commanded by Allah SWT and His Messenger. By humbleness, we will be able to live this life rightly and spread Islam to others. If you look at how big this universe is, you will realize that you are no more than dust. Human is very little that they hardly visible. So that when someone has a high social role in society, it doesn’t guarantee that he has a high status in Islam. Don’t ever think that you are big enough to boast about it. The universe is way larger than you could ever think. Allah says:

ادْعُوا رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

“Call upon your Lord with humility and in private. Verily, He does not love transgressors.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:55)

Muslims constantly strive to remember and practice Islamic virtues and put them into practice throughout their daily lives. Among these great Islamic virtues is submission to Allah, self-restraint, discipline, sacrifice, patience, brotherhood, generosity, and humility. Contained the heart with Quran and behaving according to the Sunnah is among the ways how to become humble in Islam.

رَجُلاً قَالَ وَاللَّهِ لاَ يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لِفُلاَنٍ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى قَالَ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَتَأَلَّى عَلَىَّ أَنْ لاَ أَغْفِرَ لِفُلاَنٍ فَإِنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لِفُلاَنٍ وَأَحْبَطْتُ عَمَلَكَ

“A man said: By Allah! Allah will not forgive so-and-so! Allah Almighty said: Who is he who swore by Me that I will not forgive so-and-so? I have forgiven him and nullified your good deeds.” (Sahih Muslim 2621)

Putting Allah SWT first before everything will shield you from arrogance. It’s the way how to become humble in Islam. Don’t forget to ask for forgiveness from Allah SWT every day, as you may have sinned without realizing it. We need to protect ourselves from thinking we are better than others, as Iblis believed he was better than us. We must understand that the foundation of humility is knowing that if we are elevated in status it is only because of Allah. We can be brought to the level of those we look down on if Allah wills.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَمِيلٌ يُحِبُّ الْجَمَالَ الْكِبْرُ بَطَرُ الْحَقِّ وَغَمْطُ النَّاسِ

“Verily, Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty. Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” (Sahih Muslim 91)

Spend your time wisely and always do good. Islam has clear boundaries about what is allowed and what is forbidden. By doing good, you will be showered with blessings and rewards from Allah. There are many forms of good deeds, one of them is doing charity. Give to those who are in need, a charity will make you more grateful for everything you have. Through charity, you realize how you have more than you ever see all this time. Allah says:

وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ

 “And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, God likes not each arrogant boaster.” (Surah Luqman 31:18)

Making mistakes and committing sins are so humane, as a human being do it every day. To be a good Muslim with a humble heart, it’s important to repent from sins especially the major ones. Repenting means that you will never get near it again and never do it again no matter what. Repent in every prayer, repent by saying Istighfar. You may use Istighfar as dhikr so that you will always be in remembrance of Allah SWT.

Here are some ways to develop sincere humility:

  1. Humility is as we may attribute ourselves
  2. Humility is a reflection of sincere emotion
  3. Humility will gain your wisdom, affection
  4. Humility is relative to social standards
  5. Humility is relative to social standards
  6. Humility is being honest with others
  7. Humility as a virtue is beyond price
  8. Humility provide honest feedback
  9. Humility keeps a positive attitude
  10. Humility through prayer and faith
  11. Humility is an underrated virtue
  12. Humility begins with accepting
  13. Humility detection, skill level
  14. Humility is a value opener
  15. Humility is a great asset
  16. Count your blessings
  17. Repent from your sins
  18. Realize how small we are
  19. Be wise with compliments
  20. Do charity and good deeds
  21. Avoid giving orders to others 
  22. Greet each other with Salaam
  23. Weaknesses develop humility
  24. Make friends with humble people
  25. Everything belongs to Allah SWT
  26. Give everything back to Allah SWT
  27. Stop comparing yourself to others
  28. Ask for forgiveness from Allah SWT
  29. Remember the danger of Arrogance
  30. There Will be Punishment for Arrogance

You are who your friends are. They have a big influence on you so be careful in choosing with whom you want to befriend. Choose humble people who can make you humble too, and surround yourself with this kind of people as many as possible. Choose who is better in terms of worldly and religious life and see how you still have a long way to go. Allah says:

إِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِّن طِينٍ

“When said your Lord to the Angels, “Indeed, going to create a human being from clay.” (Surah Sad 38:71)

The power and wealth that you possess now originally belong to Allah SWT. It’s only temporary in your hand and Allah SWT can take it back whenever He wants. Having this mindset will make you humble since everything you have is only lent by you from the original owner. Only a good Muslim will ever realize this.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of who fears Him.” (Quran, 53:32)
  • “And the slaves of God are those who walk on the earth in humility and calmness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply with mild words of gentleness.” (Quran 25:63)
  • “Whenever We sent a prophet to a town, We took up its people in suffering and adversity, so that they might learn Humility.” (Surah Al-Araf, 94)
  • “If (such) were Our Will, We could send down to them from the sky a Sign, to which they would bend their necks in Humility.” (Surah Ash-Shura, 4)
  • “Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious).” (Quran49:13)
  • “Successful indeed are the believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers…” (Al-Muminoon 23:1-2)

Arrogance is derived from compliments. How you respond to compliments define how humble you are. A humble Muslim credited his success to others who help him and always say that it is due to Allah. Be careful when others compliment you, as it may become the beginning of arrogance. Arrogance caused the wrath of Allah, so you might as well stay from it as far as possible. Remember that Allah SWT gives punishment for people who have zero humbleness in their hearts. Keep this in mind as a guardian to stay humble. Allah says:

وَدَانِيَةً عَلَيْهِمْ ظِلَالُهَا وَذُلِّلَتْ قُطُوفُهَا تَذْلِيلًا

“And near above them (are), its shades and will hang low its cluster of fruits dangling low.” (Surah Al-Insan 76:14)

Humbleness disappears from one’s heart once one feels that one are higher than everyone. They usually give orders to others, even when they are capable to do it by themselves. Even though you have the authority to do so, you can train your humbleness by taking care of something you can do without help from others.