Feb 7, 2013

Humility in the face of humiliation.

Author: Maryam Ladha

Humiliation. The one thing that every single person on the face of this earth hates experiencing. It can turn love into hatred, friends into enemies, and family into strangers, all within a matter of seconds. Why? Because it destroys a person's honour and self-respect, not only in their own eyes, but in the eyes of others all around.

Everyone wants to maintain a certain image. Isn't it true? Everyone wants to appear to be respectable individuals. Everyone has a level of dignity that they want to preserve and when that dignity is taken away...BOOM. Bonds are broken, friends are no more. What once was love no longer exists. Everything comes crashing down.

Humiliation. The enemy of love. The destroyer of dignity. The cause of war. The creator of hatred. The breaker of bonds. The path to failure.
Humiliation. Don't ever be the cause for someone else to experience it. Verily, a Muslim's honour is more sacred than the Ka'bah.
But that's humiliation in the eyes of people. What about humility before Allah? The complete opposite.

Humility. The one thing that every single person on the face of the earth would love to experience if they knew how sweet it was. It can turn hatred into love, enemies into friends, and strangers into family, all within a matter of seconds. Why? Because it makes a person realize that their honour and self-respect comes ONLY from Allah. What they appear in other people's eyes, is ONLY from Allah. Everyone wants to maintain a certain image... But everyone tends to forget who created that image for them in the first place. Everyone forgets that they would be NOTHING if it weren't for Allah's mercy. And it's when people forget that, that their pride starts creeping in, their ego increases, and they start treating other people poorly, thinking they are above them. Remember, "God is the All-sufficient; you are the needy ones." (Surah Muhammad ayat 38)
والله الغني وأنتم الفقراء

Humility. The friend of love. The creator of dignity. The cause of peace. The destroyer of hatred. The maker of bonds. The path to success.
Humility. Always try to adopt it. Those who are humble before Allah, then Allah will raise them in the Akhira.

When I began to think of the story of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his journey to Ta'if... Probably one of the most touching stories I have ever learnt about in my life... a story full of lessons, motivation, inspiration...
And I began to reflect upon the actions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم at the time of Ta'if... He suffered more humiliation than most people ever do in their LIVES. He went with SO MUCH HOPE, after having been persecuted for years in Makkah... He went with hope, that maybe, maybe these people will listen to me. And he tried to call them to Islam... and what response did he get? Complete and total humiliation. His call to Islam was rejected, and he was told to leave the city. Nobody wanted to hear what he had to say. He was chased out of the streets of Ta'if. Not only were the adults telling him to leave, but to make things worse, to humiliate him EVEN MORE, they sent their children to run after him, pelting stones at him ceaselessly. He was pelted SO MUCH that his shoes were filled with blood.

Imagine what he must have been feeling. His hopes crushed. The whole city watching him bleed and run for his life. CHILDREN, not adults but CHILDREN, throwing stones at him and causing him to run...He was humiliated, not only in front of one or two people, but in front of the WHOLE CITY. Adults, children, young and old. This was the humiliation he had to face. And he eventually managed to get out of Ta'if...

After all of this humiliation... After being degraded like never before... With blood streaming down his body... He sat down somewhere... What did he do? What was his reaction? Anger? Hatred? Desire to seek revenge???
No, his reaction was HUMILITY. Patience. Trust in Allah. Hope. And he raised his hands and made a du'aa, such a du'aa that the skies were shaken by it. He raised his hands, HUMBLING himself before Allah, and what did he say? He complained to Allah, not of the people of Ta'if, but of his own weakness, not being able to preach to them. THAT'S what he complained to Allah about. HIS OWN WEAKNESS.

Subhanallah, THAT'S what you call humility. And Allah, seeing His beloved in such a state, could not bear it. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was asked if he wanted the people of Ta'if crushed between the two mountains that surrounded the city, because of what they had done to him. What would we have done? After being put to such treatment, what would our reaction be? Stop and think for a second...

But what did our beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم say? He said, "No, for I have hope that if they do not embrace Islam, then maybe someone from their progeny will." Subhanallah. Humiliation, followed only by humility.
That's what we need to adopt into our lives. That's the kind of akhlaaq, the kind of character that we have lost. That's what we need to bring BACK into our lives, in order for this Deen to come alive again.

May Allah give us all the ability to always humble ourselves, no matter what kind of humiliation we have been put through, no matter how much abuse we have faced. May Allah give us the ability to always show the best of character to everyone, whether Muslim or not, whether young or old, whether friend or foe. May Allah make us from amongst the humble ones, and save us from ever destroying or attacking the honour of another Muslim. May Allah beautify our character and unite us with the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم in the Akhira. Ameen.

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