Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) on Humility

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) said, about humility, “It is with this virtue, humility, that the servant’s residence is Erected, that his station is Raised high, that his honour and eminence are Made Perfect in the Sight of Allah (s.w.t.) and in the sight of His creatures, and that he is Empowered to achieve all his worldly and otherworldly goals.  This virtue is the root, branch and consummation of all virtues, whereby the servant attains to the stations of the righteous; those who are content with Allah (s.w.t.) in joy and sorrow alike.  This is the perfection of piety.

Humility means that the servant never meets anyone without assuming him to be more worthy than himself.  He will always say, ‘Perhaps he is better than I in Allah’s Sight, and higher in degree.’  If it is someone younger, he will say, ‘This person has not offended Allah (s.w.t.) as I have done, so he is undoubtedly better than I.’  If it is someone older, he will say, ‘This person served Allah (s.w.t.) long before I did.’  If it is someone learned, he will say: ‘This person has received something I have not experienced, and has acquired something I have not acquired.  He knows things of which I am ignorant, and he puts his knowledge into practice.’  If it is someone ignorant, he will say, ‘This person has offended Allah (s.w.t.) in ignorance, while I have offended Him knowingly.  I do not know what end He has in Store for me, nor what end He has in Store for him.’  If it should be a disbeliever, he will say, ‘I do not know; perhaps he will embrace Islam and come to a good end, and maybe I shall become an unbeliever and come to a bad end.’”


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