"Humility versus Pride."
The word "humility" (Tawadu') has not been mentioned in the Qur'an as such but it has been mentioned in different ways. The other word for Tawadu' is Zull. The different forms of Zull are : Zillah; Al-Zull; while the word "pride" has been mentioned 66 times in different forms and for different aspects of life. The different forms of the word "pride" are:
kibriya' mutakabbir Al-mutakabbir Al-mutakabbireen mustakbiran istikbar mustakbireen al-mustakbireen mustakbiroon istakbara istakbarta istakbaroo istakbartum tatakabbara yatakbartum kibr
The best type of humility is that one which Allah Ta'ala recommended to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In this regard Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Ash-Shu'ara' (The Poets):
"And lower your wing (in kindness) unto those believers who follow thee." (26:215)
Allah also advised Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to be humble to any believer. In this regard Allah says in Surah Al-Hijr (The Rocky Tract):
"...and lower your wing ( in tenderness) for the believers." (15:88)
The manner in which the Muslims should behave toward one another, is that of humility. In this regard Allah says in Surah Al-Maidah ( The Table Spread):
"O you who believe! Whoso of you becomes a renegade from his religion (know that in his stead) Allah will bring a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble toward believers, stern toward disbelievers, striving the way of Allah, and fearing not the blame of any blamer. Such is the grace of Allah which he giveth unto whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing." (5:54)
Allah has commanded the believers to treat their parents with kindness, humility and mercy. In this regard Allah says in Surah Al- Isra':
"And lower unto them the wing of humility through mercy and say: 'My Lord, Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I say little.'" (17:24)
At the same time Allah wants from the believers not to boast, not to brag and not to be proud of themselves. They should not claim that they are pure, innocent and angelic. They should be humble enough to admit their shortcomings, their mistakes and their faults. They should share their ideas with others, be they young or older, and be they of a higher or of a lower academic position.
Allah hates all those who are proud, arrogant or boastful. In this regard Allah says about the proud people in Surah An-Nahl (The Bees):
"Your God is One God. But as for those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts refuse to know, for they are proud. Assuredly, Allah knows that which they keep hidden and that which they proclaim. Lo! He loves not the proud." (16:22-23)
Also, it is mentioned in Surah Luqman that Muslims should treat one another with humility and not with scorn or pride. In this regard Allah says:
"Turn not thy cheek in scorn toward folk, nor walk with perness in the land. Lo! Allah loves not each braggart boaster." (31:18)
Allah those who are proud of themselves because of what they are and of their personal achievements, negating Allah's blessing and mercy, will receive the curse and the punishment of Allah in this world.
The best example for the curse of Allah is that of Iblis who refused to prostate to Allah in front of Adam. He refused the order of Allah because he felt that he was better than Adam. He received the curse of Allah till the Day of Judgment. In this regard Allah says in Surah Sad:
"The angels fell down prostrate everyone, save Iblis; he was scornful and became one of the disbelievers. He said: 'O Iblis! What hinder you from falling prostrate before that which I have created with both my hands? Were you proud or were you of the high exalted? He said: I am better than him. You created me of fire, while him you did create of clay. He said: Go forth from here, for lo! You were outcast. And lo! My curse is on you till the Day of Judgment.'" (38:73-78)
The proud people will go to hell in the Day of Judgment and will never enter paradise till the camel enter the eye of a needle. In this regard, Allah says in Surah Al-A'raf (The Heights):
"Lo! They who deny Our revelations and scorn them, for them the gates of heaven will not be opened nor will they enter the garden until the camel goes through the needle's eye. Thus do We requite the guilty." (7:40)
On the other hand, paradise is reserved for those who are humble. In this regard Allah says in Surah Al-Qasas (The Narration):
"As for that Abode of the Hereafter, We assign it unto those who seek not oppression in the earth, nor yet corruption. The sequel is for those who ward off (evil)." (28:83)
Remember how Allah punished all the previous nations in the history of mankind. Remember the people of Hud, Salih, 'Ad, Lut, Remember the dynasty of the Pharaos. Remember as well Qaroon. All of these and others have been penalized by Allah Ta'ala. For this reason, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advised us to be humble in every aspect of our life. The following are a few of his advises.
It has been narrated by Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (pbuh) said: A charity does not decrease any wealth. Allah increases the respect of any who forgives and whoever is humble for the love of Allah. Allah will raise his rank.(Reported by Muslim)
It was narrated by `Iyad that the Prophet (pbuh) said: Allah revealed to me (Muhammad) that you should be humble so that no one will boast over others, and no one will transgress over others. (Reported by Muslim)
It was narrated by Abdullah ibn Masood that the Prophet (pbuh) said: No one will enter paradise if he/she has an atom's weight of pride.
It was narrated by Abu Hurairah that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: Allah does not speak to three categories of people in the Day of Judgment; does not purify them and does not look at them. They will have a very severe penalty. They are: an elderly person who commits adultery; a king who is a liar; and a person who is proud and arrogant. (Reported by Muslim)
From what has been reported to you in this talk, may I request you kindly to be humble, modest, meek, simple and low in every aspect of your life. Remember that Allah hates those who are proud, aggressive, high, conceited and arrogant. May I request you to be kind to other people, to extend your personal help, your personal services and your personal time, effort, knowledge, and money to all those people tremendously. Remember that Allah will make your life a happy one, and that you will go to paradise in the Hereafter.