Allah, the Almighty, said:

{And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk on the earth in humility…} [al-Furqân 25:63]

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا"

Humbleness is for the servant to give in to the might of the truth.330It is of three levels:

التَّوَاضُعُ أَنْ يَتَوَاضَعَ الْعَبْدُ لِصَوْلَةِ الْحَقِّ.
وَهُوَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ دَرَجَاتٍ.

The first level is humbleness before the religion. It means that one will not:

  1. oppose the transmitted evidence by a rational one

  2. question the proofs of the religion331

  3. find an excuse for divergence

This will not be accomplished except by recognizing that salvation is dependent on [having] insight, and straightness comes only after [having] trust, and clarity is attainable only through the proper evidence.332

الدَّرَجَةُ الْأُولَى التَّوَاضُعُ لِلدِّينِ. وَهُوَ أَنْ:

  1. لَا يُعَارِضَ بِمَعْقُولٍ مَنْقُولًا

  2. وَلَا يَتَّهِمَ لِلدِّينِ دَلِيلًا

  3. وَلَا يَرَى إِلَى الْخِلَافِ سَبِيلًا

وَلَا يَصِحُّ ذَلِكَ إِلَّا بِأَنْ يَرَى أَنَّ النَّجَاةَ فِي الْبَصِيرَةِ، وَالِاسْتِقَامَةَ بَعْدَ الثِّقَةِ، وَأَنَّ الْبَيِّنَةَ وَرَاءَ الْحُجَّةِ.

The second level is to:

  1. accept as your brothers/sisters those whom Allah accepted as His Muslim servants333

  2. never deny your enemy their right334

  3. accept excuses from those who seek to be excused

الدَّرَجَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ أَنْ:

  1. تَرْضَى بِمَا رَضِيَ الْحَقُّ بِهِ لِنَفْسِهِ عَبْدًا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ أَخًا

  2. وَأَنْ لَا تَرُدَّ عَلَى عَدُوِّكَ حَقًّا

  3. وَأَنْ تَقْبَلَ مِنَ الْمُعْتَذِرِ مَعَاذِيرَه

The third level is to show humbleness before the True One, thus giving up:

  1. your opinions and customs while in [His] service335

  2. the thought of entitlement to [His] company336

  3. beholding your image while witnessing [Him]337

الدَّرَجَةُ الثَّالِثَةُ أَنْ تَتَّضِعَ لِلْحَقِّ، فَتَنْزِلَ عَنْ:

  1. رَأْيِكَ وَعَوَائِدِكَ فِي الْخِدْمَةِ

  2. وَرُؤْيَةِ حَقِّكَ فِي الصُّحْبَةِ

  3. وَعَنْ رَسْمِكَ فِي الْمُشَاهَدَةِ

330The Prophet ﷺ said:

‏إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَمِيلٌ يُحِبُّ الْجَمَالَ الْكِبْرُ بَطَرُ الْحَقِّ وَغَمْطُ النَّاسِ‏

Verily, Allah is beautiful, and He loves beauty. Pride is disdaining/rejecting the truth and contempt for the people.” (Muslim)
331 Rather, one will question their intellect and comprehension. The definitively established proofs of the religion will never be in conflict with reality, but one’s understanding of them or of reality may be incorrect. A little knowledge of logic and philosophy may make one disbelieve, but more will likely guide them back to faith.
332 So he/she needs to trust his/her Lord, rely on the insight which is a gift from Him, and seek clarity in the clear proofs of the deen. This will make the worshiper humbled before the evidence and the scholar reliant on the Divine assistance and the gift of insight.
333 And if they are your brothers and sisters, you should never consider yourself superior to them. In fact, Bâyazeed al-Bisṭâmi (may Allah bestow mercy on him) said that humbleness is to consider none of the creations worse or lower than you.
334That is the true test of humbleness. Conceding only to those who are friends is not humbleness. Allah said:
}وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا}

{…and do not let the hatred/hostility of a people prevent you from being just…} (al-Mâ’idah 5:8)
335 Complete conformity to the Divine and dissolution of your will into His is the goal.
336 Rather, you show gratefulness when He invites you to draw closer and lets you enjoy the comfort of intimacy (al-uns) with Him, but never expect it as a right.
337 For beholding the self/ego bars one from beholding the True One alone. The light of His appearance, for those so blessed to behold Him with the eyes of their hearts, will decimate the darkness of the mortal egos.

Manâzil as-Sâirin


Shaykhul-Islam Abu Isma‘il Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Ansari al-Harawi (396-481H)

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj