Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) The Humble By: Ali Zohery, Ph.D.
The Prophet showed civility, humility and modesty to all, rich or poor, old or young. He preached humbleness to his companions and demonstrated it by his actions. The Prophet is reported to have said: “Shall I tell you about the inhabitants of Paradise ? They are very meek and humble persons. And shall I tell you about the inmates of Hell? They are very ignoble, uncivil and proud persons” (Bukhari, 2671). This two contrasting statements about hell and paradise indicate the fact that the Prophet was serious about manifesting humility and the lack thereof: “He who has in his heart as much faith as a grain of mustard-seed will not enter Hell, and he who has in his heart as much pride as a grain of mustard-seed will not enter Paradise” (Muslim, 267). Thus, every human was to ensure that he was very clean of heart and not allow the slightest morsel of evil to be in him because “Allah Most High says: Pride is My cloak and majesty My lowest garment, and I shall cause him who vies with Me regarding one of them to enter Hell” (Muslim, 2620). He was in fact cautioning his followers against falling prey to excessive pride. Pride of course leads to a fall out humility.
The humility and gentleness of the Prophet was quite natural and free from all pretensions. People normally show their pride by boasting when they gain victories against their enemies in battle or when they achieve something really great and glorious. But the Prophet behaved naturally in all circumstances. After he entered Meccah victorious, instead of punishing his previous enemies he told them: “Go you are free” (Ibn Ishaq 1955, pp. 550-553). He was natural and in his usual form when he was humiliated and beaten by the people of Ta’if and when he suffered a setback in the battle of Uhud. He was the same humble man when he was entering the city of Meccah as its conqueror at the head of ten thousand victorious soldiers of Islam. He did not show any pride in any way. Instead, he was an epitome of modesty as would be portrayed in his subsequent speeches.