Definition of False Humility

1) In last live session you mentioned about false humility. Can you explain it more or give an example?

2) What should we think if anybody is doing wrong?

1) False humility is part of Riya. It is when a person wants other people to regard him or her as humble so they go overboard in acting humble for the sake of praise. If one finds one being humble in front of people to create an image of humility but arrogant when in private then it is time to check one's intentions. Being arrogant in private means that behind people’s backs you judge them and look down upon them.

2) Every human has their sins and mistakes. Allah has hidden the sins of some people, while others are more open. As Muslims, we are supposed to give another person the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I have several ideas that come to mind when I see a fellow Muslim in sin:

  • Perhaps he doesn't know it is wrong.
  • Perhaps he doesn't know why it is wrong.
  • Perhaps nobody approached him nicely on the topic.
  • Perhaps it is a coping mechanism to deal with his problems, and he needs counseling.

Let me give you a practical example:

Yesterday, I was talking to a local Muslim who doesn't go to the Masjid for Salaah. I decided not to judge him but to spend time with him. I ended up learning that he was born Christian, forced to convert to Islam two years ago when his father converted and nobody taught him Islam at all. In such a case, can I really judge him? Shouldn't I teach him and slowly help him learn the basics of Islam instead? Would I have known all this if I just looked down upon him as a Muslim who doesn't pray and felt superior to him?

I hope this example helps realize how to deal with people's mistakes. Many Muslims are born into Islam, or convert, without anybody teaching them anything and as a result they don't need judgment, harshness or to be looked down upon, but they need love and support to learn the religion, learn to love it and grow into it.

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) taught us,

"Never does mercy enter anything, except that it beautifies it, and never does harshness enter anything expect that it makes it ugly," [1]

Allah knows best.


[1] [Saheeh Muslim (2594)on the authority of Aisha]


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