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Humility

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Pearls of Wisdom

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Humble and modest people are highly regarded by the created and the Creator. Haughty and self-conceited people, who belittle others and are arrogant, are always disliked by the created and punished by the Creator.

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Self-conceit shows a lack of sensibility and maturity. Those who are more reflective and spiritually mature have the sense to attribute whatever gifts they may have to the Creator, the All-High, and devote themselves to Him with humble gratitude.

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Humility makes people pleased with God’s judgments, and steadfast in the face of reproofs and insults from others. Those who know their place and do not put on airs have truly secured and defended themselves against other people’s contempt.

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Humility is a sign of virtue and maturity, while haughtiness and self-conceit indicate an imperfect, lowly spirit. The most perfect human beings are those who are at ease and intimate in the company of others. By contrast, those who are too proud to join in with others and form warm friendships with them are the most imperfect human beings and only earn notoriety.

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Those who do not seek or claim great prestige in their community sooner or later attain high ranks and are honored. Those who have a superiority complex are repudiated by their community and eventually become strangers in it.

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Humility is a sign of one’s having become truly human. One sign of humility is that one does not change after obtaining high status or wealth, learning or fame, or whatever is publicly esteemed. If any of these circumstances causes the person to alter his or her ideas, attitudes, and behavior, he or she cannot be regarded as having attained true humanity or true humility.

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Humility is like a key to all other virtues. One who is humble may have all other virtues, whereas one who lacks humility usually is deprived of other virtues as well. After his fault, Prophet Adam, upon him be peace, nevertheless recovered, through humility, all of his former connections to the worlds beyond. By contrast, Satan, undergoing the same test as Adam, became the irrecoverable victim of his self-conceit and haughtiness.

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Humble people attain high (spiritual) ranks in the institutions of spiritual training. They benefit fully from a good education, whether religious or scientific, and prove useful to their communities. Those whose vainglory and pride do not allow them to benefit from the discipline of these institutions, or to be taught by others, have lost their way.

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Since grandeur and pride are among the exclusive attributes of the Divine Being, those who act arrogantly and transgress the limits of modesty are seized and punished by Him. Those who know their true station and remain suitably humble and modest are honored with His Presence.