Being humble toward believers and a deterrent toward unbelievers

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Being modest and humble is an attitude praised in the Qur’an, and a Muslim who is humble inspires affection and trust to the hearts of other believers. In its true sense, modesty is an awareness that one owes all his good qualities to Allah and that there is none worthy of worship but Him. No matter how good-looking, successful, wealthy, intelligent or strong a believer may be, he knows that these are all blessings granted by Allah, that they are actually a trial for him, and that each one of them are opportunities to earn His good pleasure. Therefore, he cannot grow arrogant. This characteristic manifests itself in respect and humbleness towards other believers, who are endowed with noble souls. In the Qur’an, Allah describes this conduct as follows:

Give good news to the humble-hearted.” (Al-Hajj; 34)

You who believe! If any of you renounce your religion, Allah will bring forward a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble to the believers, fierce to the unbelievers, who strive in the Way of Allah and do not fear the blame of any censurer. That is the unbounded favor of Allah which He gives to whoever He wills. Allah is Boundless, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Ma’ida; 54)

As conveyed in the verse above, believers show modesty to other believers but do not remain humble before unbelievers. This attribute of believers is mentioned in another verse:

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are fierce to the unbelievers, merciful to one another… (Surat al-Fath; 29)

Allah speaks to believers in the Qur’an as a close and intimate friend. And He commands them to challenge infidels and hypocrites about their ideas. For this reason, a Muslim will always behave towards a hypocrite or an unbeliever as Allah dictates in the Qur’an. Apart from the Qur’an and the Sunna, there is no other criterion by which to determine a believer’s behavior.

Thus, it is an act of worship to love and respect other Muslims and to be a deterrent towards unbelievers and hypocrites who harbor grudges against the religion of Allah and employ all means to oppose it, covertly or openly. A show of love and respect to these would indicate support and approval of their negative attitude.

However, it is also important not to misunderstand the concept of  deterrence, since in this context it does not entail deterrence in the physical sense. What is actually meant is to thwart the expectations of the hypocrites and unbelievers through resoluteness and strong commitment to religious moral values.

Deterrence also means thwarting strategies directed against Muslims by exposing them, assuming a clear stance towards their reprehensible attitudes and not being intimate friends with such people.

Believers are the people whom hypocrites fear most.  In the Qur’an, Allah states that hypocrites fear them as they fear Allah (Surat al-Hashr; 13). For this reason, it is important for a Muslim to have the taqwa (fear for Allah) that puts fear into the hearts of His enemies and to those hostile to Muslims.

At the same time, getting along well with non-Muslims who do not engage in efforts against Islam and attempting to bring the hearts of people recently introduced to Islam nearer to the faith are practices encouraged by Allah in the Qur’an.

2011-10-05 14:49:33
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