Humbleness (النواضع) is from the character of the Prophets. It is one of the ways to earn loftiness and honour. Lack of humbleness breeds rancour and hatred [in the society].
The Messenger of Allâh (salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam) said:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَوْحَى إِلَيَّ أَنْ تَوَاضَعُوا حَتَّى لَا يَفْخَرَ أَحَدٌ عَلَى أَحَدٍ وَلَا يَبْغِ أَحَدٌ عَلَى أَحَدٍ
‘Indeed Allâh revealed to me that you should be humble among yourselves such that nobody should pride himself over others, or oppress others.’
Al-Imâm Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahuLlaah) describes humbleness as ‘submitting one’s heart to Allâh, lowering the wing of humility and mercy to the people, such that one will not see himself as having any superiority over another, neither will he see himself deserving of any right from anybody rather he will see others deserving of it (from him).’
Al-Imâm Ibn Hazm (rahimahuLlaah) said: 'Whoever has been afflicted with self-pride should ponder over his faults, if their enormousness bewilders him then let him try to remove all his foul character. But if he fails to see his own faults as a whole such that he thinks he is faultless, then he should know that his affliction is everlasting, and that he is the faultiest of the people and the weakest among them in terms of power of reasoning. The first among his faults is that he is the dumbest in intellect and a pure ignoramus; no other fault as severe as these two. This is because an intelligent person is he who can identify his personal faults, overpower them and strive to remove them, while contrarily, the fool is he who is oblivious of his own faults: perhaps because of his little knowledge, poor sense of judgement and weak intellect. This may be however because he sees his faults as virtues.’
Muhammad bn Al-Qâsim (rahimahuLlaah) reported that ‘Abdullâh bn Handhalah (rahimahuLlaah) said ‘Abdullâh bn Salaam (may Allâh be pleased with him) walked in the market while carrying some firewood. It was said to him: ‘Has Allâh not enriched you above this?’ He replied: ‘Yes, but I want to strike pride in the face. Indeed I heard the Messenger of Allâh (salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Whoever has an atom of pride in him will not enter AL-Jannah.’’ [Siyar, p.419].
Someone once said to Maymoon bn Mihraan (rahimahuLlaah): 'O Aboo Ayyoob, people will not cease to be upon goodness so far Allâh lengthens your life for them.’ Maymoon then said: ‘Please go away, [it is rather] people will not cease to be on goodness so far they fear their Lord.’ [Siyar, 5/75].
A man once came to Imâm Ahmad (rahimahuLlaah) and asked him about something, after that the man said: ‘May Allâh reward you best because of [your service to] Islam.’ At that, Imâm Ahmad got angry and said: ‘Who am I, such that Allâh will reward me best because of Islam? Rather Allâh should extol Islam for my guidance.’ [Tabaqaat al-Hanaabilah, 1/298].
Adapted from Ma’aalim fee Tarîq Talab al-Ilm of Ash-Shaykh ‘Abdul’Azeez As-Sad’haan.