Quran, the inspired book from Allah to humankind is replete with concepts related to the human attitudes and emotions. Examples include submissiveness (sajda), obedience (ruku’), anger (ghadab), hatred (bughd) etc. The point of the Quranic treatments of these attitudes and emotions is to understand how Allah sees them and where they are appropriate, if at all.
In this essay, we will analyse humility in Quran. Humility is the translation of the Quranic word ‘tadharru’ and mostly appears in Chapter 6 and 7. Examples of these include:
And We have already sent [messengers] to nations before you,; then We seized them with conflict and advertity that perhaps they might humble themselves (6/42)
This shows that once the message has been received, Allah seizes us with conflict and hardship so we may humble ourselves. The next aya considers their reaction:
Then why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humble themselves? But their hearts became hardened, and Satan made attractive to them that which they were doing (6/43)
This connects humility with the heart. Hardened hearts will not humble themselves and are more inclined to shaitaan, the alienating personality.
Both Chapters 6 and 7 also uniquely contain the idea of invoking Allah with humility.
Say, “Who rescues you from the darknesses of the land and sea [when] you call upon Him humbly and privately, ‘If He should save us from this [crisis], we will surely be among the thankful.’ (6/63)
Call upon your Lord in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors. (7/55)
As always, the contexts of these verses are important. 6/63 appears in a passage about Allah taking our souls and returning them, showing our closeness with Him. 7/55 should be considered from 7/52 which speaks of the cosmic book and its consequent results and the formation of reality.
Humility therefore is a vital element in our connection with Allah, especially in our invocation of Him.