How do we humble ourselves towards God?

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society Topics: Allah Values: Humility, Manners Views: 16736

Tadaru' is a term that means extreme humility and humbleness caused by despair and is expressed when a person has reached a critical juncture. Imam Ahmed ibn Hambal explained it saying, "Imagine a man drowning in the middle of the sea and all he has is a piece of wood that he is clinging onto. He is getting weaker and weaker and the salty waves are pulling him closer to death. Imagine him with his eager eyes looking desperately at the sky crying out loud 'O Lord, O Lord!!!' Imagine how desperate he is and how sincere he is asking for God's help. That is tadaru' in front of God".

God teaches us in the Quran that tadaru' is a form of worship a believer uses during emergencies and crises. It requires a person to remove the veils of arrogance and ego covering his or her heart. It implies sincere pleading to the Lord of the Worlds. It demonstrates that a person has realized how weak he is and how Powerful our Lord is. Sometimes when God sees that His servants are becoming distracted with this worldly life and have strayed from the Straight Path, He puts them in a trying situation so that they realize their weakness and run back to God for protection. Therefore calamities falling upon Muslims are to make them wake up and turn back to God. We must be thoughtful and perceptive enough to understand these messages and act upon them.

God The Almighty says, "Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Muhammad). And we seized them with extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss in health (with calamities) so that they might humble themselves (believe with humility)." (Quran 6:42). This verse shows that God uses calamities as a routine method to wake people up and encourage them to run to Him for protection. It is as if a calamity is a bitter medicine for us to become better believers. God does this for our benefit, because we need to maintain a close relationship with Him. God expresses our need for this form medicine in the following verse, "And if We had mercy on them and removed the distress which is on them, still they would obstinately persist in their transgression, wandering blindly." (Quran 23:75).

In another verse God says, "When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not humble themselves (believe with humility)? But their hearts became hardened, and Shaytan (Satan) made what they used to do seem fair and correct" (Quran 6:43). We must not make this mistake and close our eyes and hearts in front of God's call to humbleness and humility to Him. We must not let Shaytan trick us into believing that our problems have nothing to do with our relation with God.

God says, "Say (O Muhammad) 'Who rescues you from the darkness of the land and the sea (dangers like storms), (when) you call upon Him in humility and in secret (saying): If He (God) only saves us from this (danger), we shall truly be grateful.' Say (O Muhammad): 'God rescues you from this and from all (other) distresses, and yet you worship others besides God.'" (Quran 6:63-64). No one will rescue us from the darkness we Muslims are in today except God, but first, we must call upon Him in humility.

How to achieve tadaru':

It is necessary to realize the grave calamity that is falling upon us. Our children are being pounded by missiles that are weighed in tons, people are being oppressed and tortured all over the world. It is not so distant back in time that tens of thousands of women were raped in the Balkans and until this day innocent people are falling in Palestine with Israeli bullets. Homes are being demolished and the dignity a person is being stepped on ever day. Its not just about Iraq, and believe it or not, its not just about our Muslim Ummah, Its about our whole planet. Our world is heading straight towards a cliff and its not slowing down. We can delude our selves by saying this does not effect me, but then we will be guilty of negligence. If we can't realize the severity of the situation, then we have an additional problem, read verse (6:43) above. We need God's help and protection!

When the whale swallowed Prophet Yunus (Jonah) after he was thrown off the boat, he was in a terrifying situation. Imagine for a second being locked up in a small closet, its dark, and there is no hope of getting out. Now imagine yourself in a whale's stomach, imagine the darkness, and the difficulty in breathing. The whale is in the storming sea and its night. Imagine how Prophet Yunus felt, and imagine how he was when he prayed to God in humility saying, "None has the right to be worshipped but You (O God)!! Glorified (and Exalted) be You!! Truly, I have been of the wrong doers!" (21:87). Imagine a Prophet, a role model for human beings, saying that and referring to himself as a wrong doer, then imagine how we should plead to God.

The night before the battle of Badr, Prophet Muhammad saw how the army of the Pagans had out-numbered them and was so well equipped. Then he looked at the Muslim army and how few they were with poor weaponry. Badr was the first military confrontation between the Muslims and the Non-believers. It was a critical event in the history of Islam. If the Muslims lost this battle, Islam would have disappeared forever. Realizing this, Prophet Muhammad started to pray to God in humility and humbleness. He raised his hands up high, stretching his arms to the extent that his armpits appeared. He engaged in sincere supplication to God and his body was shaking causing his cloak to fall off his back. He was begging God crying, "O Ever Living!! O Sustainer and Protector!! I beg You for Your mercy!!! O God!! I am waiting for Your victory which You have promised me. I beseech You God to defeat them."

This is the level of humility we should try to reach when praying to God for help. Let us beg God for His help with the utmost humbleness as if we are really drowning and there is no one there to rescue us except Him. Let us get up in the middle of the night to pray keyam layl (night prayer), and let us break down in front of God begging Him, as we have never done before. Let us gather each other and do it together. Let us pray to God in humility in groups. Let us cry to Him together, let us run to Him with our families and friends. Let us all beg him for His help, protection and guidance.

Tadaru '.... is what we need to understand and practice. We need to achieve tadaru' so that God may change our situation, because...

"Verily God will never change the condition of a people until they change themselves"

Adapted from "We must always humble ourselves towards Allah" by Amr Khaled, a Muslim activist and preacher based in Egypt.

  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society
  Topics: Allah  Values: Humility, Manners
Views: 16736

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Older Comments:
I want so bad to change my life,so that God will be please with me.

thank you for the great article. I hope we remember
this always. it is so easy to get into the
temptations of the world.
May Allah bless us with eman and tadaru.

Alhamdlai 4 posted ths aticul to,jazakalahu khairan.More greaz to your harms.Allahuma Robb zidniI ilma.Masalam

assalam alaekum pls i need to know more about ALLAH can you be of help by sending me articles and AL QURAN thanks.

Ya Allah!! Allah is merciful!This article is so beautiful.. It has really let me see how Allah works with his servants..just to have love for him and humble yourself before him..he'll protect you..Subhana llah!!!! Amin

I was somehow searching for instruction like this for a long time... This article helped me understand the rizq or food my soul was craving. Thank You Allah for your sustenance and guidance, and thank You for the good people, their wisdom, knowledge and good will through whom You guide us also.

'O' you the nations what more you want allah to send you for guidance verily he has sent the best of guidance through his final prophet and yet you ponder over your non existing might.surrender to the almighty and see how powerful you can become in terms of your sole, if you dont have one, you may be blessed with one just by surrendering to ALLAH and seek help through him (ALLAH) only he can guide and help.

Truly, if people understood this better, it would be to their benefit of their spirit and well-being. Often I have heard people ask, if there is a God, why is there suffering? But calamities and suffering is undesired by us only because we are biological beings - we are drawn to comfort and pleasure because these represent security, resources, and ability to procreate, and abhor unpleasantness and hardship because it represents the opposite. but these are considerations for the material world. in terms of our holistic existence, what is good is only what brings us closer to God, and what is evil is what takes us away from Him - and this applies to everything that happens, whether 'desired' things or 'feared' things. and it is for us all to hope that we respond to things that happen so that it moves us closer to God - no matter what it is. we should fear to be among those whose hearts are hardened by either ease or hardship, prestige or shame. i always remember that all creation also experiences suffering - animals also die and suffer, to be food for others, or because we took away their homes. but they do not complain and become rebellious - why do humans believe we should be exempted from the natural reality that all else experience? that it becomes an arrogance in us that we feel we are entitled from God, to be spared any suffering when we are just another creature.

This was the most beautiful article I have ever read. I have reached that turning point with my weight and my financial situation. I am humbled before the All-Mighty Allah and know that I need only Him. Thank you for sending this article to me because even though I wear full abaya and often khimar and it should remind me that I am with Allah and He can see me, it is still easy for one to forget one's place. With all the struggles in the world and the depression at seeing these struggles and the anger and the war I feel better knowing that Allah knows and only wants me to humble myself towards Him. How Beautiful and Merciful he is. I truly want to cry for my sin and ignorance.

Praise be to Allah Rabil-Alameen.May Allah Bless you for posting such a beatiful artical,which had shook my heart heavely for the love of Rabil Alameen.May Allah give you Hassana for all the tears I shed reading your artical.
Wa fiiammaanilah

SubhanAllah. This Article is excellent. Please God give us strenght and power to achieve Tadaru

Excellent article-can be used to motivate people during the month of ramadaan and other occasions.

MashAllah this article has touched my heart; may Allah swt accept our dua'a and tadaru', amen

Salam,is there a way i can post articles as educative as this on my Facebook profile so my friends could benefit?

I loved yr article and pray that I can become so
humble in my prayers that I can pass through the
eye of a needle and all the love of myself, my family and the wealth of the world is gone from my heart.

Br. Amr Khaled, Jazakallah Khair. I just weeped and
weeped reading this article. Yes brother we need to
be humble and only seek for Allah's help. Allah's
help is moments away when we change ourselves
inshaallah. My Allah bless you and all the people in
this world. Thanks again.

Subhanallah Brother! This is very true with all that is
happening in this world. Allah is most forgiving n most
merciful. N yet human do not take Allah's tests as a way back
to the right path but misfortunes which struck n can be
overcome with intelligence n perseverance. But most forget
that Allah is calling them back n giving them a chance to
repent for their sins. They continue their arrogance n yes they
believe in Allah's existence but they don't find prostration to
Allah n humility to Allah as their solution. So thank u Brother
for this much needed reminder to all of us, Allah's humble