The Hallmark of Humility


Jubair bin Nufair (rahimahullah) narrates:

On one occasion, a group of people praised ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) saying, “By Allah! We never saw a man who dispenses justice, speaks the truth and is more severe upon the hypocrites than you, O Ameerul Mu-mineen! You are the best of people (from the Sahaabah) after Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)!”

Hearing this, ‘Auf bin Maalik (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) objected, “You have not spoken the truth! By Allah, I have seen another man who is actually the greatest (from the Sahaabah) after Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)!” When the people asked ‘Auf (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) who this person was, he replied, “Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).”

‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then said, “By Allah! ‘Auf (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) has spoken the truth and you have lied! Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was more fragrant than musk (i.e. he already possessed imaan and excelled in Deen) while I was still astray and more misguided than my family’s camel (as Abu Bakr [radhiyallahu ‘anhu] had accepted Islam a few years before ‘Umar [radhiyallahu ‘anhu]).” (Manaaqibu ‘Umar bin Khattaab [radhiyallahu ‘anhu] libnil Jowzi [rahimahullah] pg. 141)


1. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is the best of all the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam), and the best person after the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) is Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), followed by ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).

2. No matter how great a person may become and what heights he may reach, he should never attribute any greatness or virtue to himself. Rather, he should follow the example of ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) by always thinking nothing of himself and everything of his seniors.

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