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MODESTY STEMS FROM THE REALIZATION OF GOD

The Qur’an promotes modest behavior, its culture being that of modesty—an incomparable virtue. The translation of the relevant verse of the chapter Al-Furqan (The Criterion) of the Qur’an is as follows: The true servants of the Gracious One are those who walk upon the earth with humility and when they are addressed by the ignorant ones, their response is, ‘Peace’. (25:63) 

When one discovers God, one discovers at the same time that the only possible way for a person to conduct himself is with modesty. Modesty stems directly from the realization of God. It is not possible to separate it from belief in God. In their daily prayers, believers recite the words Allah-u-Akbar several hundred times. Allah-u-Akbar means ‘God is Great, but at the same time it implies: ‘God is great and I am not great.’ This is the genesis of modesty in the religion of Islam. The above Qur’anic verse refers to the true, faithful, and loyal people of God immersed in deep spirituality, and principally it refers to the early believers or the companions of the Prophet, whose conduct was marked by humility in every aspect of life. The companions of the Prophet, having followed this principle throughout their lives, became historic models for the rest of the believers for all eternity.

According to Qur’anic teachings, modesty is essential in every aspect of human life—in thinking, in speech, in behavior, in dealings, when angry or provoked, during unpleasant experiences, etc. In a situation where retaliation could be expected, instead of retaliating, the believer would say: “Let us go our own way, we have no wish to quarrel with you.” The believer’s personality is a modest one in the complete sense of the word. Modesty has twofold benefits: first, it makes one a better member of society. Second, it makes one a successful candidate for Paradise. Modesty is good for the present world as well as for the world hereafter.

Modesty is, moreover, the door to knowledge: it makes one a seeker, imbued with the spirit of learning. A seeker tries to know more and more about reality. And when he is modest, he can learn from everyone, irrespective of religion, status, or age. Modesty is thus the master key to all kinds of success. According to Qur’anic teachings, modesty is essential in every aspect of human life—in thinking, in speech, in behavior, in dealings, when angry or provoked, during unpleasant experiences, etc. For a man in this world, there are two possible ways of behaving: arrogantly or modestly. According to Qur’anic teachings, arrogant behavior is totally undesirable, it being unacceptable to God Almighty. Human arrogance is a most strange form of behavior in this world, considering that all other creatures are free of arrogance. In such a world, an arrogant person is unfit to be accepted along with other creatures. Indeed, arrogance closes the door to God’s blessing. Modest behavior is, however, universally acceptable: the entire material world has accepted modesty as its culture. Even the animals live with modesty. Man, too, must adopt this universal culture of modesty.

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