Servitude to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty, is first of all an act of consciousness. It is the essence of our servitude to realize our nothingness before Divine Power and Might, and to comprehend that we go from nothingness to existence through His Will and to know that we maintain our existence as a result of His blessing and to be aware of the fact that we need Him in every single breath and every single moment of life.
In other words, servitude means to be able to see our weak state before the Divine Kingdom and to know our place. When a person properly recognizes his place, there would be no strength left in him to claim arrogance, egoism and even his very own existence. He then confesses his gratitude, contentment, thankfulness in reverence as in the saying of one of the saints: “You are the one who takes; You are the One Who gives; You are the Maker! What else do we have other than what You have given?”
Those who have no share from modesty are the ones who do not recognize the Greatness of the Lord.The real modesty makes the servant confess his nothingness and nonexistence before the Divine Majesty and bow his head, like in the following supplication of Maulana Jalal al-Deen Roomi:
“I have become a servant, I have become a servant, I have become a servant. I, humble servant, have ashamed of not fulfilling my servitude properly and bowed my head down (in shame). Every slave becomes happy when he is emancipated. Dear Lord! I have become happy for being Your slave.”
As a matter of fact, the supplication of Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)’s grandson Hadhrat Hasan bin ‘Ali, after Tawaaf (Circumambulating) the Ka’bah and performing two Rak’aat of Salaah (Prayer) at the quarter of Hadhrat Ibrahim is one of the best examples of manners of servitude: “Dear Lord! Your little and weak servant came to Your door. O Allah! Your weak servant came to your door. Dear Lord! Your beggar came to your door, Your poor came to Your door…”
After this touching supplication, Hadhrat Hasan met on his way with some poor people, who were sharing a dry piece of bread. He greeted them, and they invited him to their modest table. Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)’s grandson Hadhrat Hasan sat with them and said: “If I knew that this bread did not come from charity, I would eat with you.”
Then he said: “Let’s go to my home.”
After serving them a nice meal, he clothed the poor people with nice clothes and gave them considerable amount of money and then sent them back in a very happy state.”
This is the state of real modesty and an eminent manner of servitude, which makes a believer live in deep sensitivity towards his Lord and Creation. Those who adorn their souls with this exclusive trait act prudently. This manner manifests itself in their sitting, standing, walking, choosing their clothes, speaking, walking, and, in short, in all of their actions.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty, states in Quraan:
وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا [الفرقان: 63]
“The servants of the Rahmaan (the All-Merciful, Allah) are those who walk on the earth humbly, and when the ignorant people speak to them, they reply peacefully.” (Al-Furqaan 25:63)
وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّكَ لَنْ تَخْرِقَ الْأَرْضَ وَلَنْ تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولًا [الإسراء: 37]
“Do not walk on the earth in haughty style. You can neither tear the earth apart, nor can you match the mountains in height.” (Al-Israa 17:37)
وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ [لقمان: 18]
“and do not turn your cheek away from people, and do not walk on the earth haughtily. Surely, Allah does not like anyone who is arrogant, proud.” (Luqmaan 31:18)
In these Aayaat (Verses), walking arrogantly and swaggering is clearly prohibited. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) always walked fast and his eyes fixed on the ground like going down a hill. This was a manifestation of his humility. In fact, this good behavior has become one of the principles of the elders of Muslim Ummah (Nation). This is also referred by the saints as “Nazar bar Qadam – one’s eyes fixed on his feet.”
There are many merits in looking at one’s feet while walking, such as modesty, good manners, knowing one’s place, protecting eyes from seeing unlawful sights, obedience to the commands of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and His Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), etc.
Being humble not just in walking but in the conduct of all aspects of life; thus becoming a means to attain Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s love and pleasure. This, in fact, is stated in the following tradition: “…Allah elevates the level of those who act humbly just for the sake of Allah; and He lowers the level of those who act arrogantly.”
The great Saint Maulana Jalal al-Deen Roomi points out the humbleness of the earth, and invites people to be like the earth in modesty in the following lines: “Allah the Almighty said, “O People! Look carefully how I have sown a seed from My soul in your body created from the earth, and elevated you: you are the dust of the earth, and I have raised you aloft. I have bestowed upon you intelligence and love. Do you once more adopt the practice of earthiness (modesty), so that I may make you a prince over all creation.”
Sheikh Sa’di Shirazi points out the role of modesty in spiritual achievement and interprets the wisdom of water as follows: “Flood tumbles down because of its arrogance. On the other hand, because it’s so small and weak, dew drop is raised aloft into the skies by the sun.”
Modesty is a means to receive Divine rewards. It is stated in the following Aayah (Verse):
وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنْسَكًا لِيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَى مَا رَزَقَهُمْ مِنْ بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ فَإِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَلَهُ أَسْلِمُوا وَبَشِّرِ الْمُخْبِتِينَ  الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَالصَّابِرِينَ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَهُمْ وَالْمُقِيمِي الصَّلَاةِ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ [الحج: 34-35]
“For every Ummah (religious community) We prescribed the act of sacrifice, so that they recite Allah‘s name over the provision He gave them from the cattle. So, your God is One God. Therefore, to Him alone you must submit. And give good news to those who turn to Him with humbleness; those whose hearts are filled with awe when Allah is remembered, and who observe patience against whatever befalls them, and who are steadfast in Salaah, and who spend (in the way of Allah) out of what We have given to them.” (Al-Hajj 22:34-35)
Therefore, humility and sincerity have vital significance in the performance of our duties towards Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty.