Humility is the Greatest Virtue

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian |  July 05, 2015

On April 8. 1984. Squadron leader Rakesh Sharma the first Indian spaceman gave an interview from space which relayed from the mission control centre in Moscow. was telecast live on the national Indian TV network. Part of the conversation went like this: Question: How do you pass your time when there is no work?

Sharma: I just peep through the window and watch the timeless space.

Question: Don't you feel like a tiny human being up there dwarfed by the endless space?

Sharma: Certainly. it's mind boggling.

Humility is the greatest quality that man can have, and arrogance is undoubtedly the worst. Humility is the result of realistic thinking; for it is a fact that man is an extremely small and insignificant part of an extremely vast and fathomless universe. Arrogance, on the other hand. is the result of superfluous thinking, for when one of the tiny place one occupies in the universe as a whole, there can-be no room for arrogance.

Thinking of oneself in relation to other men might lead to arrogance. for it is possible that one will be better off than them; one might hold a higher status in life. But when one thinks of oneself in relation to the vast universe arrogance disappears, for one sees how small and insignificant one is. God has created the universe so that we may observe and ponder over it; so that realization of its greatness may lead us to a realization of what a small part we ourselves occupy in it; so that we may be imbued with the quality of humility, which is the greatest and most realistic quality that one can have. What causes more trouble in the world, the things forgotten which should have been remembered or the things remembered which should have been forgotten.