5. In modesty and humility be like the Earth: What is modesty and humility? Modesty can be many things from not having vanity, not being proud to simplicity. Humility also could be said to not puff up about one’s own importance. Being aware that though we are much bigger than ants, we are much smaller than whales. So Rumi is telling us from across the centuries that we should not be self centered in how we approach life. Our example is how the Earth treats us. We eat from it; we drink from it, live and die on it. It keeps nourishing us without asking for nothing in return.
In the time of Creation, the Earth accepted our beings; our burden upon itself and it continues to serve us in a very humble way, quietly. So when we think of how giving the Earth is, we should take a couple of lessons from it. One is to take Earth’s example in our actions (especially in our actions that we do for Allah’s sake) and not expect anything back in return from anybody but Allah. As Sufis, all our interactions must be with Allah. If we do something for Allah’s sake, then we must not loose the sight of our goal, which is to know Allah. We will get to Allah when we surrender and realize in truth that Allah is God, not us and the way to tread that path is to live our lives with modesty and humility.