We often categorize events in our lives as shameful and humiliating or exalting and dignifying based on our individual values. Vanities such as wealth, physical ability, social status or lack of provide us with a false and misleading understanding of dignity or shame. Within Quran, we are guided to the sound standards and the healthy scale of values to be able recognize the paths of true dignity and awful humiliation.
Among the attributes of God is The Most Honorable, Al-Kareem, الْكَرِيمِ (27:40, 82:6). "Honorable" is also an attribute given to Quran. The root of the Arabic word kareem means "giving generously to honor and dignify the recipient". The specific grammar format of Al-Kareem, referring to God or Quran, is called the exaggeration format, which indicates excessive generosity with the intent to honor and dignify. Derivatives of this word which are found in Quran and in general Arabic language use mean: expressing or offering honor and dignity to a recipient through the giver's generosity. We could easily find numerous occurrences in Quran that help us understand the expansive meaning of this beautiful word. The one common and dominating context in all these occurrences is "giving generously to honor and dignity".
[82:6] O you human being, what diverted you from your Lord Most Honorable?
يأيهَا الْإِنسَنُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ
[82:7] The One who created you, designed you, and perfected you.
[82:8] In whatever design He chose, He constructed it.
[56:77] This is an honorable Quran.إِنَّهُ لَقُرْءانٌ كَرِيمٌ
[56:78] In a protected book.
Being "honorable", both God and Quran, represent infinite generosity in honoring and dignifying. God has honored the human being with the brains, the eyesight, the hearing and the freedom that he is born with (33:72). Quran is God's utmost gift of honor that details for the human being the ethical path of eternal dignity, now and forever.
[17:70] We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.
وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي ءادَمَ وَحَمَلْنَهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَهُمْ مِنْ الطَّيِّبَتِ وَفَضَّلْنَهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا
Trusting God, studying His systems, recognizing the essence of His set laws and leading a life that is bound by such laws render us as responsibly fearless and empowered souls. Such fearlessness brings liberation, peace, clarity, contentment and dignity to our lives irrespective of our surroundings and how we might be differently perceived by others. All of these qualities reside eternally within us if we choose to hold fast to the rope of God, persist in doing that and take His teachings and commands, seriously, truthfully, reverently and unconditionally all the way until we leave earth:
[3:160] If GOD supports you, none can defeat you. And if He abandons you, who else can support you? In GOD the believers shall trust.
[10:25] GOD invites to the abode of peace, and guides whoever wills (to be guided) in a straight path.
Heaven and Hell are Eternal [10:26] For the righteous, the reward will be multiplied manifold. Their faces will never experience any deprivation or shame. These are the dwellers of Paradise; they abide therein forever.
[10:27] As for those who earned sins, their requital is equivalent to their sin. Humiliation is their lot, and no one beside GOD can protect them. Their faces will seem overwhelmed by masses of dark night. They will be the dwellers of Hell; they abide therein forever.
FEAR, on the other hand, imprisons souls.. It weakens our will and intimidates us into adopting a path of compromise. Those who choose such path gradually slip off the divine path of dignity and security. They lose their freedom and readily get enslaved by the man-made value systems only to progress on an eternal and dark path of shame and guilt. While God and Quran infinitely honor and dignify us, Satan and his constituents are after our freedom:
[4:120] ...... what the devil promises is no more than an illusion.
[35:40] ...Indeed, what the transgressors promise one another is no more than an illusion.
[4:14] As for the one who disobeys GOD and His messenger, and transgresses His laws, He will admit him into Hell, wherein he abides forever. He has incurred a shameful retribution.
In conclusion, God is the source of all dignity. God and Quran are both given the attribute of excessive generosity to dignify and honor, honorable /الْكَرِيمِ . They grant the human being true and divine honor and dignity in this life and all the honorable ranks in the Hereafter. Our value systems become so distorted once we let go of the rope of God and become too absorbed in the illusion of this worldly life. The majority operates on and supports distorted value systems (6:116, 12:103). Believers should constantly check their values against Quran at all times and use Quran as the perfect scale for comparison and judgment. We are either on the path of freedom, honor, and dignity or the path of shackles, guilt and shame. Dignity and shame could be either reversed or eternal depending on the choices we make.
[35:10] Anyone seeking dignity should know that to GOD belongs all dignity. To Him ascends the good words, and He exalts the righteous works. As for those who scheme evil works, they incur severe retribution; the scheming of such people is destined to fail.
[94:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[94:1] Did we not cool your temper?
[94:2] And we unloaded your load (of sins).
[94:3] One that burdened your back.
[94:4] We exalted you to an honorable position.
[94:5] With pain there is gain.
[94:6] Indeed, with pain there is gain.
[94:7] Whenever possible you shall strive.
[94:8] Seeking only your Lord.
[3:26] Say, "Our god: possessor of all sovereignty. You grant sovereignty to whomever You choose, You remove sovereignty from whomever You choose. You grant dignity to whomever You choose, and commit to humiliation whomever You choose. In Your hand are all provisions. You are Omnipotent.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.