Abu Masood was one of the helpers of the Prophet. One day he became annoyed with his slave and began beating him with a stick. Just at that moment, the Prophet passed by.
“Abu Masood,” he said, “you should know that God has more power over you than that you have over this slave.” On hearing the Prophet’s words, the stick immediately fell from Abu Masood’s hand. Furthermore, he granted the slave his freedom.
Initially, Abu Masood had thought of the matter as one between two human beings. He was the master and the other man a slave. He appeared himself to be on a higher plane than his slave. But on being jolted by what the Prophet said, the scales fell from his eyes and he related the entire matter to God. He saw that both he and the slave were equal in God’s sight, neither of them had any superiority over the other; both of them were God’s helpless servants. That was why the stick fell from his hand; he was in no position to beat his slave.
Were people to look at their situation in relation to God, the haves would see that they themselves were as destitute as the have-nots.
For one person to speak contemptuously to another means that he considers the other person inferior to himself.