Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Friday, December 02, 2016

Iman, Islam, Ihsan

I remember clearly, learning about Iman (the 6 pillars of faith) and Islam (the 5 basic obligations as a Muslim).   However I don't remember learning about Ihsan.

Ihsan was part of what Jibril A.S. taught Muhammad S.A.W. and his companions, along with Iman and Islam.   I find it now, to be as important as understanding Iman and Islam.

Ihsan, to understand it in the English language is, 'most good', 'excellence'.

Jibril A.S. taught us, how to achieve it, in the famous 'hadith Jibril'.  "It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him, yet He sees you."

Serving Allaah, as we know, is not only when we do our solat, or that we are fasting, or when we do zikir / recite the Quran etc.

Living as a Muslim is serving Allaah. Allaah created us to worship Him.   As such, Ihsan, is to be applied in our daily life, in everything good we do.   The highest level of Ihsan, or excellence is when one does things, consciously aware that God is watching him.   As such, he does the best he can, and with sincerity, since we also know that Allaah knows what is in our hearts.

When we live in excellence, all our outputs, whether it be at home or at work, or in our community, will be the best we can provide. It may not be perfect, but it is the best to our ability.

Ihsan covers ALL aspects of our life, it is impossible to list everything that can be done with Ihsan.

Sometimes when I write about living, and what is taught in the Qur'an, it becomes overwhelming for me.  Many ayats come to mind, and then another related ayat.  Allaah taught us, so much in the Qur'an, if only we listen.

Overwhelming.. if all of the ocean in this world is the ink, and all of the trees in the world are pens, it will not be enough to cover Allaah's words / knowledge.  Even if you multiply them seven times over.

I have digressed.

What made me think that, was when I was thinking of one example of excellence.  You see, you, picking up a trash you see on a pathway, and putting it in the bin - or clearing a dangerous object is excellence.  That is excellence in being a human being, excellence in being a part of the environment and your community.  It's subtle, but it's excellence.    And this kind of subtle excellence and act of kindness is also explained in Al-Maun'.  A short surah on small acts of kindness.

Of course it doesn't stop there.  There are just too many examples and lessons and guidance given to us, in achieving Ihsan.

May we learn Ihsan, may we learn them all, through the ayats in the Quran, through the ayats in nature, through the teachings of our Prophet S.A.W. with the will of Allaah SWT.  Aamiin.

p.s. what triggered this thought?  MasyaaAllaah - actually just something simple that happened at work. We have options at work.  We can do our best, to complete our tasks to the best of our ability. Or we can try to push the work away, creating minor excuses, asking unnecessary questions and quoting problems that may or may never arise.  As a Muslim practising Ihsan, we should try to do our tasks and help others to the best of our ability.

Salam Jumuah!

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