Thursday, January 12, 2006
Ihsan: A Natural Flower with Sweet Fragrance (Part Two)
Faith (religion) has such a control that it keeps the whole humanity away from bended characteristics and mean deeds. It helps us to attain distinguishing morals. When we look into the Qur’an we always find whenever Allah called his servants towards virtue or wanted them to hate evil, He stated that it is an essential prerequisite of the faith in their hearts.
O you who believe! Be afraid of Allâh, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds (9:119)
Likewise when forbidding evil, Allah says:
O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, AlAnsâb, and AlAzlâm (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitân's (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.
Shaitân (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allâh and from As-Salât (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain? (5: 90-91)
From the above verse shows us that Allah warns the people against immorality and substantiate that a Muslim must possess an excellent moral character. Today the morality of a Muslim is in an ambiguous condition. Our character has developed a number of defects due to which we have to face inevitable downfall.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “ Modesty and faith are twins. One who gives up anyone of these would lose the other as well.”
Modesty is divided in to three parts; decent speech, bashfulness and humility
A man who believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good or keep quite [Bukhari]
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “By God he is not a Mu’min”, he, repeated this thrice. Then when asked about it, he said, “ He from whose misdeeds his neighbours are not safe” [Bukhari]
When someone asked the Prophet, “Which is the best thing given to man?” He replied, “Best moral character” [Trimidhi]
“On the Day of Judgement there will be nothing heavier in the balance/scale of a Mu’min than the goodness of character. Allah (swt) dislikes an obscene and a rude talker. The bearers of good moral character reaches to the level of the carrier of the prayer and fasting on account of his good character.” [Ahmad]
All the above hadith clearly states that it is required for a Muslim to have best Morals
One would have read the philosophies or ethical teachings of great Philosophers like Aristotle and others like him. They have outlined these philosophies after great difficulty. Their teachings seem to be perfect or complete only in certain aspects while in other aspects they appear incomplete but the tradition of Prophet Muhammad is complete in all aspects.
Once a Muslim learned man was asked, “ Have you read the principles of Aristotle?” for which he replied, “ No, I have read the principles of Muhammad bin Abdullah. What or whose principle or philosophy can be more perfect than the principles of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?”
One of the purpose of the Prophet for being sent down to the world is mentioned in this hadith: -
“I have been sent only for the purpose of perfecting good morals.” [Al – Muwatta]
Prophet’s teachings show that Islam had come to illuminate the lives of the people with the light virtue and good manners. If we collect all the sayings of the Prophet about the importance of good moral character then a voluminous book can be prepared about which many of the great reformers will be ignorant of.
Some might say, “It is easy to teach others but did he follow.” Our answer to them is “Yes he practiced what he preached.”
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Indeed in the messenger of Allah you have the best of example.” (33:21)
“The messenger of Allah was neither ill mannered nor rude. He used to say that the best people among you are those who are best in character. [Bukhari]
When we perform an act with Ihsan, it becomes a tool leads another person to Iman.
The following are some examples from the life of Sahabah who did deeds with Ihsan:
Once when Umar bin Abdul Azeez was fanned by his slave girl, he dozed off and then when he woke up he saw her sleeping. He took the fan and started fanning and when she woke up and asked him why he was fanning her, as she is just a slave and he is the leader. He said,” You are only a human like me, and the heat affects you as it affects me, so I wanted to fan you and wanted you to feel the soothing breeze as you did for me.”
Once a salaf became angry with his slave girl and decided to punish her. The slave girl said, “ Allah has praised those who suppress their anger.”
He right away said, ” I repress it.” She then said, “ Allah loves those who pardon.” He said, “ I pardoned you.” She also said, “ Allah loves those who do Ihsan.” He without delay said, “ You go now, I set you free.”
Through these acts of Ihsan they won Allah’s love and praise.
“And the emigrants and the helpers, the leaders and the pioneers and those who followed them in well doing, Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Allah. And he prepared for them garden under which rivers flow as abides there forever. That is the supreme success.” [9:100]
When we look at the Sahabah, we see that just like us they too had face excessive fitnah during their time but they were able to achieve success after the revelation of Qur’an, which is a divine mercy. They had the same Quran, same criteria, same surah that we have but our deeds are still incomplete and we are adamant not to recognize or rectify our defects. How can we win the Paradise when we have given in to these worldly pleasures?
Every religion has its characteristic symbol, which makes it distinct from every other religion. Good character is the symbol of Islam. If any nation loses its honour in the eyes of Allah, it so happens because it is losing good moral character and becoming deprived of decent and honourable traits.
“Corruption have occurred on land due to what men’s hand have earned.” [30:41]
When we possess Ihsan, it leads others to Iman, i.e. through Ihsan we invite people to Islam. The story of Julaybib (ra) is beautiful example for this. Therefore the ultimate result of Ihsan, it invited the other person to Iman.
The following verses from the Quran and hadith affirm that the deeds done with Ihsan will never go waste and will definitely be rewarded.
Aysha (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “Allah is Ar- Rafeeq, the soft hearted. He likes Rifq, which means soft heartedness. The reward which He gives for soft heartedness does not give for hardness: -nay such a reward He gives for anything.” [Muslim]
Whenever they (the believers) suffer from thirst, weariness or hunger in the cause of Allah, whenever they tread a place, which enrages the unbelievers, a good deed is recorded in their favour. Allah does cause the work of the Muhsinoon to go waste.” [9:120]
Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allâh (i.e. follows Allâh's Religion of Islâmic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin (good-doer i.e. performs good deeds totally for Allâh's sake only without any show off or to gain praise or fame, etc., and in accordance with the Sunnah of Allâh's Messenger Muhammad Peace be upon him) then his reward is with his Lord (Allâh), on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. [2:112]
Is the recompense for Ihsan something other than Ihsan.” [55:60]
Posted by Amatullah A at Thursday, January 12, 2006