Ihsan is a special Islamic term, defined by the famous hadith known as the Hadith-Jibreel. Once Angel Jibreel, alayhi salam, visited the Prophet, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, in the guise of a man and in the presence of companions. This happened toward the end of the Prophetic mission and its purpose to summarize some fundamental teachings of Islam for the education of all of us. Jibreel, alayhi salam, asked questions about Islam, Iman, Ihsan, the Day of Judgement, and Fate. Regarding Ihsan, the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, responded: "It is that you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him. For though you see Him not, verily He is seeing you." Obviously, our worship will be at its best when performed with that feeling. Ihsan, therefore, means striving for excellence in achieving piety, through an overwhelming feeling of closeness to Allah.
For anyone seeking spiritual purification, this is the goal. Abdul-Hameed Siddiqi, well known for his English translation of Sahih Muslim, notes that what is implied by the term tassawuf is nothing but Ihsan. With that in mind we can understand the joy of the person who once reported to his mentor that he had achieved Ihsan in his prayers. He felt being in the presence of Allah every time he stood up for prayers. "It is great that you should feel that way while praying, " his mentor replied. "But, do you have the same feelings when you are dealing with others? Have you attained Ihsan in relations with your spouse and children? In relations with friends and relatives? In all social relations?" To the perplexed disciple he went on to explain that one must not restrict the concept of Ihsan to the performance of ritual prayers. The term is general and applies to all endeavors in our life.
The Sufi mentor in this story was Dr. Abdul Hai Arfi, himself a disciple of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. One of the many great contributions of Maulana Thanvi was that he reintroduced Islamic teachings regarding social relations and dealings with others as a religious issue. His message: You must become a good human being before you can ever become a good Muslim. This message destroys a disastrous and tragic misconception that reduces Islam to only the performance of the ritual acts of worship---the pillars---thus robbing it of much of the rest of the building. (Some others try to construct the building without the pillars---an even more devastating and futile act---but that is another subject). A very important and integral section of that building deals with our social relations. It is concerned with how we behave in the family. How we interact with relatives, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and all the rest of humanity.
The cornerstone of Islamic teachings in this area is the requirement that we do not cause anyone any hurt through our words or actions. A famous hadith states, "A Muslim is the one from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe." [Tirmidhi]. Keeping others safe from our hands and tongues does not only mean that we do not hurl stones or abuses at them, it also means that we do not say or do anything that will hurt them.
This hadith clearly describes this as a defining trait of a Muslim. While it refers to "other Muslims," scholars agree that it is a general requirement that equally applies to non-Muslims except those who are at war with the Muslims. A person who, through his intentional or careless actions or words inflicts unjustified pain on others is not worthy of being called a Muslim.
We can begin to appreciate the value of this teaching by realizing that most problems in our lives are man-made. Life can become living hell if there are problems within the family: the tensions between the spouses, the frictions between parents and children, the fights between brothers and sisters and other relatives. Today these are common stories everywhere. But can these problems occur and reach the intensity they do if everyone is genuinely concerned about not hurting others? The same applies to relations between friends, neighbors, colleagues, and communities.
Islam wants to build a society, which is a model of civility, courtesy, and consideration for others. It does so by emphasizing these attributes at a matter of faith. One hadith says that Iman (faith) has seventy-seven branches. The highest one is the declaration that there is no God except Allah and the lowest one is the removal of harmful objects from the path. This is consideration. And obviously, there is no trace of Iman below this.
We see this consideration for others throughout the life of the Prophet Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Of course, such an attitude shows itself in "minor" details. For example, whenever the Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam visited a group were some people were asleep and others were not, he would greet them with a low enough voice so those awake could hear him while those asleep would not be disturbed. Every night when he used to get up for Tahajjud (midnight prayer)---a voluntary prayer for the rest of us---he would walk out of the bed very quietly so as not to disturb his sleeping wife.
Whenever he saw someone commit a wrong that needed to be corrected in public for the education of others, he would mention it in general terms, not naming the person who did it. This last practice also shows the two extremes in this regard that must be avoided. On the one hand is the temptation to compromise on the issue of right and wrong to avoid hurt feelings. On the other is the temptation to correct the wrong with total disregard to the fact that one might be insulting or injuring the other person. While we may see these extreme attitudes in people who seem to be poles apart in terms of their practice of religion, both stem from the same narrow vision of religion that holds our dealings with others as worldly affairs, outside the realm of Islam!
It is good to remember that Islam is a way of life. We must submit our whole life, not a small subset of our choosing, to the commands and teachings of Allah and His Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Our commitment to Islam must not only be life-long but also life-wide.
Medical Researches Led Her to Embrace Islam!
Dr. Orivia says:
I am an obstetrician and gynecologist at an American hospital… one day, a Muslim Arab woman came to give birth in the hospital, and she was in a lot of pain before giving birth. Shortly before I finished my work, I told her I would go to home and another doctor would deliver her baby. Here she started weeping and crying, saying “No, I do not want a man!” I was surprised at her, and then her husband told me that she did not want any man to see her as no one see her face during her lifetime except her father, brother and uncles (her Mahrams). I laughed and told him in amazement, “I do not think there is a man in America who has not seen me yet!” and I respond to their request. -
On the following day, I came to check on her after giving birth, and I told her many of the women in America are subjected to internal infections and puerperal fever due to the continuation of the sexual intercourse in the post-natal period. According to the latest medical researches, I also told her about the necessity to refrain from this relationship for at least 40 days, and about the need for proper nutrition and to avoid physical effort during those days. The woman told me that Islam had stated that as in Islam it is forbidden to have sexual intercourse with a postpartum woman for 40 days until she becomes ritually pure, and she is exempt from fasting and prayer. When I listened to her, I was astonished! Our researches demonstrated what is in the teachings of Islam but after many hard experiments!!
A Pediatrician came to check on the baby and told the mother, “It is better for the baby to sleep on his right side to regulate his heartbeats.” The father said, “We do so according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH).” That also astonished me…!
We invested a great deal of our life in this science while they knew it through their religion. Therefore, I decided to acquaint myself with that religion. I took a vacation for a month and went to another city in which there was a large Islamic center where I spent most time in asking and inquiring and in meeting Arab and American Muslims. And finally I embraced Islam - praise be to Allah - only after several months.
الأبحاث الطبية قادتها إلى الإسلام!
تقول الدكتورة أوريفيا: أنا طبيبة نساء وولادة بأحد المستشفيات الأمريكية.. في يومٍ، أتت امرأة مسلمة عربية لتضع بالمستشفى، فكانت تتألم وتتوجع قبيل الولادة، وحينما قرب موعد انتهاء وقتي أخبرتها أنني سأذهب للمنزل وسيتولى أمر توليدها طبيب غيري، فبدأت تبكي وتصيح بحرارة وتردد: لا، لا أريد رجلاً!
عجبت من شأنها، فأخبرني زوجها أنها لا تريد أن يدخل عليها رجل ليراها؛ فهي طوال عمرها لم ير وجهها سوى والدها وأشقائها وإخوانها وأعمامها (محارمها).
ضحكتُ وقلت له باستغراب شديد: أنا لا أظن أن هناك رجلاً في أمريكا لم ير وجهي بعدُ! فاستجبتُ لطلبهما.
وفي اليوم الثاني جئت للاطمئنان عليها بعد الوضع، وأخبرتها بأن كثيرًا من النساء في أمريكا يتعرضن لالتهابات داخلية وحمى النفاس؛ بسبب استمرار العلاقة الزوجية في فترة بعد الولادة، وأخبرتها بضرورة امتناع هذه العلاقة لمدة 40 يومًا على الأقل. وفي أثناء هذه الأربعين يومًا أخبرتها أيضًا بضرورة التغذية السليمة والابتعاد عن المجهودات البدنية، وذلك تبعًا لما توصلت له أحدث الأبحاث الطبية..
فأخبرتني المرأة أن الإسلام قد ذكر ذلك؛ فالنفساء في الإسلام يحرم جماعها لمدة 40 يومًا حتى تطهر، وكذلك تُعفى من الصيام والصلاة.
عندما سمعت كلامها هذا ذُهلت وأخذني العجب! فلقد توصلت أبحاثنا لنفس تعاليم الإسلام، ولكن بعد تجارب شاقة وكثيرة جدًّا!!
دخلت طبيبة الأطفال لتطمئن على المولود، وكان مما قالته للأم: من الأفضل أن ينام المولود علي جنبه الأيمن؛ لتنتظم دقات قلبه. فقال الأب: إننا نضعه على جنبه الأيمن؛ تطبيقًا لسنة نبينا محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم..فعجبتُ لهذا أيضًا..!
انقضى عمرنا لنصل لهذا العلم، وهم يعرفونه من دينهم؛ فقررت أن أتعرف على هذا الدين، فأخذت إجازة لمدة شهر، وذهبت لمدينة أخرى فيها مركز إسلامي كبير، حيث قضيت أغلب الوقت فيه للسؤال والاستفسار والالتقاء بالمسلمين العرب والأمريكيين، وأعلنت إسلامي -والحمد لله- بعد عدة أشهر فقط.
Beautiful story . subhanallah these small things we do in islam can actually bring a non believer to Islam!!!! SubhaAllah!!!!
Proud to be Muslim :)))))))
"It is that you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him. For though you see Him not, verily He is seeing you." Good words!
A very important and beautiful fact of Tawhid. SubhanaAllah!!!!!!
Yes,good Muslim,good Human Being but you know, everyone has their own character but Allah and no one knows what a man's heart.
الحمد لله انني مسلمه