A South African Muslimah's Blog

Constructing Identity: Loud Whispers, Lasting Echoes

Ihsan – Excellence July 7, 2015

Ihsan – to ‘be’ all that is good and beautiful inside – in the mind, heart and soul, through our thoughts, intentions, emotions and understandings of Allah

Ihsan – to ‘do’ and spread goodness and beauty outside – through words, action, ettiquette, conduct and interaction.

The ayaat on Ihsan reflect its sublime nature – spiritual excellence and acting through certain, intimate knowledge of the Divine Gaze (how could one act but in the most beautiful way with such insight?)

Allah instructs Ihsan amongst human beings in our relationships; those in which it should be obvious but which we can easily taken for granted – with parents (2:83), those in which good conduct and noble intentions can seem impossible – between divorced spouses (2:229) and those to whom the help and assistance of people with financial means is due (4:36).

“Is the reward for Ihsan anything but Ihsan?” (55:60)

Ihsan is spiritual excellence, it is an ethic with imbibes the very fibre of our being, of our thoughts and actions, because it is as the Prophet (as) said “to worship Allah as if you can see Him, and if not that – to know that He sees you”. The results of that excellence, meticulousness and high moral conscience, can truly only bear results and rewards, which are correspondingly excellent.

Our endeavours for justice are connected to our Ihsan, many of the ayaat on Ihsan invoke against corruption, indecency & injustice, towards reformation, perserverance & activism.

“Indeed, Allah enjoins Al-Adl (justice) and Al-Ihsan (excellence) …” (16:90)

“Say, “O My servants who have believed, have Taqwa of your Lord. For those who do good in this world is good, and the earth of Allah is spacious. Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.” (39:10)

“If you do good, you do good for yourselves; and if you do evil, you do it to yourselves.” (17:7)

Allah has Ihsan with us –

“But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and yet do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not love corrupters.” (28:77)

Allah loves those who embody Ihsan – the Muhsineen,

“Do not throw yourselves with your own hands into destruction. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the Muhsineen. (2:195)

His Mercy is near to them,

“And cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation. And call on Him in fear and longing. Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the Muhsineen” (7:56)

Most of all … Allah is with them,

“Indeed, Allah is with those who have Taqwa and those who are Muhsinun.” (16:128)

May the blessed month of Ramadan cultivate the seeds of Ihsan – excellence and beauty – within each of us so that we may live in the Love, Mercy and With-ness of Allahu Ta’ala.


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