Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Doing everything with "ihsan"

We are often reminded by khateebs and imams to do things to the best of our ability. And, we often respond by nodding our heads and thinking, “when is he going to stop talking?”

But, the real issue at hand is not whether we know doing our best is important, but rather “how do we know we are doing, or did, our best?”

Before I answer that question, why is this important to know?

Imagine yourself standing on the Day of Judgment. For as far as you can see, there is an ocean of people, packed close together. There’s hardly any room to move. You stand on your toes, trying to figure out where you are and what is going on, hoping to get a glimpse of something to give you comfort. The most shocking of all in this intense scene is that, in this immense crowd of people, there is a deathly silence, filled with fear, as you see the angels in the distance carrying the thrown of Allah.

Ask yourself, what side are you standing on?

Allah (SWT) illustrates in surah Waqiah (56), the frightful scene on the Day of Judgment, and what will become of the Earth. After which, He (SWT) says that the people will be separated in to three groups. There will be those on the right, who will eventually being entering Paradise, and only Allah knows best as to how long they will be spending in Hellfire. With regard to those on the left, what will be their state? It will be as if their skin is hung from their bones like coats are hung on hooks, as they stare up at the awesome throne of Allah and dread what is about to become of them.

Then, there is that one group separated from the rest. Allah describes them as the sabiqoon, the foremost. They will be those who strove to be the foremost in this life, to be the foremost in the Hereafter, honored by being placed in the same ranks as the Prophets of Allah.

So, ask yourself, “which side are you on?”

The scholars define ihsan as the concept of performing an act in the best way possible, achieving peak performance.

We know we did our best when we know we’ve fulfilled each one of the characteristics of peak performance.

In the upcoming posts, I’ll be discussing each characteristic, individually.

Something to act upon: For you, what does it feel like to achieve peak performance? (Please, post your responses below so that others may benefit.)


Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

very good blog, congratulations
regard from Reus Catalonia
thank you