Hadith 02: The Hadith of Jibreel---(Ihsan)

k.ibrahim----------------Bismillah Ir-Rahman, Ir-Raheem. I begin with ALLAH's auspiciousness,whose Name is the Best among all the names. All Revences, All Sanctities and All Worships are due to ALLAH alone. Ashahadu An Laa illaaha illal llahu

Wa Ash Hadu Anna Muhammadan Abdu Hu Wa Rasooluhu

''I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah

who is without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) is the Rasool.''

"O Allah, Shower Your Peace come upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have brought peace to Ibrahim and his family.

Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious. O Allah, Shower your blessing upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious". I am Satisfied with ALLAH as My Rabb and Cherisher, I am Satisfied With Islam as My Din (religion) and I am satisfied with Muhammad as a Rasulallah (Messenger)sallallahu alaihi was salam.(Amin)
--------------------------------------------Hadith 02: The Hadith of Jibreel---(Ihsan)
On the authority of Umar (r) who said: One day while we were sitting with the Messanger of Allah (s), there came before us a man with extremely white clothing and extremely black hair. There were no signs of travel on him and none of us knew him. He [came and] sat next to the Prophet (s). He supported his knees up against the knees of the Prophet (s) and put his hand on his thighs. He said, ‘O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’ The Messanger of Allah (s) said, ‘Islam is to testify that there is none worthy of worhsip except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messanger of Allah, to establish the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast [the month of] Ramadan, and to make pilgrimage to the House if you have the means to do so.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully [or correctly].’ We were amazed that he asks the question and then says that he had spoken truthfully. He said, ‘Tell me about Imaan (faith).’ He [the Messanger of Allah (s)] responded, ‘It is to believe in Allah, His angles, His books, His messangers, the Last Day and to believe in the divine decree, [both] the good and the evil thereof.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully.’ He said, ‘Tell me about al-Ihsaan (goodness).’ He [the Prophet (s)] answered, ‘It is that you worship Allah as if you see Him. And even though you do not see Him, [you know] He sees you.’ He said, ‘Tell me about [the time of] the Hour,’ He [the Prophet (s)] answered, ‘The one being asked does not know more than the one asking.’ He said, ‘Tell me about it’s signs.’ He answered, ‘The slave-girl shall give birth to her master, and you will see the barefooted, scantily-clothed, destitiute shepards competing in constructing lofty buildings.’ Then he went away. I stayed for a long time. Then he [the Prophet (s)] said, ‘O Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Mesanger know best.’ He said, ‘It was [the angel] Gabriel who came to teach you your religion.’ (Recorded in Muslim)

--------------------- Meanings of Excellence (Ihsan)----------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Quran is guidance for believers and all of humanity. Its style is full of variation, with instructions and prohibitions appearing alongside stories, parables and more besides. The unique style of its verses not only made it captivating for its first listeners, and ensured that it would be cherished and memorized by millions, but it also presented a challenge for anyone who doubted its divine origin.

According to many scholars, the defining quality of the Quran is how so much meaning is conveyed in words of small number and great beauty. In this series, Sohaib Saeed, founder of Quranica and graduate of Al-Azhar University, explores some short phrases from the Quran which can be treated as guiding principles for life.

Although they have meanings which suit their context of relevance and place in their respective surahs (chapters), they also carry wisdom which transcends those contexts and invites reflection.

This series is intended to aid reflection on the Quran, and listeners are encouraged to memorize these short phrases or verses along with their meanings, and make them part of their daily lives and conversations. Each episode contains clips from the Quran vocalized by a variety of reciters.

This podcast is from Reading Islam’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

Shall the reward of good be anything but good? (Quran 55:60)

The word translated here as good (ihsan) can otherwise be translated as excellence and seeking perfection. Along with Islam and Imaan, Ihsan is one of the three core dimensions of the faith as elaborated in the famous hadith of Jibreel (angle Gabriel peace be upon him).

When the angel Gabriel came to meet with the Rasoolallah(sallahu alayhi wa salam) and ask him a series of questions in order to teach those around him the essentials of the faith. He asked him: “what is Islam?”

And Rasoolallah(sallahu alayhi wa salam) replied him with those things we now know as the five pillars of Islam.

He asked him “what is Imaan (faith?)”

And the answer came with the essential articles of faith: To believe in ALLAH, His Angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and the predestination both good and bad of it.

The third question: “what is ihsan (excellence)?”

And the answer came from the prophet in a way that is both marvelous and enigmatic. He said it is to worship Allah as though you see Him for though you see Him not, yet surely, He sees you!

So, this is the first meaning of ihsan that we have be aware of: it is to perfect our faith to believe in ALLAH and worship Him alone- to make worship only and solely for Him as elaborated in chapter Al-Ikhlas 112.

The second meaning is to do better and to improve ourselves. And this is something which many people understand is a virtue when it comes to the body to develop and train the body, and to train and develop the mind by learning new things; but also, Islam sees the essential nature of developing and training the soul, the spirit and cleaning the heart.

The third meaning is to seek after perfection, perfectionism in all things. Rasoolallah(sallahu alayhi wa salam) said: “Indeed ALLAH has prescribed perfection(Excellence) in every action” So this means that whatever that we do, we do it in the best way, the most perfect way, the most correct way, the sincerest way, and the kindest way to others.
And this leads us on to the fourth meaning of Ihsan. Ihsan is something which extends to others, doing good spreading benefit. Indeed in common language nowadays, people refer to philanthropy and those who are generous and supporting the causes of the needy as muhsineen; they are people who spread good and benefit and perfect the society around them.-------------------------------------------------AND WE WILL INCREASE *THE DOERS OF GOOD* [IN GOODNESS AND REWARD].”

??? ???? ? ????? ???

The verse ends by stating that those who are ?????? (muhsineen) will be increased. The verse does not specify what the increase is in. This is why the scholars say that this applies to everything good: both in this world and the Hereafter.
The ?????? (muhsineen) is the plural of the word ???? (muhsin) and comes from the root verb ????? (ihsan). The literal meaning of the word ????? means “to do something perfectly, in the best way”. This applies to all actions whether for this world or the next. So the literal meaning of the word ???? (muhsin) would “those who do things in the best way”.
The word ????? is what the angel Jibreel (AS) asks Rasoolallah(sallahu alayhi wa salam) about, in front of the Companions in the famous hadeeth about the pillars of Islam and Imaan:

????? : ??? ???????????? ? ????? : ???? ???????? ??????? ????????? ??????? ?????? ???? ?????? ??????? ????????? ???????

[The angel Gabriel] asked, “What is ihsan?”. Rasoolallah(sallahu alayhi wa salam) said, “That you worship Allah as if you can see Him and if you cannot see Him then (as) He sees you.”

The interesting thing to note about the answer of Rasoolallah(sallahu alayhi wa salam) to this question is that he does not reply with the meaning of the word ????? (ihsan) but replies with the method to reach ????? (ihsan).

How we behave is affected by our perception or understanding as to who is watching us. Our actions and motivations change depending on who is with us. A classroom full of children behave in a certain way when the teacher is away, but they improve their behaviour when the teacher is present and become even more well behaved when the headmaster is present. So imagine how any human would behave when he knows and realise in his heart with certainty that ALLAH is ever present? -----

They would not miss a single opportunity to impress and show their obedience. If we cannot achieve this level because of our own weakness then the least we are expected to achieve to reach ????? (ihsan) is to act as those who realise that Allah is watching us.

Alhamdulillah we have reached the end of this verse.

O Allah guide us to the path of ????? (ihsan) and makes us from one of the ?????? (musineen).

Following from this, we can mention one more meaning and sense of the word Ihsan and this word we can take a verse from the chapter Yusuf (Josef peace be upon him) (12:36).

The people who entered the prison with him wanted to ask him about some dreams they had in order to interpret those dreams for them and after the request they said to him: “indeed we see you as one of the muhsineen”. What does this mean is that whether they were observing the perfection of his character, or whether it was a perfection and excellence in his knowledge in the way that means he is seen as one of the muhsineen.

Here we will ask ourselves a serious question, indeed a painful one: When people look at the Muslim societies today, would they say to us “indeed we see you as muhsineen? When they look towards the Muslim communities living as minorities in other societies, would they see this minority as contributing to the society so that they would say that we are the muhsineen?

All of this follows from knowing that ALLAH is aware of everything we do and knowing that He sees us. And there is no reward for ihsan except ihsan. Doing good in this life will lead to good in this life even before the hereafter.
Shall the reward of good be anything but good? (Quran 55:60)