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Ihsan – The Shortest Way to Allah

Allah Almighty is the source of Ihsan and the best destination is Paradise. Allah says:

As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him* And believes in Al-Husna. (92: 5-6)

Al-Husna is Paradise.

 Ihsan is rewarded with Paradise.

I have prepared for My pious servants which no eye (has ever) seen, no ear has (ever) heard and no human heart has ever perceived. (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)

This is the reward of those who have done good deeds in the worldly life.

The believer believes in Al-Husna (Paradise), and he puts into his considerations Paradise and the Hellfire every day:

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For those who have done good is the best (reward, i.e. Paradise and even more﴿ (10: 26)

The one who obtains Allah’s Pleasure is the happiest man on earth:

Scholars said that “and even more” is to look at the Honorable Face of Allah.

Some faces that Day shall be Nadirah (shining and radiant)* Looking at their Lord (Allah). (75:22-23)

In another verse, Allah says:

But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. (9: 72)

He is in Paradise.

In Paradise there will be:

And (there will be) Houris (fair females) with wide, lovely eyes (as wives for the pious). (56:22)

The Muhsin always holds his head up high, because he does his work perfectly and completely, unlike the one who is lagged behind, for he will be upset for an entire month because of being rebuked.

This is the law of honor. You cannot gain honor unless you are Muhsin, whether you are a doctor, a craftsman, a merchant, a father or a husband, for the word “Muhsin” is a wide concept and every deed in life is either considered as Ihsan or Isa’ah (wrong doing). Allah says:

For those who have done good is the best (reward, i.e. Paradise)

In the verse “done good” refers to the deeds which are done in the worldly life.

There is a Paradise on earth and a Paradise on the Day of Resurrection, and the one who is not admitted to the Paradise of the earth will never be admitted to the Paradise of the Hereafter. The following verse proves this point:

And admit them to Paradise which He has made known to them (i.e. they will know their places in Paradise more than they used to know their houses in the world). (47: 6)

They tasted it (He has made it known to them) in the worldly life.

Everything leads to Allah, but trials are meant to teach people lessons:

The believer’s heart is full of tranquility, happiness and serenity that are enough for the population of an entire country.

Allah bestowed all upon us graces. He makes the universe indicates Allah’s Existence, Oneness and Perfection, He revealed the Divine Books to us, He has sent us Prophets, peace be upon them and He made some incidents of the daily life means to lead us to Him. Accordingly, all people are supposed to pass the Divine Test (trials in life). Thus, trials are only means to put people in the right order, Allah says:

Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. (67: 2)

This is the precise purpose of the Divine Trial; it is meant to put people in the right order, so the one who fails the Divine Test is as far from reasoning and logic as the distance between the earth and the heaven. Remember, goodness brings goodness and Ihsan leads to Ihsan but the Almighty Allah will reward the Muhsin with something more (“and even more” looking at His honorable Face and gaining His Pleasure).

and shall increase (reward) for the good-doers. (2: 58)

Being a Muhsin, whether you are a father, a teacher, a professor, a lawyer or a doctor, means that you are upright, honest, true-hearted and nice. And by this characteristic you are setting a good example for those who are training at your office (if you were a lawyer), for your children (if you were a father), for your students (if you were a teacher) and for your deputy and employees (if you are a general manager).

Hence, every Muhsin will be a good example and accordingly he will have a double reward, one for his noble characteristics and the other one for those who follow his steps.  The Almighty Allah says:

Certainly, there has been in them an excellent example for you to follow. (60:6)

If you do good deeds and you are an example who people follow, you will be rewarded twice.

Then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood money, to the heir should be made in fairness. (2:178)

Returning things to their owners should be made in fairness. For instance, if you borrow a book from your friend’s house, go to your friend’s house and give him the book instead of giving it to him while he is in the street, which is improper. Moreover, if the book is not in a good shape, fix it before rendering it back.

If someone lends you money, you should not say to him, “Come to my store tomorrow to take your money?” The rendering should be in the place where it was taken from.

This behavior manifests Ihsan in rendering back things (loans, borrowed things, etc.).

Ihsan should be moderate:

Dear brothers, the topic of Ihsan is a very wide one, and you should know that Ihsan should be moderate.

And spend in the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad of all kinds, etc.) and do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the Cause of Allah). (2:195)

If you spend all your wealth, you will be throwing yourself into destruction.

Also, if you never spend, you will be throwing yourself into destruction. Hence, Ihsan lies in the middle of these two extremes, for virtue lies between two extremes.

Ihsan in this verse is to spend moderately.

And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty. (17: 29)

And of them there are some who say: “Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good. (2:201)

Some scholars said, “The bliss of the worldly life is the good wife who brings her husband happiness when he looks at her, who preserves her honor in her husband’s absence and who obeys him when he wills something.”

The rich according to his means, and the poor according to his means, a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good. (2:236)

The rich Muhsin should not pay only the minimum amount; instead he should pay the maximum amount.

Man’s success lies in being Muhsin (good-doer) and upright:

Pay attention to this verse:

Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan. (2:245)

If you feed a cat, this will be a goodly loan to Allah, the same goes for serving a person, rescuing a sick man, feeding the hungry, helping the seniors, giving your seat in the bus to an old man, putting a straw you find on the ground of the Masjid in your pocket or even saving an ant on the sink from drowning before you offer Wudu. All these things are good deeds, and they are considered a goodly loan lent to Allah.

Surely, Allah’s Mercy is (ever) near unto the good-doers. (7:56)

The utmost motivation for your good deeds is to gain Allah’s Mercy, for it is the ultimate Divine Bestowal. Allah’s Mercy upon you means that you are spiritually stable, happy, secured, satisfied, wise, and that you have a disciplined household, a pious wife and dutiful children.

Ihsan is the widest gate and the shortest path to reach Allah.

There are other things in addition to Paradise, and they are wisdom and knowledge. I would like to refer to one more point:

Invite (mankind, O Muhammad, peace be upon him) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Qur’an) and fair preaching. (16:125)

“Fair” is a noble characteristic.

In arguments there are disagreements and opposing opinions, so people become nervous. In such a situation, if there are 100 good words, one should use the best of them. The verse is very precise in this regard:

When you preach, you should use nice words, but in arguments, you should be even more careful in choosing your words:

Ihsan is the shortest path and the wider gate through which we reach Allah.

For those who have done good is the best (reward, i.e. Paradise) and even more.

Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).

Excerpted from