As- Salaam alaykum warahmotu llah wabarakaatuh.
JUM’AT SERMON OF 8TH JANUARY, 2016 (27TH RABIUL-AWWAL, 1437)
I seek refuge in Allah against Shaytan the accursed, in the name of Allah The Most Beneficent The Most Merciful.
We give thanks to Allah (s.w.t), The One Who enjoins justice, good deeds and giving help to far and near relatives and companions. He is the Mighty One who forbids all evil deeds, prohibited acts under Islamic law and all kinds of oppression. May the blessings and peace of Almighty Allah (s.w.t) continue to shower on the gentle soul of the noble Prophet Muhammad, his household, companion and entire generality of Muslim Ummah, till the day of Al-qiyyamah.
Our sermon today will be addressing the concept of Al-Ihsan in Islam, but before I go into discussion we need to have a little glance of where the word Al-Ihsan emanated from in our religion.
At the origin of our Deen (religion) there are three domains which our Deen gave birth to, because the origin of whatever we may call Islam today is Ad-deen (the religion). Allah says:
“Today I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed my mercy on you and have chosen Islam for you as religion” q. 5 v. 3
The first domain is ISLAM, and it is submission to the will of Allah. This domain is so wide to the extent that even an hypocrite enters within it and is addressed and treated as a Muslim, just because he has submitted to Islam outwardly.
Somebody who is of weak Iman also enters within the domain. And anybody who falls within this category will be called Muslim. Allah has refrained set of people from calling themselves a Muhmeen (believer) when the traits of being a Muhmeen is lost in them, He says in qur’an 49 V. 14
“ they said (village Arab) “we believe” say “you believe not but you only, say “ we have surrendered (in Islam) for faith has not yet entered in your hearts. But if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds. Verily, Allah is forgiving and merciful.”
The second domain is Iman. This is a state of having belief in all the articles of faith i.e God, Messengers, Scriptures, Books, Angels, the day of judgment and Destiny be it good or bad. And this is so specific that an hypocrite can never belong to the class. So, only people of Iman can enter into it, and they are of two categories: people with complete Iman and those who are deficient in Iman. So, the dutiful believer and sinful believer are both called Muhmeen.
The third domain is Ihsan. This is more restricted than second one and it is the highest class one can attain in Deen (religion) and the Prophet Muhammad (saw) has declared that: “No one will enter into it except people of complete Iman” In Sha Allah, we shall be dwelling in detail, in this third domain which also happened to be the topic of our sermon today.
Servant of Allah!
What is Al-Ihsan?
Al-Ihsan is an Arabic word which means perfection or excellence, but in its operational meaning, it means an ability to obtain perfection or excellence in worship such that one will worship Allah as if he sees Him, and although if he cannot see Him, he undoubtedly believe that He (Allah) constantly watching over him and everybody.
The better explanation can be simply obtained from hadith 2 of An-Nawawi’s collection where Angel Jubreel asked Prophet Muhammad about Al-Ihsan.
Ih-san can also be seen as a matter of taking one’s inner faith (Iman) and showing it in both deed and action. This concept of Al-Ihsan can be divided into categories:
Let us seek for forgiveness from Allah (s.w.t) He is surely there to forgive all our sins…..
We give thanks to Allah and we glorify His name. we beseech His blessing and mercy on entire congregation in Jum’ah today.
So, Al-Ihsan between servant and his God is to perfect all the actions and deeds which Allah (swt) has made a duty upon him, he must do it correctly, purely and sincerely for the sake if Allah (swt). And it is also mandatory on him to follow the dictates of prophet Muhammad (saw).
Allah (swt) says in Qur’an 10 verse 26
“For the people of Ihsan there will be the best reward of Paradise and something extra (having the honour to see Allah (swt) with their naked eyes”
Also says in Qur’an 16 vers 128
“Truly, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are Muhsinuun (good-doers)”
But, perfection of what is between a person and the rest of people is also essential, it may be in form of rights to be fulfilled on one another or general goodness as regards to our conducts over one another.
Allah (swt) says in the right of parents in Qur’an 17 verse 23
“And your God has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be dutiful to your parents”
He also ordered us to be dutiful, good and generous to these set of people in Qur’an 4 verse 36:
“ and do good to parents, kins folk, orphan, the needy, the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer, and those (slaves) whom your right hands posses Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful”
My brothers and sisters in faith!
This concept of Al-Ihsan is not restricted to human being alone, but it also extended to animal folk, where Prophet Muhammad advised in the following Hadith on how animals should be handled when slaughtering:
“Allah has decreed righteousness in everything, and when you slaughters
The perfection of what is between the servant and his soul. This can be easily traced to whatever we do to make ourselves pure in and out of our body, i.e taking good food and drink, wearing good clothe, making our environment to be clean so that our body can be good for worshiping Allah and livelihood.
Even Prophet Muhammad (saw) encouraged people to perfect whatever they choose as their means of their livelihood and that Allah (swt) will also be pleased with them.
It is hereby evident through the verses of Qur’an mentioned here that Allah enjoins every one of us to be dutiful and righteous in whatever that lies between us and our God, and between us and our fellow human beings and between us and our soul. On this note, we must know that Allah (swt) is always watching us on whatever we do.
You can imagine the way you will behave if you are in the front of your superior officer or person of high status, and you obey him just because you know that he is seeing you, would it be possible that you be negligent in your duties in his presence? If answer is no, why do you display negligence when it comes to perform the duty of Whom is closer to you than your jugular vein?
He says in Q. 40 V. 19
“Allah knows the fraud of the eyes and all that the breasts conceal”
He says in Q. 57 V. 4
“…. and He is with you (by His knowledge) wheresoever you may be”
And says in Q. 50 V. 16
“……and we are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by our knowledge)”
With all these, if we cannot see Allah, let us have it within ourselves that He is constantly witnessing whatever we do and will reward us accordingly.
Lets pray and may Allah (swt) make us to witness more Jum’ah on this earth.
FRIDAY SERMON DELIVERED BY:
USTAZ BSDMUS ISSA ABDULWAHEED,
FOUNTAIN UNIVERSITY , OSOGBO