Before Ramadan began, I had one goal for Ramadan and everything that I did for Ramadan and beyond was going to be a by-product of my goal.
The goal is ihsaan (احسان)- a level of faith that the English language can only describe as excellence or perfection.
Ihsaan is the state where your inner belief corresponds with your outward actions. It is worshipping Allah (swt) as though you can see Him. It’s a state where you fulfill your social responsibilities out of sincere religious convictions.
Ihsaan is regarded as the highest level of faith, after Islam and eeman. Ihsaan is taking your Islam and Eeman to a whole new level of worshiping Allah (swt) just as He should be worshiped.
I realise that this is a big deal. A huge task that if you told anyone that it is your goal, they’ll probably think that Ihsaan is for the Prophet (saw) and his companions.
But then, I also realised that it doesn’t have to be so. Perfection in worship is not only for a certain set of people who have been blessed by Allah (swt), neither is it limited to those things that we know as acts of worship.
Perfection in worship can be attained by us if we choose to be more deliberate about how we live our lives.
Ihsaan is observing your five daily prayers at the right time, in the accepted manner
It is fasting and abstaining from every negative thing in the month of Ramadan.
It is giving charity, feeding your family, and paying your Zakat.
But there’s more.
Ihsaan is fulfilling people’s trust. It is delivering a service that you have been paid for, in an excellent manner.
It is paying for services that you have received, at the right time.
Ihsaan is asking yourself every night if your actions have affected anyone negatively during the day.
Ihsaan is letting go of your ego to do that which you know is right.
Ihsaan is treating people fairly and not usurping their rights.
Ihsaan is helping other people sincerely.
It is giving someone an excuse instead of assuming something (that hasn’t been proven) about them.
Simply, ihsaan is doing the littlest and seemingly unimportant things in an excellent manner.
Because these things, even though they do not have their own numbers under the five pillars of Islam, they are forms of worshipping Allah (swt).
And if we can keep our fast till iftar, out of the belief that Allah (swt) will see us if we snuck into a room to eat during the day, it shows that we can strive for ihsaan in other areas of our lives too.
The strive for Ihsaan will never end as long as we are alive, so we should wake up daily with the intention to do only that which is pleasing to Allah (swt).
ۗوَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ–
“…and Allah loves the doers of good” (Qur’an 3:134)