Ihsan: The Science of the Heart
Bismillahi wa salatu wa salamu ala Rasulillah wa ‘ala jami’il ambiyai wal-mursalin wa ‘ala ahlihi wa sahabihi ajmain, amin.
Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him for although you do not see Him, He sees you. —- Hadith Jibrail
Taking the First Step
Man is a combination of the physical organs and the soul. The soul is used to describe all the spiritual entities in man. That is to say as the body is made up of limbs and organs , the soul is made up of spiritual parts called Lataif. Of these lataif, the qalb is the closest to Allahu ta’ala. This qalb rendered literally as Heart is not the physical pumping heart, rather the spiritual essence placed over the physical heart. The Holy Qur’an in describing the Day of Qiyama declares that only those who arrive the plane of judgement with a sound, healthy, purified and Allah loving qalb will attain to benefits, safety and salvation.
Therefore, the greatest ambition of a true believer is to win Allahu ta’ala’s love in this world in order to earn His pleasure eternally in the Akhirah. To achieve this man must submit his desires and preferences to Allahu ta’ala by obeying His Sharia making the exalted Sharia the main pivot of his life. Every master loves his subordinates who obey him, they win his appreciation. Allahu ta’ala is the Master of all and the Creator and Sustainer of all Beings. He is loving (Wadud) and Shakur (Appreciative), He quickly gives His love to His servants who give up their desires and personal likings to obey His law.
A servant can even climb further the ladder of love by engaging in extra duties apart from the ones made basic and obligatory on him. It is a common knowledge that the juniors who after carrying out their basic duties do something extra are given extra rewards and shown excessive love.
As a matter of fact the Hadith–i Quds–i says: “Among the things that bring My servant close to Me, the ones I love best are the things that I have made fard (obligatory). When my servant does the supererogatory (nafilat) ibadat, he gets very close to Me so much that I love him very much …”
As one needs wudu for an acceptable Salat, the extra (nafilat) ‘ibadats are needed as purification for the obligatory to bring us close to Allahu ta’ala, and Ihsan, Tasawwuf, Tazkiya, Tariqa or Islah is to combine the obligatory and the voluntary worships together to win Allah’s eternal favours.
Duties like Istighfar, Salawat, Dhikr of the heart (Muraqaba), which the Ahadith say is seventy times better than that of the tongue, Tilawat-i Qur’an and being in constant awareness of Allah called Wuquf Qalbi practiced by virtually all the sages of the past are barakat to draw closer to Allahu ta’ala through the means of the enlightening Sunnah of the Sayyed of Prophets, Habibullah Muhammad Mustafa (alaihi wa ahlihi wa sahabihi salawatu wataslimat attamuha wa akmaluha).
A master (a murshid, a guide) is necessary on the way of Ihsan. Yes, the duties mentioned above can be done by anyone with some degree of benefit. But attaining the real fruits of Ihsan which is the pleasure of Allahu ta’ala required a blessed person who has been trained and also authorized to train others by a Kamil Shaykh and noble personality who has become immersed in obedience and Sunnah that he becomes a representative of the exalted Prophet (alaihi ‘s-salam) among us. A man who himself writes out some medicines for his ailment, runs to a pharmacy to procure them and then uses them at will, may end up being cured, yet the probability of putting himself to fatal harms is also very high.
He who walks without a guide
Will need a decade for a hour trek
Today, we have the sick, derailed and deluded worldly loving people going about with big Tasawwuf titles. These are thieves of Iman and great insults to the great traditional Islamic Science of Ihsan and the noble sages who personified this path throughout our history. A true guide must be a person who is obedient to the Sharia in his private and public life, who earns only what is halal, who is not covetuous of the world and its pleasures and whose whole life is saturated in the Sunnah.
The path of Sunnah leads to life
Outside the Sunnah life is a waste
May our Karim Lord guide us to know the Truth as truth and make us follow it. May He, out of His sheer generosity, help us to realise the falsity of falsehood and turn us away from it. Surely, He is able to do all things.
Faqir Abdulqadr An-Naqshbandi Mujaddidi – Nigeria