In Pursuit of Excellence

Bismillaah.

The question for the day is:

Do we really want excellence from Allaah?

Yes!  Of course!

Yes???  Well, how badly do we want it?  Do we want it bad enough to fight our natural inclinations, and let His commands dictate our actions?

That is the question!!!

Allaah says in Qur’an (interpretation):

“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal…”

Meaning: Performing good deeds and acts of obedience that please Allaah, is not equal to performing bad deeds and acts of disobedience which displease Allaah.  Likewise, treating Allaah’s creation with excellence (Ihsan) is not equal to mistreating His creation, in any way shape or form, and not in terms of reward.  He goes on to say:

“Is there any reward for Ihsan other than Ihsan?” (Al-Rahman: 60).

Then, He commanded us with a particular type of excellence (Ihsan), which holds a great position, and that is: Excellence toward the one who has mistreated you.  Allaah says:

“Repel (the evil) with that which is better…”

Meaning: when a rude person has mistreated you, particularly those who have the most rights over you (like your relatives, friends, etc.), be it by words or manners, then repay him with excellence.  Hence, if he cuts you off, then continue to keep ties with him; if he oppresses you, forgive him; if he speaks ill of you–in your face or behind your back–then don’t return the deed, rather, forgive him, and deal with him with soft words.  And if he forsook you and stopped speaking to you, then speak to him with the best of words, and generously greet him with salaam.  Because if you returned mistreatment with excellence, a great benefit will occur:

…”then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.”

Meaning: As if he was the closest of your companions.

“But none is granted it (the above quality)…”

Meaning: None will be able to establish such a praiseworthy characteristic as this…

“…except those who are patient…”

Who train their souls to persevere upon that which they dislike, and force their souls to conform to that which Allaah loves.  For indeed the souls are naturally inclined to return mistreatment with mistreatment and to not be forgiving, so how then with excellence?!!

So when mankind trains his soul to persevere, and he adheres to the commands of his Lord and is aware of its tremendous reward, and knows that returning mistreatment with mistreatment is of no benefit to anyone or anything, and only increases in enmity and harshness, and that choosing to return mistreatment with excellence is not from humbling himself before the offender, but rather humbling himself before his Lord, the matter becomes easy for him, and he performs this deed with tasting the sweetness of its rewards.

“…and none is granted it except the extremely fortunate.”

And that is because it is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the creation by which a slave reaches a high rank in this world and in the hereafter, making it from the most honorable of characteristics.

Tafseer verses 34-35 Surat Fussilat, Tayseer al-Kareem al-Rahman fee Tafseeri Kalaam al-Mannaan by Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Naser al Sa’ady; translated by Asiya Abdullah

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So again, let each one of us ask ourselves:

Do we really want excellence from Allaah???

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