Ihsaan -Generosity A Beautiful And Noble Habit.
وَلَا تُفۡسِدُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ بَعۡدَ إِصۡلَـٰحِهَا وَٱدۡعُوهُ خَوۡفً۬ا وَطَمَعًاۚ إِنَّ رَحۡمَتَ ٱللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ
“And do not make mischief in the earth after its reformation, and call on Him fearing and hoping; surely the mercy of Allah is nigh to the Muhsineen (those who do good (to others)).” (Surah Araaf 7:56)
Abu Dharr (RA) reported Rasulullah (SAW) said: “He has been successful whose heart Allah has made sincere towards faith, whose heart He has made free from unbelief, his tongue truthful, his soul calm, his nature straight, whose ear He has made attentive and his eye observant. The ear is a funnel and the eye is a repository for what the heart learns. He is successful whose heart is made retentive.” (Al Tirmidhi)
Ihsaan is to be generous with others, doing favours secretly or openly, without asking for any compensation for the generosity. Being generous is a marvelous characteristic of a human being, which is free from selfishness, greediness and arrogance. A generous person (Muhsin), not only respects the rights of others but also gives more from his own generosity, purely for the sake of Allah. For such a person who spends his/her wealth, efforts, time etc for the benefits of Allah’s Creatures, is there anyone who can reward him/her better than Allah himself?
Isa- Jesus (AS) is quoted in the Qur’an as saying:
قَالَ إِنِّى عَبۡدُ ٱللَّهِ ءَاتَٮٰنِىَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَجَعَلَنِى نَبِيًّ۬ا (٣٠) وَجَعَلَنِى مُبَارَكًا أَيۡنَ مَا ڪُنتُ وَأَوۡصَـٰنِى بِٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَٱلزَّڪَوٰةِ مَا دُمۡتُ حَيًّ۬ا (٣١)
“He (Isa (Jesus)) said: Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;” “And He has made me blessed whosesoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salaat (prayer), and Zakaat, as long as I live.” (Surah Maryam 19:30-31)
The saying, “And He has made me blessed whosesoever I be…”, reminds us about the generosity of the Prophets, as we know the simplicity of the Prophet Isa (AS) and Rasulullah (SAW) they both had a simple life, but filled with generosity and compassion for those who were around them and this is the path of any Muhsin (or Muslim). Allah has commanded us to be generous with those who are around us (spreading nice fragrance… ), starting from those who are nearest to us (such as Our parents, children, relatives, neighbours, travelers, etc), as Allah has said:
وَٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَلَا تُشۡرِكُواْ بِهِۦ شَيۡـًٔ۬اۖ وَبِٱلۡوَٲلِدَيۡنِ إِحۡسَـٰنً۬ا وَبِذِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡيَتَـٰمَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَـٰكِينِ وَٱلۡجَارِ ذِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَٱلۡجَارِ ٱلۡجُنُبِ وَٱلصَّاحِبِ بِٱلۡجَنۢبِ وَٱبۡنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتۡ أَيۡمَـٰنُكُمۡۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَن ڪَانَ مُخۡتَالاً۬ فَخُورًا
“And serve Allah. Ascribe no thing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbour who is not of kin, and the fellow-traveller and the wayfarer and (the slaves) whom your right hands possess. Lo! Allah loveth not such as are proud and boastful.” (Surah Nisaa 4:36)
وَسَارِعُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ مَغۡفِرَةٍ۬ مِّن رَّبِّڪُمۡ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرۡضُهَا ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتُ وَٱلۡأَرۡضُ أُعِدَّتۡ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ (١٣٣) ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِى ٱلسَّرَّآءِ وَٱلضَّرَّآءِ وَٱلۡڪَـٰظِمِينَ ٱلۡغَيۡظَ وَٱلۡعَافِينَ عَنِ ٱلنَّاسِۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ (١٣٤)
“And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord; and a Garden, the extensiveness of which is (as) the heavens and the earth, it is prepared for those who guard (against evil). Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in straightness, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the Muhsineen (doers of good (to others).” (Surah al-e-Imran 3:133-134)
وَأَنفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَا تُلۡقُواْ بِأَيۡدِيكُمۡ إِلَى ٱلتَّہۡلُكَةِۛ وَأَحۡسِنُوٓاْۛ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ
“And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands, and do good (to others); surely Allah loves the Muhsineen (doers of good).” (Surah Baqarah 2:195)
Generosity is not limited to just paying some money, but rather there are many ways to be kind such as speaking kindly, smiling, forgiving, encouraging goodness, protecting from evil, strengthening in sadness, helping elders etc. In fact, Islam teaches us to be kind even with the animals. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated: Rasulullah (SAW) said: “A man felt very thirsty while he was on the way, there he came across a well. He went down the well, quenched his thirst and came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. He said to himself, “This dog is suffering from thirst as I did.” So, he went down the well again and filled his shoe with water and watered it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him. The people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?” Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “Yes, there is a reward for serving any animate (living being).” (Sahih Bukhari)
Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated: Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbor, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated: Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The believer is simple and generous, but the profligate is deceitful and ignoble.” (Abu Dawud)
Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated: Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The generous man is near Allah, near Paradise, near men and far from Hell, but the miserly man is far from Allah, far from Paradise, far from men and near Hell. Indeed, an ignorant man who is generous is dearer to Allah than a worshipper who is miserly.” (Tirmidhi)
Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated: Rasulullah (SAW) was the most generous of all the people and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadhaan when Jibraeel met him. Jibraeel used to meet him every night of Ramadhaan to teach him the Qur’an. Allah’s Apostle was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).” (Sahih Bukhari)
Once again, for such a person who spends his/her wealth, efforts, time etc for the benefits of Allah’s Creatures, is there anyone who can reward him/her better than Allah himself? There is at least one big reward, which will please every seeker of wisdom, Insha’Allah. Allah the Most High has said in at least two places that knowledge and wisdom is granted to such Muhsineen (generous).
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ ۥۤ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُ حُكۡمً۬ا وَعِلۡمً۬اۚ وَكَذَٲلِكَ نَجۡزِى ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ
“And when he (Yusuf) had attained his maturity, We gave him wisdom and knowledge: and thus do We reward the Muhsineen.” (Surah Yusuf 12:22)
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ ۥ وَٱسۡتَوَىٰٓ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُ حُكۡمً۬ا وَعِلۡمً۬اۚ وَكَذَٲلِكَ نَجۡزِى ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ
“And when he (Musa) attained his maturity and became full grown, We granted him wisdom and knowledge; and thus do We reward Muhsineen.” (Surah Qasas 28:14)
يُؤۡتِى ٱلۡحِڪۡمَةَ مَن يَشَآءُۚ وَمَن يُؤۡتَ ٱلۡحِڪۡمَةَ فَقَدۡ أُوتِىَ خَيۡرً۬ا ڪَثِيرً۬اۗ وَمَا يَذَّڪَّرُ إِلَّآ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ
“ He grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and whoever is granted wisdom is indeed given a great wealth, yet none except people of understanding learn a lesson from it.” (Surah Baqarah 2:269)
Therefore, let us try to be helpful, if we cannot be beneficial then we should at least try not be harmful.
“Glory be to Allah, the Lord of Honor, He is free from what they ascribe to Him!”