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5 Dimensions of a Muhsin

In this post, we are going to explore the qualities of being a Muhsin and what it takes to be on the path of the Muhsineen. This article is based on extensive research and discussions with Ustadh Benyameen Saud from the Islamic University of Madeenah.

Who is a Muhsin?

A Muhsin is the most pleasing person to Allah SWT, who practices a high level of Taqwa (God-consciousness), has true inner peace and sincerely wants to attain Jannath-ul-Firdaus. A Muhsin is the one who is constantly striving not to make a single decision (including intention) to commit sins or give-in to shortcomings, so he/she can attain the ultimate pleasure of Allah (SWT). He realizes that every choice he/she makes, no matter how big or small, is either going to get him/her closer to Allah (SWT) or away from Allah (SWT).

Al-Bukhaari [6502] narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah says: “Whoever takes a close friend of Mine as an enemy, I declare war on him. My slave does not draw closer to Me by anything more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him, and My slave continues to draw closer to Me by doing Naafil (supererogatory) deeds until I love him, and if I love him I will be his hearing with which he hears, his vision with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. If he were to ask of Me, I would surely give to him; if he were to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge. I do not hesitate about anything that I want to do as I hesitate to take the soul of a believer, for he hates death and I hate to hurt him.” This hadith clearly and concisely highlights the way to become a close friend of Allah, may He be exalted, for the one who wants to be one of His close friends.

Based on the hadith above, we understand that the best way to get closer to Allah (SWT) is by doing what is obligatory i.e. the Wajib(s). Hence, every Wajib is the most loved action to Allah (SWT). Therefore, a Muhsin does the Wajib(s) and continues to get closer to Allah (SWT) by doing the Naafil (which is the Mustahabb, the recommended actions).

[We have discussed the difference between a Muslim, Mu’min and a Muhsin in our previous article on Levels of Faith.]

Purpose of Shariah

From the above hadith, we know that a Muhsin is the one who does what is obligatory. The obligatory acts are all spread out around the Qur’an and the Sunnah under various categories.

The Scholars have discussed the various aspects of Maqaasid as-Shariah (Purpose of Shariah) over the centuries. The divinely revealed guidance in the form of Qur’an and its Prophetic explanation (Sunnah) is meant to teach humankind how to worship God in the best possible form. God being absolutely independent and not in need of anything, the worship to Him is also meant to ultimately realize the welfare of mankind herein and hereafter.

That is why the Quranic verses as well as the Prophetic narrations are filled with the rationale and wisdom behind the divine rulings prescribed for the benefit of humankind. Moreover, a thoughtful analysis of the overall body of Islamic rulings makes it manifest that Islam is meant to realize some higher objectives, goals and purposes to translate the welfare of humankind into a reality. These higher objectives, purposes, and intents behind the Islamic rulings are represented by the term Maqaasid as-Shariah (Purpose of Shariah) in the Islamic legal discourse.

5 Dimensions of a Muhsin

This leads us to a broader understanding of our purpose in life which is to be of benefit to mankind. On the authority of Abu Hamzah Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) – the servant of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) – that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said : “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” [Related by Bukhari & Muslim]. This hadith indicates the two levels of responsiblities each one of us have on ourselves: self-development and development of others.

This brings us to the 5 broad domains that encompass the characteristics of a Muhsin. Hence, a Muhsin has 5 dimensions of human qualities that he/she is responsible to continuously improve upon (or develop). It is important to constantly keep track of each of these dimensions.

1. Spiritual Development

The spiritual dimension is the core of our existence. It is the reason for our being and the reason we do what we do. It defines our core values and moral principles that guides all other aspects of life. It also includes the spiritual duties and responsibilities which includes, but not limited to, worship of Allah (SWT), fulfilling his/her religious duties, self-examination and reflection, etc. It’s the nourishment of our soul, which if ignored, like our body can grow frail, sick and create permanent damage.

2. Physical Development

The physical dimension includes taking care of oursevles and others. Our body has a right up on us and so do others. Our body doesn’t truly belong to us and we are only it’s caretakers. Hence, it becomes an important aspect of our Deen to take care of our body. This includes staying active, eating right, getting enough sleep and so on.

3. Mental Development

The intellect is one of man’s biggest gifts and if not taken care of, can be destructive. Hence, a Muhsin constantly invests time and effort in seeking knowledge and developing his intellect. This includes making time to read great books, taking up a course, learning a language, having a lifelong spirit of learning, etc.

4. Emotional/Social Development

Man is a social animal, and it goes without saying that his social/emotional needs are to be met in order for him to keep a stable and balanced psychological state. The emotional/social dimension includes spending time with our family and friends, getting rid of toxic people in our life, and so on. A Muhsin is aware of the influence that people and environment can have on him/her.

5. Financial Development

This is probably the most misunderstood aspect of being a Muhsin. Most people try to disassociate money with the other aspects of development, like spirituality. But what we fail to realise is that, one of the qualities of being a Muhsin is how he approaches the concept of money. Money by itself is not necessarily evil; greed is. Yet, being a wealthy person who spends in the path of the Allah (SWT) is taught to be one of the qualities that one is permitted to envy.

The financial dimension includes tracking our expenses, providing for our family, budgeting, spending in charity, prioritizing debt payments, avoiding Riba (Interest), and so on.

Conclusion

All these dimensions are interconnected and thus contribute to the overall development of a human being and the society as a whole. Hence, all of it comes under Ibaadah (worship) of Allah SWT (not just the spiritual development aspect). Its important to look at all these 5 dimensions as gifts that we can take responsibility for, to develop; because it’s a path that will lead us closer to our Creator. We must keep track of each of these dimensions to develop ourselves and to be on the path of the Muhsineen. Allah knows best.

May Allah make us from the best of people and from those who attain His Mercy and Pleasure. Ameen.

5 Dimensions of a Muhsin - The Arabic Diaries
5 Dimensions of a Muhsin – The Arabic Diaries

 

One thought on “5 Dimensions of a Muhsin

  1. Dear brother , Asslam alaykum
    Masha allah the article on Muhsin is very informative .

    However I would like to add an angle which most of us miss out while alalysing the characteristics of Muslim , MUMIN and muhasin .

    There are two angles for each of the characteristics in Islam .

    Firstly ,the angle of hukullah the other hukukl Ibad .

    When it comes to duty of Alalh ( hukullah ) the commonly quoted Hadith Of jibreel fits in all that is required for all the 3 characters.

    But related to the rights of creations ( hukul ibad ) we need to look at the definition of Muslim , MUMIN and Muhsin in much Broder angle using the other saying of Rasulullah s a w .

    I have listed below each of the 3

    Muslim : according to
    Hukulllah : should adhere to
    5 pillars of Islam .

    Hukuklubad : Muslim is the one from who s tongue and hand the other Muslims are safe

    MUMIN : according to
    Hukukullah :who adheres to 6 components of iman.

    Hukukulibad : MUMIN from who’s hand even the life and property of human kind becomes safe .

    Muhsin : according

    Hukukullah : worship allah as if he sees or atleast as Allah sees .

    Hukkul ibaad : not only Muslims , human kind but all the creations of Allah will be safe from him .

    Note : the difference between muslim ( other Muslims safe ) and MUMIN ( human kind is safe )
    Muhsin ( all creation safe )

    Above all
    Rahmatul Alamein ..

    (Blessing for all creations ..)

    Once we realise this ,the beauty of Islam enhances to its majestic glory . As long as we don’t realise we fail to comprehend Islam in its complete perspective

    Jazakallah Khair
    Muhammad ashraf

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