بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Way to Higher Levels of Iman:
“We Worship Allah as though we See Him”
Allah has blessed His servants with many countless blessings, the greatest of which is the blessing of Islam with which He honored the Ummah of His beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw), and which He revealed to him to spread it in the worlds with guidance and mercy. He, prayers and peace be upon him, fulfilled the trust (Amanh) and left his Ummah the best nation that leads people to goodness and spread mercy to them, but its situation changed and became at the tail of the nations; whose territory is looted, its wealth is plundered, and its honor is violated, after the Khilafah state that protected it and defended it against the enemies was destroyed.
A century has passed since the demolition of this fortress, a hundred years have passed since Islam was excluded from the lives of Muslims. A hundred years and Muslims live "dead", as what their Messenger (saw) called them to have been, was abolished from their lives
(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَجِيبُواْ لِلّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُم لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ)
“O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.” [Al-Anfal: 24]. And it was imposed on them man-made laws that governed their lives according to the capitalist world order that replaced and excluded the Islamic system. Will Muslims be content with a life in which their religion is excluded and its rulings have been disrupted?!
The capitalist system has worked to distance Muslims from their Lord, worship Him in places and occasions, and draw near to Him only in certain rulings. With its corrupt concepts based on interest and benefit, it was able to shape their worship in the way it wants and in accordance with what its Western civilization stipulates: the separation of religion from life, so Muslims worshiping their Lord became limited to prayer, fasting, and Hajj, and they began to live by rulings other than His rulings that govern their political, economic, and even social life and complied with the orders of this capitalist system.
In addition to relations that have become bonds based on the extent to which they will bring benefit and interest, when the Muslim’s criteria of his law, "the Halal (lawful) and the Haram (forbidden)", was withdrawn from him, he worshiped Allah without recalling Him in his life and without returning to the solutions derived from His law to solve the problems he encounters. Rather, he became seeing only the laws placed in by the capitalist system, which has set itself up as the only system capable of running life, and the whole world and Muslims also have to walk with it in accordance with the concepts of its civilization until they join the caravan, or otherwise, they are unable - inevitably - to solve their backwardness. So it promoted that and employed all its means, including the media and agents to stand out as the savior, the reformer, and the most benevolent, whereas it is on the contrary! It attacks them and their religion and strives to eliminate them and their ancient civilization, and poses a threat to its existence if it comes back to life.
The West has waged an ideological war in which it undermined the confidence of the Ummah of Islam in the rulings of its religion, a war in which it stripped the comprehensiveness of these rulings in order to restrict them to acts of worship without relations and transactions. It planted its toxic concepts and abolished the fragrant and good rulings of Islam. In order for the Ummah to restore its wellbeing and recover from its illness, it must pull out these thorns and return to the kind tree that bears good fruits. It must discard these corrupt concepts and return to the pure concepts of its religion.
To worship Allah means to comply to His commands and prohibitions in every big and small of our lives: in our relationship with Allah, ourselves and others; In our prayer, fasting and standing, in our eating, drinking, and clothing, in our righteousness to our parents and the maintenance of ties with our kinship, in our treatment of our neighbors, in our buying and selling, in our dealings and relationships, no matter how varied and diverse; we revolve where His rulings revolve and adhere to them. To Allah belongs the creation and the command, and He is our Lord, our Creator and our Protector:
(آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ)
“The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination."” [Al-Baqara: 285].
To worship Allah is to believe in Him, confess His Oneness, and strive not to disobey Him. We worship Him and compete to reach the highest levels of Iman, to reach the level of Ihsan. So, what is Al-Ihsan?
«أَنْ تَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ كَأَنَّكَ تَرَاهُ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاكَ»
“Ihsan is that you worship Allah as though you see Him, for though you see Him not, He certainly sees you.”: This was the response of the Prophet (saw) when Jibreel (as) asked him about Ihsan. So Ihsan is for a Muslim to do the work as if he sees his Lord, standing before His hands, striving in his deeds and performing them well and in perfection. The Muslim must tie his relationship with his Lord at all times and in every case and not be absent from him, even for a moment, the fact that God sees him and watches his deeds.
(وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى الْعَزِيزِ الرَّحِيمِ * الَّذِي يَرَاكَ حِينَ تَقُومُ * وَتَقَلُّبَكَ فِي السَّاجِدِينَ * إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ)
“And rely upon the Exalted in Might, the Merciful, *Who sees you when you arise,* And your movement among those who prostrate.* Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” [Ash-Shu’ara: 217-220].
Many researchers and classical scholars of Islam have addressed the subject of Al-Ihsan, expatiated on it and made it a matter of Iman.
To worship Allah as if you see Him means that you see Him in worship and privacy; you see Him in your dealings and your relationships; you see Him in every big and small of your life. This is a level of Iman if a Muslim reaches it, then he will have risen to a high position (هَلْ جَزَاء الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ) “Is the reward for Ihsan anything but Ihsan (anything but good)?” [Ar-Rahman: 60].
So, if a person does the best and worships his Lord in the manner that pleases Him, then his reward will be the pleasure of Allah and His paradise, and what is the greatest reward! How beautiful it is for a person to find acceptance and approval from his Lord as a result of the good deeds he has offered! How good it is for a person to do his deeds while he is recalling fear of his Lord, fearing Him and seeking His satisfaction! How delicious a feeling is when a Muslim attains the highest and best ranks of slavery, and receives a good reward from his Lord!
(فَآتَاهُمُ اللّهُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا وَحُسْنَ ثَوَابِ الآخِرَةِ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ)
“So Allah gave them the reward of this world and the good reward of the Hereafter. And Allah loves the doers of good.” [Aal-i-Imran: 148]. So, congratulations to the Muhsineen (the doers of good), congratulations for them, the love of Allah for them, and we ask Allah to register us among them and to guide us to what He loves and pleases and make us steadfast on His obedience.
Where is the Ummah of Islam today from its religion? Does it live within the confines of its provisions? How did it accept life without being guided by the rulings of its Lord? How does it live by the laws of human beings and abandon the laws of its Creator?!
Where are Muslims of what is happening today in their lives? Do they worship Allah as He commanded them? Do they recall the pleasure of their Lord and His law is broken and excluded? Do they fear Allah and perceive Him, and the enemies insult Allah’s provisions and mock His Messenger? Are they not hoping and competing for the honor of a higher degree, so they work to be of the Muhsineen?
The reality of the Ummah of Islam makes it imperative for its sons and daughters to work to get out of the darkness that haunted their lives and to free themselves from the shackles of the capitalist system that tasted them, and all humanity, the woes and distress of life. They have to worship Allah as if they see Him, and recall His satisfaction on them if they work to restore His law and rulings to their lives and spread it to all people. They must speed the march to reach this sublime goal, so that they may receive from their Lord what makes them happy in this world and the Hereafter.
Allah Almighty said:
(إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ مُحْسِنُونَ)
“Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good.” [An-Nahl: 128[. Ibn Katheer said in the interpretation of this verse:
(إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ مُحْسِنُونَ)
“Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good.” meaning; He is with them in the sense of supporting them, helping them and guiding them. This is a special kind of "being with". (Those who have Taqwa) means, they keep away from that which is forbidden. (and the doers of good.) means they do deeds of obedience to Allah. These are the ones whom Allah takes care of, He gives them support, and helps them to prevail over their enemies and opponents.) Is there a greater prohibition than living without the law of Allah and its rulings being applied in the life of a Muslim? Is there an obedience greater than the arbitration of Allah's law on earth?
For the believer to walk along the path of Ihsan in all his deeds, words, and actions, he must worship Allah, the Glorified and Exalted be He, as He loves and pleases Him:
(وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْراً أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالاً مُّبِيناً)
“It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any option about their decision. If anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path”. [Al-Ahzab: 36]. And he must recall the observance of Allah Almighty to Him in all cases, and to be certain that Allah is over all things, an observer and a Witness, and not absent from His knowledge is an atom's weight within the heavens or within the earth. If the Muslim recalls that, then he will seek to transcend his work and raise the ceiling of his demands and goals and make the establishment of the Khilafah state that will implement the law of Allah his chief concern and principal preoccupation, so he strives and works with the workers to reach that goal and recalls the observance of Allah Almighty in all his actions, movements and his settling.
A Muslim should worship Allah as He loves, not as he wants and searches for flimsy arguments to justify his transgression of the rulings of his Lord and twists the neck of the Sharia texts in order to conform to the reality in which he lives. These are the effects of the malicious civilization that dwelt and dominated the Muslim’s life, and became wavering between the rulings of his religion and a corrupt materialistic reality; the corruption of the civilization that drives it, thus he is trying to adapt to reality. How can he exchange what is better for what is less? How can he not adhere firmly to the rulings of his religion and hold on his religion as he holds on embers and not divert from it the length of a fingernail?! He is on the way to reaching the rank of Al-Muhsineen, no matter what it costs him.
The Muslim’s certainty that Allah will observe him in all his deeds protects him from falling into forbidden things and pushes him to strive continuously to attain Allah’s satisfaction by doing nothing but acts of obedience, avoiding sins and overcoming what his self misgave him and what the Satan seduces. He overcomes a reality governed by a civilization that is hostile to his civilization, so he wrestles and fights and works so that he does not follow its rides and clings to the Book of his Lord and the Sunnah of his Prophet (saw):
«يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي قَدْ تَرَكْتُ فِيكُمْ مَا إِنِ اعْتَصَمْتُمْ بِهِ فَلَنْ تَضِلُّوا أَبَداً: كِتَابُ اللهِ، وَسُنَّةُ نَبِيِّهِ»
“O people! I have left amongst you that which, if you hold onto it, you will never go astray. they are the Book of Allah and my Sunnah”. So that the Muslim will be with his Lord in all his movements, and Allah's rulings will be his impregnable fortress in the face of the temptations of reality, the pleasures of life, and the desires of the soul, and they would be a weapon in his war against the "enemy" capitalist civilization.
Written for Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by