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BE AN EXCELLENT MUSLIM (Part 1)

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WHY MUSLIMS MUST HAVE PIONEERING SPIRIT & BREAKTHROUGH IDEAS:

Muslim scholars, past and present, have always understood that excellence and being the best is one important meaning of wasat in Arabic which reconciles the concept of ummah wasat (justly balance nation) in the Quran, 2:143 and khayr ummah (the best nation) in the Quran, 3:110.

In other word, to be a wasat Muslim is to be the best of his ability and to strive for excellence all the time.

There are many characteristics of an excellent Muslim.

This article seeks to highlight the importance of pioneering spirit and breakthrough ideas that Muslim should possess to achieve excellence and manifest wasatiyah of Islam.

The article argues that Islam commands Muslim to possess pioneering spirit and constantly generate breakthrough ideas that will shatter imaginary and real life barrier that inhibit personal success, progress and development.

The 5 dalils (evidences) that will support the above point.

ISLAM COMMANDS MUSLIM TO ATTAIN IHSAN IN ALL THINGS:

The Prophet has said, “Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan (proficiency, perfection) in all things. So if you kill then kill well; and if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.”
[Narrated by Muslim]

Ihsan is popularly related to compassion.

However, it also carries another meaning that is more relevant here which is striving for perfection or giving one’s best as implied from the above hadith by many scholars.

Another hadith that carries a similar meaning is the Prophet’s (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) response to a request by Angel Gabriel who came to visit him in front of his companions,
“Inform me about ihsan.”

The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) replied:

“It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet He sees you.”
[Narrated by Muslim]

The hadith enjoins us not to submit to Allah by mere belief but to attain a higher (perfect) order of submission – as though we see Him with all His greatness in front of us or we feel His greatness and presence all the time.

Scholars view that upholding ihsan is not an option but an obligation.

This is implied the word kataba (has prescribed) in the first hadith which is often used to mean obligatory.

Thus, the value of ihsan here must spur in us a “give-our-best” spirit to attain and produce the best and excellent result in our every endeavour.

MUSLIMS CANNOT SETTLE OR CONTENT WITH MEDIOCRITY OR AVERAGE ACHIEVEMENT.

Ihsan has two aspects,
1) To constantly improve our personal performance and achievement, and
2) To be the best in comparison with others’ achievement.

It is on the basis of the former that our past scholars strive to attain their “[to]day is better than yesterday and tomorrow is better than today”.

The latter will be touched in the succeeding part.

It must also be highlighted that the Quran describes Muslims as the best nation (3:110).

This is not a mere description of Muslims during the revelation but also a command for all Muslims to attain.

Logically, this noble status can never be achieved without the value of ihsan.

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