Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Raising our "God Consciousness"

“Verily, God orders justice and kindness (Ihsan), and giving [help] to the relatives, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and evil and tyranny. He admonishes you, so that perhaps you may take heed.”
(al-Nahl 16:90)

This Quranic verse is used to close the sermon each Friday in almost every Mosque around the world; it is a command that serves as guidance in daily affairs. Unfortunately, the words sometimes lose their meaning in translation, especially the word Ihsan, which is often translated as “kindness.” In a Hadith, the Prophet [Peace and Blessings be upon him] defines Ihsan as “to worship God as if you are seeing Him, and although you do not see Him, He sees you.”[1] Ihsan is the force that helps Muslims strive for excellence in character and moral values, and this verse is a reminder that God looks into our minds and hearts every second of the day. It leads to my “God consciousness” in thoughts, words and actions, and helps me remember that truthfulness in action is only achieved when an awareness of God permeates all of my senses.

[1] Riyad-us-Saliheen by Imam an-Nawawi, Hadith 60

This reflection was originally posted in September 2011. Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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