Born to Excel
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Assalamu Alaikum.
This is Part 4 on the series ‘Beyond Excellence: The Making of a Muhsin’.
Born to Excel:
Allah has created human beings to test as to who comes out with flying colours vis-a-vis deeds of excellence. This is very clearly stated in Surah Al Mulk:
الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا
“(It is He) Who has created death and life that He may test which of you is best in deeds…” (67:2)
Every man and woman must bear in mind throughout the life that he or she is born in this world to compete with others in the performance of good deeds – good, better and best deeds.
When I was discussing this point with my students in one of my Islamic Studies class, one student said: when Allah knows everything – past, present and future – why then He uses the word ‘test’ in this verse? Does He want to ‘verify’ His own knowledge?
A teacher, if he is well aware of his students’ talents and capabilities, is able to tell the result before the student even writes the test. Still, he conducts test! Why?
It is to prove the point to the student and let him know where he stands. Without conducting the test if a teacher announces the so-called ‘result’, will there be any meaning left in the system of education?
Question paper is given along with the answer paper. And the student has the right to freedom: to do the answers or not.
Similarly we are born in this world so that we compete for the Best Reward. The Qur’an mentions that a part of the Reward for those who excelled in good deeds will be that “they will be given a sealed delicious drink – the seal whereof shall be musk” (83: 25-26)
خِتَامُهُ مِسْكٌ ۚ وَفِي ذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ الْمُتَنَافِسُونَ
“whose seal is musk – so let all aspirants aspire for that”– (83: 26)
We need to compete and aspire for the best of all rewards!
Goods deeds blot out bad deeds:
One should keep on doing deeds of excellence – al hasanaat – as they will blot out one’s bad or evil deeds.
إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ
“Certainly good deeds wipe out bad deeds” (11:114)
إِلَّا مَنْ تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُولَٰئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا
“Unless he repents, believes and works righteous deeds , for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, for Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful” (25:70)
The Prophet of Excellence (Peace be upon him) said:
“Wherever you are and in whatever condition, you should fear Allah and do virtuous deed after every sinful one as the former will efface the latter and treat people kindly”.
This attitude of goodly nature should continue until one’s last breadth.
The doers of good (Muhsinoon) become so habitual and obsessed with doing good deeds that they will regret for not increasing their share of good deeds should death come to them. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) mentions this fact in the following hadith:
Abu Huraira (R A) reports that the Messenger of Allah said, “Everyone who dies, regrets”. The companions asked: O Messenger of Allah, what will be his regret? He said, “If he is a Muhsin, he will regret that he could not increase his good deeds. And if he is sinful, he will regret that he could not abstain from (committing sin)”. (Tirmidhi)
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