Imam Nawawi’s 5 Principles for Ihsaan

Imam An-Nawawi laid down five principles for Ihsan which we need to study and implement into our lives. He also gave us an action plan as to how to attain them.

1. Fearing Allah in the secret and the open. This is attained through scrupulousness and being upright. The Prophet (pbuh) once said to one of his companions, “Say, I believe in Allah, and then be upright.” We need to constantly look at ourselves and examine our intentions for doing what we do.

2. Living according to the Sunnah in word and deed. This state can be attained through caution and good character. Remember that the Prophet has informed us, “Haste is from the Shaitan.” Putting Islam into our character will force us to implement the guidance instead of just spouting it from our mouths.

3. Indifference to whether others accept or reject us. This state can be attained through patience and entrusting our affairs with Allah. We need to stop looking around us and being afraid of whether society accepts us or whether people will be angry at our Islam. If we are right with Allah, then there is nothing to fear!

4. Satisfaction with Allah, the Most High, in scarcity and plenty. This state can be attained through contentment with what one has and submission to the Will of Allah.

5. Turning to Allah in happiness and affliction. This state can be attained through having gratitude to Allah in happiness and taking refuge in Him in affection.

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