As we get older, it’s easy to get disillusioned with this world.
This Dunya is filled with disappointments and lost dreams, entirely unlike the fairytales we read or watched as children.
But what if I told you that each day could be wondrous, full of inspiration and intrigue?
What if I told you that you don’t have to rely on anything or anyone for enchantment in your life, not a “prince charming” or a “magical” object.
It’s all in the way we choose to see.
And Al-Basar isn’t just our vision, it also involves Baseerah: insight and perception; thinking over what your eyes touch upon, deriving a deeper meaning from it.
For instance, Allah says,
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the day and night there are signs for people of reason.” [‘Ali Imran:190]
“We will show them Our signs in the universe and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that this ˹Quran˺ is the truth.” [Fussilat: 53]
The people of reason, the truth-seekers of all ages and seasons, look at the Earth and the Skies through a different lens because they recognize that all this flawless, harmonious, ordered, beauty serves a purpose – it was not created in play.
The people of faith look to their surroundings with different expectations, hopes, fears, and love because they sense the Creator through the creation. They take the star-spread sky, the radiant smile of their child, the seamless change of the seasons, and their own immaculate physiology and complex psychology, which are beyond their control, as signposts to their Lord.
Even the various events of our lives, both joyous and challenging, that we could not have foreseen or averted, are a sign from Allah: the only One with the true power to bring benefit and prevent harm.
So how does this insight fill our lives with incomparable joy?
By connecting us with Allah.
This brand of contemplation leads to gratitude, awe, love, and redemption.
As Ibn Katheer states in his tafsir that these Signs “testify to the Might, Ability, Knowledge, Wisdom, Will and Mercy of the Creator.”
Allah has created all this, every encounter with nature, the universe, or with His creatures, in Truth- He has created it for us to find Him and know Him.
And once we know Him, and love Him, then we have no grief or fear, no problem can overcome us because we have a Lord who is Greater- no good deed will ever seem small because of Who you are doing it for, and no sin will ever seem insignificant because of the Greatness of the One you are disobeying.
Honing this worldview leads us to the highest, most beautiful level of worshipping Allah- ihsan, which we will cover further on.
From the Mundane to the Miraculous
Finding amazement in our surroundings isn’t just for when we travel to new lands or are immersed in nature, whether by the jewel-toned ocean or mountaintop vistas. We can still find miracles in our mundane lives if we choose to look for them.
Brothers and sisters, we were not meant to spend the majority of our days within the stifling confines of four walls, be it an office, the kitchen, or our rooms.
We are meant to be wanderers and contemplators, not simply for our own relaxation and enjoyment, but because it connects us more deeply to our purpose.
And, of course, we have to work and serve our families, but if ever there was a time to multi-task, this is it!
Take a break from your laptop screen and gaze out the window, reflecting on what you see before you and think about an ayah in the Qur’an that recently struck you or the Name of Allah that you learned last- apply these reflections to your now- to whatever you are facing internally or externally.
As you chop up vegetables, marvel at the vibrant colours and textures, reflect on the beneficial diversity of Allah’s Provision, and as you do your homework, say and feel the “Alhamdulillah” with the progress you make.
Say “SubhanAllah” in awe at the knowledge that is enlightening your life. Whether it’s the laws of Physics, the recurring patterns of History, or the intricacies of the human psyche, everything you learn leads back to Allah, the Creator and Controller of everything.
Al-Baseer and doing Ihsan
In Islam, we also have a concept called Al-Muraqaba, living life with mindfulness.
The believer doesn’t have a one-dimensional view of reality; we see things with the light of our iman and certainty in Allah’s Promises.
When you live life with wide-open senses, seeking the Divine wherever you are, seeking to lovingly connect with your Creator and the Creator of everything you see, touch, taste, and smell, then it naturally follows that you are aware of Him in everything you do.
You remember that Allah is Al-Baseer- the One who sees everything there is to be seen and what we cannot imagine seeing, such as the turning of someone’s heart towards faith or the blood’s flow through the veins and arteries.
When you have this heightened awareness of Allah’s Sight upon you, of His complete knowledge of everything about your words, actions, intentions, and inclinations, then you start worshipping Him with Ihsan (excellence).
And we know from the famous narration in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim,
“Excellence is to worship Allah as if you see Him. Verily, He sees you although you do not see Him.”
How comforting it is to know that not even the smallest good deed we do is missed by Allah. And how ashamed we must feel to know that no sin or transgression ever escapes our Lord’s Eyes.
And so, our mindfulness of Allah, Al-Baseer, is founded on both hope and fear. That beneficial balance leads us to His Pleasure and Great Reward, bi’idhnillah.
Nothing is Lost
“Be patient with the Decree of your Lord for, indeed, you are under Our Eyes.”
[Surah Tur: 48]
My brothers and sisters, remember the du’as you made to Allah so fervently in Ramadan?
You may not see them manifest right before your eyes in just the way you imagined.
You might feel like there are so many barriers between you and what your heart desires.
But this is where our trust in the Unseen comes into play. We know for a fact that Allah never forgets any du’a we make, even if it has slipped our minds, and we also know that Allah never leaves the hands we raise to Him empty.
Remember that the One from whom you are asking is free from stinginess and inability, He is free from oppression or imperfection. He does not need to give us what we beg Him for, but He does out of His Perfect Mercy and Generosity. He gives us more.
However, we need to remember that Allah knows and sees the internal and external circumstances of His slaves like no other.
One of my favourite reminders is, “We see the pixel, but Allah sees the bigger picture.”
Allah sees and knows what will bring about good for you and what time to grant it to you, whether in this world or the Hereafter, better than you know yourself.
Whether it’s the du’a you keep making or the good deeds you send ahead for yourself, Allah sees all of them, big and small, and He will fulfill you and reward you with the greatest reward for all of them.
Therefore, in conclusion, it’s up to us to decide:
Are we looking for the Signs of Allah, lovingly and yearningly, wherever we are?
Do we consider Allah’s Sight upon us rather than focusing on what people can see?
Do we put forth even the smallest good deeds, confident that Allah sees and rewards us?
Do we keep making that du’a, knowing that Allah is opening doors for us, even if we can’t see them yet?
May Allah guide us to genuinely answer ‘Yes!’ to these questions and beautify our lives by seeking insight into the Divine, while knowing with certainty that He sees us with a complete, perfect, and incomparable Sight.
Quran 30 for 30 (Season 3), Episode 26, Yaqeen Institute- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQe8DSr0ZOA