An individual enthusiastically informed Arif-billah Dr. Abdul Hayy Arifi (may Allah have mercy on him) that by Allah’s grace he had attained the station of Ihsan. That is, worshipping Allah as though you see Him and if that is not possible then as though He sees you.
Shaykh Arifi (qaddas sirrahu) congratulated and encouraged him. And then inquired that if this ihsan was attained only in prayers (salah) or it was also present at other times, like dealing with house hold members, especially wife.
The individual looked in bewilderment at Shaykh and informed that he thought this ihsan was only meant to be limited to prayers and ritual worship.
Shaykh Arifi explained to the audience in detail that this is a common mistake. We tend to limit deen to formal acts of worship (Ibadaat). Our all other activities seem to be independent of the fact that each and every moment of our life we are as much a slave of Allah as in prayers and other worship.
The genuine ihsan is perpetual. The slave is aware that he is being watched and he will be accountable for whatever he does. Hence, he has utmost respect and does not do any thing inappropriate. Remember this is an intentional and a voluntary act of thinking.
As per instruction of Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaykh Mawlana Muhammad Taqi Usmani sahib (Allah SWT preserve him & allow us to benefit from him abundantly. Ameen) setting aside an allocated time every day to think repeatedly that: ‘I am in front Allah SWT & He is watching me’, is essential for achieving it. It becomes a habit in second nature only by doing it repeatedly. Practice makes perfect. Gradually it becomes almost like an instinctive performance, like breathing or drinking.
Wa ma taufiqi ilabillahi!