Friday, June 18, 2010

Want to be Closer to Allah, But ...





Want to be Closer to Allah, But Don't Know How!

By Raya Shokatfard

Editor in Chief—readingislam.com

In many Islamic circles or presentations, I am asked a similar question from my brothers and sisters: "I want to get closer to Allah, but don't know how; or I don't have the power to do it. Sometimes I can succeed in getting close to Him when I spend time with pious friends who are affecting me, but when they are no longer around, I lose that closeness. I become powerless."

Allah, the Exalted is the Best to respond to this concern:

(When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me: let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way.) (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

As Muslims, we believe in the Word of Allah, then should we not believe in the above verse? Of course we want to believe, but what truly keeps us from believing it in our hearts and feeling it when we make supplications?

If we can imagine there is a beautiful scenery in front of us, but there is also a curtain or veil between us and the scene. We can have a glimpse of the beauty on the other side, but not all. We want to see it all, but we keep sitting in our place and do not get up to move the curtain aside so we can have a full view.

Removing the veil or curtain takes the following efforts:


First, there must be a desire;

Second, the knowhow;

Third, keeping it open for full view at all times.

Sometimes people think of wanting to be close to Allah, but the desire is not strong enough. Faith is like a seed. It must be planted in fertile soil and watered. It is a process that would take time and determination.

To begin with, we must observe the most important duty Allah has prescribed to us,

Actions must lead to the cleansing of the heart of all that is displeasing to Allah. This might not be easy, especially for the younger generation.
which is devotion and worship. This is the first step for achieving closeness to Allah.

In a Qudsi hadith the Prophet reported that Allah says,

"..my servant does not come closer to Me with anything more dear to Me than that which I made obligatory upon him. My servant keeps coming closer to Me with more volunteer deeds, until I love him. When I love him, I become His ear by which he hears, his eyes by which he sees, his hand by which he holds and his foot by which he walks. If he asks Me anything I shall give him. If he seeks My protection I shall grant him My protection… "(Al-Bukhari 6021)

While performing correct worship, one must choose the way to piety and righteousness mentioned in the hadith; a major step of getting closer to Him the Almighty. The person who has taqwa or piety, is the one who is foremost in doing good and wants to be ahead of others in goodness.

(And the foremost are the foremost. These are they who are drawn nigh (to Allah). In the gardens of bliss.)(Al-Waqi`ah 56:10-12)

He remembers his humility in front of Allah, and knows he can call on Him with hope and fear. He desires much closeness to Him.

(Call on your Lord with humility and in private: for Allah loves not those who trespass beyond bounds. Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order, but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the Mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do good.) (Al-A`raf 7:55, 56)

Read more: islamonl9.net

Raya Shokatfardis the Editor in Chief of Reading Islam website (www.readingislam.com). She has been an activist in promoting a better understanding of Islam and Muslims in the US for more than 20 years, and in Egypt for several years.She holds an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication as well as an M.A.D . in TV Journalism from the American University in Cairo.

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