Islam has set the framework for a complete way of life, however, and unfortunately so, we are not immune to effects of the media and un-Islamic practices and behaviours. Issues such as promiscuity, drugs and viewing prohibited material online, (Just to name a few) are rampant in our generation. But wait never lose hope in the forgiveness of Allah for Allah says;
“I am as my servant expects Me to be, and I am with him when he remembers me. If he thinks of Me, I think of him. If he mentions me in a company, I mention him in an even better company. When he comes closer to Me by a handspan, I come closer to him an arm’s length. If he draws closer to Me by an arm’s length, I draw closer by a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him. If my servant comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” (Al-Bukhari)
If we look at the above hadith, we may be able to extract some steps on how to get closer to Allah regardless of the level of sins we have committed.
1) “I am as my servant expects me to be.” (Expect good from Allah)
Meaning, a person should think good of his Lord, and his hopes and expectations from Allaah that He will make his wish come true for him. He should not be heedless or negligent or say ‘I called upon Him, but He did not answer me,’ but rather he should have good thoughts of Allaah, ‘azza wajal, and be persistent in supplicating to Him and making tawbah; he should not be lazy nor heedless. And Allaah,ta’aala, loves for His slaves to supplicate to Him,because du’aa is worship. (1)
2) “I am with him when he remembers me.” (Remember him)
Remembering alone is a great challenge for some of us. Been humans we are very forgetful creatures. Nobody can carry out an action without first remembering to do so. Often the act of remembering requires an outside stimulus. For example, it may come in the form of reminder from a person by them mentioning Allah and aspects of His Deen, a visual you see or an audio (i.e., hearing Quran)
If we really think about it, the simple act of remembering Allah is truly a blessing from him. Allah (swa) who knows our forgetful nature very well advices us to remind one another. And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers. (51:55)
Many of us may live in homes void of anything that will remind us about Islam. No Islamic material, we don’t live with an individual that prays or mentions Allah, we don’t live near a mosque, and local media is void of any Islamic reminders. Where possible we should change this i.e having buy books, have Islamic reminders on walls make
When your mind is in a state of the remembrance of Allah where possible we should strive to change our environment making it conducive to the remembrance of Allah. This might mean having buy books, have Islamic reminders on your walls, moving into a more Islamic neighborhood, making the effort to befriend a brother or sister who reminds you of Allah. As the ayah states reminder benefits the believers. You have to have an inkling of desire in your heart to want to be reminded with this InshaAllah Allah will send those reminders your way.
3) “If he thinks of Me, I think of him” ( Use the process of critical thinking to reflect on Allah his attributes and is religion)
While remembering is the first step, one can further benefit from this when they engage in the process of critically thinking and reflecting on the Deen of Allah. Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas. Critical thinking is a disciplined skill can be learned, and can be taught. Many times in the Qur’an Allah invites us to do this type of thinking.
In my opinion, this is the hardest stage for our generation as there are numerous distractions like never before. Social media and information overload that confuses us just to name few. Contemplating, In my opinion, is as important as breathing for if you fail to contemplate you may not come to realise what’s really important in life and our purpose on this planet.
4) “If he mentions Me in company, I mention him in an even better company” (Talk about Allah and the deen with others)
A thought is a seedling for any speech, for if it had not entered your mind in the form of thoughts, you cannot say it. When a particular thing or matter is frequent in our mind, it’s natural for us to talk about it. The more our passion grows for the subject we are delighted to discuss it in the company of others. Perhaps you go to gatherings where the name of Allah is mentioned consequently you discuss it with friends and family. Allah is telling us if you mention him in a company of people than Allah mentions you in a company better than them (the Ulama have said that this company is the angels) Imagine Allah mentioning us in front of angels what an honor.
5) “When he comes closer to Me by a hand span, I come closer to him an arm’s length” (take action)
Next step is getting closer to Allah with our actions. A hand span at first, yes it maybe small but it means that movement towards Allah has started congratulations!! This may come in the form of making Duaa establishing salah or seeking knowledge. Let’s keep in mind Allah states he will assist us with this, with every small effort we make his assistance towards us will be greater.
6) “If he draws closer to Me by an arm’s length, I draw closer by a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him. If my servant comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” (Keep doing more righteous actions to bring you closer)
Before long momentum picks up and you move a little more; an arms length, then you start walking and eventually running. Each requires a certain amount of exertion from us. Consider how Allah reciprocates, he is very merciful indeed, but we often fail to realise this.
The servant and his Lord become so close that Allah states If my servant comes to Me walking, I go to him running. SunhanAllah. Perhaps this last stage is where one gains the qualities mentioned about the awliyah of Allah of whom Allah says in the Qur’an
“No doubt! Verily, the Awliyaa’ of Allaah, no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve. Those who believed, and used to fear Allaah much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds)” [Yoonus 10:62-63]
May Allah make us among the Awliya…Ameen
Has this been beneficial to you? Please share your thoughts and this content. JazakAllah Khayr.