It should be the desire of every Muslim to draw nearer and closer to Almighty Allah the most compassionate and the most merciful. By drawing closer and near to Allah we gain his help in every aspect of our lives in this world and to be merciful to us so that we may gain mercy in the hereafter in order to enter Jannah in the next world.
When we call upon him he would answer our calls and when we ask of him for anything he would give it to us and when we draw nearer to him then our sincerity and intentions will enable us to become closer to him.
So we should strive to draw nearer to Allah, the Glorified the Exalted, who is the majesty of honour and generosity and the giver of peace, the most high and the most honoured.
So what can we do to draw closer to him? The following are 10 steps for us to draw closer to our Almighty Allah:
1. FULFILLING OBLIGATORY DUTIES AND ABSTAINING FROM PROHIBITED MATTERS:
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) has guided us. And Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, has guided us how to draw near to Him. As He said According to Hadith Qudsi:
“Whoever draws near to Me among those drawn near by fulfilling what I have made obligatory on them….
You do not draw near to Allah except by fulfilling the obligatory duties which Allah has made obligatory on you; (that is) the obligatory duties from the obligatory duties (Faraid) such as Prayers, and Zakat (obligatory charity), and Hajj, and Fasting and being good to Parents and all these obligatory duties for you to draw you near to Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted. And the faraid (obligatory duties) are the first things that draw you near to Allah. You do not reach the door of nearness nor do you reach to the presence of nearness except by fulfilling the obligatory duties. This is the first thing that draws you near to Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, and you are in His Presence.
So the first thing we need to do is fulfil ALL of our obligatory duties and abstain from that which Allah and his messenger have forbidden us from.
2. NAWAFIL PRAYERS (SUPEROGATORY PRAYERS):
Allah says in Hadith Qudsi:
….and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My Protection, I will protect him…” [Bukhari]
A Source of Elevation for you
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
Rabi’ah (RadiyAllahu Anhu) said: “I ask of you to be your companion in paradise.”
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
Rabi’ah (RA) said:
“That is it.”
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said to him:
“Then help me by making many prostrations (i.e., supererogatory prayers).”
Allah Most High said, “Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of the night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. And some part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.”
(Qur’an, 17: 78-79)
Abu Hurayra (RadiyAllahu Anhu) reports that the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.”
Abu Umama al-Bahili (RadiyAllahu Anhu) reports that the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“Hold fast to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you, a way of drawing closer to your Lord, an expiation for wrong deeds, and a shield from sin.”[Tirmidhi, and others] In some narrations, there is an addition, “And it repels sickness from the body.”
And because night vigil time is the best of times for voluntary worship and prayer, and the closest a servant is to his Lord.
So let us make the habit of reading as many Nawafil prayers as we can for more prayers means more prostrations and one is truly the closest to Allah in prostration.
….bow down in prostration and bring yourself the closer (to Allah).”
3. ZIKR (REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH) AND GLORIFICATION OF ALLAH:
“…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”
“Remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue.”
“O ye who believe, remember Allah much. And glorify Him morning and evening.”
Remembrance of Allah is the foundation of all good deeds. Whoever succeeds in it is blessed with the close friendship of Allah. That is why the Prophet, SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, used to make remembrance of Allah at all times. When a man complained,
“The laws of Islam are too heavy for me, so tell me something that I can easily follow,”
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) told him,
“Let your tongue be always busy with the remembrance of Allah.”
REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH THE BEST OF DEEDS
The Prophet, SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, would often tell his Companions,
“Shall I tell you about the best of deeds, the most pure in the sight of your Lord, about the one that is of the highest order and is far better for you than spending gold and silver, even better for you than meeting your enemies in the battlefield where you strike at their necks and they at yours?”
The Companions replied,
“Yes, O Messenger of Allah!”
The Prophet, SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, said,
“Remembrance of Allah.”
Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (RadiyAllahu Anhu) reported: The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“The similitude of one who remembers his Rubb and one who does not remember Him, is like that of the living and the dead.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
ZIKR CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE AND ANYTIME.
A person may ask, ‘How can we do Zikr all the time whilst we have so many things to do in life such as we go to work, feed the family, pay bills, etc.? Well, the answer to this is that, firstly, it is the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) to work and feed the family which is rewarded by Allah and, secondly, that when a person is working or at school or wherever a person may be this does not mean that he should stop remembering Allah while he is working, while he is serving his customers or while he is programming his computer.
In fact the heart of the believer should be attached to Allah’s remembrance throughout his day to day activities such that he protects himself from falling in love with the materials and temptations of this world and that his love for Allah and his Messenger becomes stronger and stronger as time goes by. When a person begins to remember Allah all the time it is then that he becomes conscious of his actions.
Remember: in a place where people are oblivious to dhikir, the remembrance of Allah is like being steadfast in jihad, when others are running away. [Targhib, p. 193, vol. 3 ref. Bazar and Tibrani]
“… And the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues. Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e., Jannah).”
4. CALLING UPON ALLAH IN DUA (SUPPLICATION):
Allah the most compassionate says in the Holy Quran,
“Call on Me. I will answer your prayer, but those who are too arrogant to serve me will surely find themselves humiliated in Hell”
Allah the Exalted, has said:
“And your Lord says: Pray unto me: and I will hear your prayer”
“Call upon your Lord Humbly and in secret”
“When My servants question thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me”
“Is not He (best) who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering.”
DUA’S ARE NEVER WASTED:
Aisha, Radhiallaahu Anha said,
“No believer makes Dua and it is wasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him in the Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated.”
ALLAH’S ANGER AT THOSE WHO DON’T MAKE DUA.
In fact, it is even wrong to never make Dua,
“Whosoever does not supplicate to Allah, He will be angry with Him.”
[Saheeh Jaami`as-Sagheer #2414]
DUA IS A WEAPON FOR THE BELIEVERS.
Rasullullah (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is reported to have said,
“Dua is the weapon of a Muslim”.
DUA FOR ONES BROTHER IN HIS ABSENCE.
“The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence.”
[Abu Daw’ud and Tirmidhi]
So let us build a close relationship with Allah by making much dua to him. He loves it when his slave calls upon him and it angers him if his slave does not call upon him.
Let us have full hope that our dua’s will be accepted and if you think they won’t they know Allah is keeping the rewards for you in the hereafter and those rewards are so great that one would wish that none of there duas were accepted in this world just so that one can gain all the rewards for their duas in the next world.
5. BUILDING A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE QUR’AN:
“Recite the Holy Qur’aan as much as we can for It will come as an intercessor for its reciter’ on the Day of Judgement.”
Learn the Qur’an and recite it, because the example of one who learns the Qur’an, reads it and recites it in Tahajjud is like an open bag full of musk whose fragrance permeates the entire place. And the person who has learnt the Qur’an but sleeps while the Qur’an is in the heart is like a bag full of musk but with its mouth closed.
VIRTUES OF RECITING THE QUR’AN.
“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (good deed) from it (i.e. his recitation), and the hasanah is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is (considered as) a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter.”
“There is no envy (acceptable) except in two (cases): a person whom Allah has given the Qur’an and recites it throughout the night and throughout the day. And a person whom Allah has given wealth, that he gives out throughout the night and throghout the day.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
It was narrated that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (RadiyAllahu Anhu) said:
‘Whoever reads Tabarakallahi Biyadihil Mulk [i.e. Surah al-Mulk] every night, Allah will protect him from the torment of the grave. At the time of the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) we used to call it al-mani’ah (that which protects). In the Book of Allah it is a surah which, whoever recites it every night has done very well..’
Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (RadiyAllahu Anhuma) reported that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“Whoever recited Surah Zilzilah (99) would get the reward of reciting half the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Kaafirun (109) would get a reward as if reading a quarter of the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas (112) would get a reward as if reading one third of the Qur’an.”
READING, UNDERSTANDING AND IMPLEMENTING THE QUR’AN IN OUR DAILY LIVES:
The virtues of reciting the Qur’an are too numerous to list. In order to get closer to Allah we need to recite the Qur’an, understand it and implement it in our daily lives.
We should make a target of reading at least a chapter a day. If one can’t manage that then at least half a chapter. If one still can’t manage that then recite at least quarter of a chapter or even a page a day. However much we can manage we should try to recite each day with its meanings and implement what we learn into our daily lives.
Reading a little each day is better than reciting a lot once in a while. We should build a close relationship with the Qur’an which is in fact building a close relationship with Allah!
“Verily Allah raises nations by this book (the Qur’an) and puts down (i.e. destroys) others by it.”