Key to unlocking nearness to Allah Almighty

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Fahed Almahmoud | Pexels

In the journey of life, the pursuit of attaining nearness to Allah the Almighty is an essential quest, as it is the very purpose of our lives. In the Holy Quran, Allah the Almighty tells us: “And when My servants ask thee about Me, say: ‘I am near.’” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.187) Let us focus on an integral and practical way in which we can truly attain closeness to Allah the Almighty.

The key to unlocking nearness to Allah the Almighty is to follow the example of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. Out of all mankind, he was the person who attained and enjoyed the closest rank to Allah. When we take a look at his life, we see the pinnacle of nearness to Allah the Almighty. During the Battle of Badr, he threw a handful of stones towards the enemies. This action of the Holy Prophetsa, Allah attributed this to Himself:

وَمَا رَمَيۡتَ اِذۡ رَمَيۡتَ وَلٰکِنَّ اللّٰہَ رَمٰي

“And thou threwest not when thou didst throw, but it was Allah Who threw.” (Surah al-Anfal, Ch.8: V.18) 

In another similar incident, the Holy Prophetsa placed his hand over the hands of the Companions. This took place on the occasion of Bai’at-e-Rizwan. In the Holy Quran, Allah the Almighty referred to the hand of the Holy Prophetsa as His own and attributed this action too upon himself:

يَدُ اللّٰہِ فَوۡقَ اَيۡدِيۡہِمۡ

“The hand of Allah is over their hands.” (Surah al-Fath, Ch.48: V.11)

When we want to achieve success in any field or in any endeavour that we embark upon, we always analyse who has done it the best. If we want to be great at basketball, we would study the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. The spiritual field is no different. If we want to attain nearness to Allah the Almighty, we must study the person who attained the closest rank to Allah the Almighty. That man was our Holy Prophet Muhammadsa.

Allah the Almighty teaches us in the Holy Quran that the Holy Prophetsa was, and is, the most perfect role model for all of mankind to look up to and strive to be like:

لَقَدۡ کَانَ لَکُمۡ فِيۡ رَسُوۡلِ اللّٰہِ اُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَنۡ کَانَ يَرۡجُوا اللّٰہَ وَالۡيَوۡمَ الۡاٰخِرَ وَذَکَرَ اللّٰہَ کَثِيۡرًا

“Verily you have in the Prophet of Allah an excellent model, for him who fears Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah much.” (Surah al-Ahzab, Ch.33: V.22)

We have also been taught in the Quran that if we want Allah the Almighty to love us, then we must follow the Holy Prophetsa in every way, both in letter and in spirit:

“If you love Allah, follow me: [then] will Allah love you …” (Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.32)

In the Five-Volume Commentary, under this verse, it is stated:

“The verse […] pertains to the attainment of the love of God which is considered by Islam to be the highest goal of human life.

“The verse emphatically declares that the goal pertaining to the attainment of Divine love is now impossible to achieve except by accepting Islam and following the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. Those who seek to love God and attain His nearness must follow the guidance of the Prophetsa of Islam, which will make them the beloved ones of God.” (Vol. 2, pp. 474-475)

The Companions of the Prophet Muhammadsa showed true devotion and obedience to him. They would follow him fervently in every command, striving to be like him in all aspects of their lives. On one occasion, at the time of the Battle of Tabuk, the Messengersa of Allah called on his Companions to make financial sacrifices. One of them presented half of his entire belongings. To his surprise, there was another who had presented all that he had.

The Companions attained such a rank through this obedience to the Holy Prophetsa that they were given glad tidings of Allah the Almighty being pleased with them in their very lifetime:

رضِيَ اللّٰہُ عَنۡہُمۡ وَرَضُوۡا عَنۡہُ وَاَعَدَّ لَہُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِيۡ تَحۡتَہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡہَاۤ اَبَدًا ؕ ذٰلِکَ الۡفَوۡزُ الۡعَظِيۡمُ

“Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him; and He has prepared for them Gardens beneath which flow rivers. They will abide therein for ever. That is the supreme triumph.” (Sural at-Taubah, Ch.9: V.100)

The Promised Messiahas achieved nearness to Allah the Almighty following this same route. He was truly lost in the love for the Holy Prophetsa. He wrote:

سب ہم نے اُس سے پايا شاہد ہے تو خدايا

وہ جس نے حق دکھايا، وہ مہ لقا يہي  ہے

We found everything through him [i.e., Prophet Muhammadsa], O Allah You are a Witness;
He is that manifestor of Beauty, who showed us the Truth.

As a result, following the ways and example set by the Promised Messiahas, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat continue to gain closeness to Allah the Almighty. In conclusion, the ultimate key to attaining nearness to Allah lies in wholeheartedly following the example of the Holy Prophetsa, and, by extension, the example of his most ardent devotee, the Promised Messiahas.

This is a timeless path that can be followed by every single one of us. We must strive to learn about his life, his character, and his virtues and adopt all these characteristics in ourselves. It is only then that we will witness for ourselves the following promise of God to be true: “And when My servants ask thee about Me, say: ‘I am near.’” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.187)

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