Ads by Muslim Ad Network
Ads by Muslim Ad Network

OnIslam.net

Who Are Friends of Allah? (Part 2)

(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
Inspired by This Hadith:
AA - Woman-praying-in-mosque
After obligatory deeds, there are various ways by which a believer can earn reward and closeness to God by voluntary deeds.

Part 1  -  Part 3

Allah the Almighty said,

‘Whoever has animosity with a friend (wali) of Mine, I declare war upon him.

My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties that I have imposed upon him; and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works such that I love him.

And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hands with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks.

Were he to ask of Me, I would surely give him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.”

Supererogatory Deeds

It is important to note that we are being pointed to directions of further closeness to God.

In order to get closer to God, one must worship Him with pure sincerity. Otherwise the actions may have other motives, like fear of punishment or making up for missed acts. These are also noble causes, but they do not create intense love, but serve other aims. (Al-Shawkani)

"When one does more than the minimum, the natural outcome is that he becomes more beloved to Allah." (Ibn Hajar)

So, the aim here is staying away from disliked acts in addition to performing voluntary deeds.

Prophet Muhammad said:

"Place between you and the forbidden acts a covering (or barrier) of permissible acts." (Ibn Hibban)

He also said:

"Leave what makes you doubt for what does not make you doubt." (At-Tirmidhi)

Obviously, the best way to distinguish between lawful and unlawful is acquiring knowledge, some of which is quite plain and clear. But what about the doubtful ones?

The Prophet told his followers:

"Which is lawful is plain and which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful [or ambiguous] matters about which not many people are knowledgeable. Thus, he who avoids these doubtful matters clears himself in regards to his religion and his honor. But he who falls into the doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful […]" (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Also:

"The first deeds which the servant of God will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment will be his prayers. If they are in order, he will have prospered and been successful. But if they are wanting, he will have failed and been a loser. If there is some shortcoming in his obligatory prayers, the Lord will say, “See if my servant has any voluntary prayers with which may be complete that which was wanting in his obligatory prayers. Then the rest of his deeds will be judged in like fashion.”" (At-Tirmidhi)

in order for a person to be beloved to God, he must perform voluntary deeds

After obligatory deeds, there are various ways by which a believer can earn reward and closeness to God by voluntary deeds. These include, spending time tending to others’ needs, teaching the religion, calling others to Islam, giving helping hands to one’s mother or family, etc.

Clarifications

One may say, according to the hadith (the Prophet’s sayings), that the most beloved of deeds to God is the obligatory deeds, but in order for a person to be beloved to God, he must perform voluntary deeds.

The scholars clarified that the voluntary deeds are meant to complement and complete the obligatory deeds. Thus the voluntary deeds complete the shortcoming in the obligatory deeds. Yet no voluntary deed is completed without obligatory deeds. (Ibn Hajar)

But Al-Shawkani, another scholar argues that non performance of obligatory deeds result in punishment, whereas performing voluntary deeds brings extra reward and thus closeness to God not because they are a must, but because the person does it out of love for his Creator.

Such is true with humans. If one has a servant who performs over and above what is obligatory, he surely gains his master’s kindness and deserves more reward.

“…when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hands with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks. Were he to ask of me, I would surely give him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.”

Of course, we have a metaphor here and it is obvious that it is not a literal sense. It mainly indicates that influence God has on His creatures in such cases. It is only a person’s love for God’s obedience that would elevate him to a higher state. Imam Ibn Rajab in his book, Jami Al-Uloom Wal-Hikam (A Collection of Knowledge & Wisdom), states:

"Whenever anyone strives to get closer to Allah by performing the obligatory deeds and then the voluntary deeds, he comes closer to Him and it will raise him from the degree of faith to the degree of ihsan (worshiping Allah as if you see Him), and he will begin to worship Allah with an aura of [His] presence and watching as if he is seeing Him and his heart is filled with the recognition of Allah, His love, His grandeur, fear of Him, reverence for Him and His greatness. He will become delighted by His presence and crave turning to Him until his heart is so filled with the clear recognition of Him that it will be as if he is seeing Him with his eyes."

In many verses of the Quran, God describes the pious people for whom He becomes their eyes, ears and so on. These are the people who intentionally strove to get close to God to the point where sins of others do not affect them. They are fully shielded from acts of disobedience and tyranny against their Creator.

{And when they hear vanity, they withdraw from it and say, unto us our works and unto you your works! Peace be upon you. We desire not the ignorant.} (Al-Qasas 28: 55)

So beautiful is this verse when the believers respond to the foolish:

{The faithful slaves of the Beneficent are those who walk on the earth modestly and when the foolish ones address them, they answer: Peace.} (Al-Fuqan 25: 63)

When one’s heart is filled with the love of God, can he leave room for anything else?

Such person abandons his own desires and cravings if it clashes with God’s pleasure. Then when he looks, speaks, listens, it is all within keeping God in mind and heart.

he has the best of both worlds. He is not deprived of worldly pleasures that are lawful, while pursuing closeness to his Lord

The most important belief in Islam is the declaration in the mind and the heart that “There is no one worthy of worship except Allah”. With this, a person devotes all his love, hope and fear and obedience to God only. This is called “pure tawheed” (monotheism). In such case, all is left in one’s heart is love for God’s sake and hate for what He hates. He forsakes his own desires that are outside the bound of Islam and instead is satisfied with all the pleasures that God has sanctioned for humans in lawful ways. In such case, he has the best of both worlds. He is not deprived of worldly pleasures that are lawful, while pursuing closeness to his Lord.

The Prophet used to make the following supplication in his prayer:

"O Allah, place light in my heart, light in my sight, light in my hearing, light on my right side, light on my left side, light above me, light below me, light in front of me and light behind me. And make for me alight." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

What more would a servant of God want?

He knows when he asks God with pure intention, He would surely grant his wish when it is accompanied by righteous acts. Nothing prevents God from granting the supplication of a sincere believer.

When a person cleans himself of animal desires and impurities and yearns to enter in a spiritual world, unaffected from physical destructive influences, then he can reach a level where he sees, hears, walks, talks and thinks by God’s light.

This is consistent with an authentic narration of the Prophet which states God as saying:

“By Me he hears, by Me he sees, and by Me he grasps and by Me he walks.” (Al-Shawkani)

This is not the same as some Sufis claim, that by constant remembrance of God and leaving the material world, they can achieve this state, while leaving the obligatory acts of worship. As mentioned above, the correct way for closeness to God is to first fulfill the obligatory duties, followed by voluntary ones. Even the voluntary acts must be according to what is prescribed by Prophet Muhammad.

Many devotees of various religions have reported extraordinary experiences and closeness to God during their lives. No one can claim that they are wrong. Yet, in Islam, all actions are judged and sanctioned by verses of the Quran and authentic narrations of Prophet Muhammad. When one is assured of a way of worship unaffected by human corruptions, then the process would feel pure and the worshiper is assured it is coming from the Supreme Teacher / Creator Himself.

To be continued…

Related Links:
The Story of Moses and Al-Khidr
Does God Really Care?
Good Deeds Erase Bad Deeds (A New Muslim Reflects)
I Found My Ultimate Freedom Being a Muslim Woman
Quranic Verses Misinterpreted as Teaching Violence

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Banner