Gaining The Attention of Allah
Hazrat Shaykh Maulana Mohammed Nabeel Ahmed Khan Sahib
“One thing that a person should do is try to gain the focus and attention of Allah Ta’ala upon themselves. If they have that, then they have everything. If they don’t have that, they can have everything, but yet it amounts to nothing. To gain His attention, we should try to resemble Rasulullah (S) as much as possible. This should be the ultimate goal of a person. In doing so, there are a few things in which if a person does, the rest of the deen becomes easy for him:
1) Proper recitation of the Qur’an.
In order to develop a Ta’alluq with Allah Ta’ala, one needs to know what Allah Ta’ala is saying and to have Him speak to them. Qur’an is the speech of Allah, so one must make sure that they know how to recite it properly. This can be done by finding a person who knows and learning from them, even if they have to start from the very beginning. In the methodology that we follow, one of the main things is that everything has to be perfect, and the thing that deserves the most perfection is the Qur’an. It comes in a Hadith that “Allah Ta’ala likes that the Qur’an be recited in the manner that it was revealed.” By reciting it properly, we are firstly doing something that Allah Ta’ala likes, and secondly following a sunnah. It can become very easy to put this off, but ask yourself, are you too busy to take out time for the Book of Allah? Recitation of the Qur’an is the first step in developing a relationship with Allah. Apart from learning how to recite the Qur’an, a person should take out time to understand what is in the Qur’an. This should be done under the supervision of an appropriate scholar of Deen. A person must make sure that they have a proper relationship with the Qur’an, and that it should be appropriately recited and understood.
2) Keeping a full beard.
Once a person establishes a relationship with the word of Allah Ta’ala, Allah needs a reason to continue the conversation because He can also very easily take the tawfeeq away. One should resemble Rasulullah (S) as much as he can because the more they do that, the more they become beloved in Allah’s sight. One of the ways of doing this is to grow the beard a fist length from all sides. A person may say that they are not pious enough to grow a beard, but one should do it anyways. Beards are not meant for pious people, beards are meant for men. A male lion will always have a beard- it is a sign of manliness. For those men who don’t have one, they need to decide their gender or lack thereof. Nabi (S) said that “My Lord Allah commanded me to grow my beard and shorten my mustache.” A person without a beard is in a state of perpetual sin until he grows his beard out. For females, in order to get the same reward, they should develop an atmosphere in which people do have beards. Develop that attitude in which the environment becomes such that it changes the rules. With those men whom you are allowed to have a relationship with, slip it in here and there. Another way for them to practice this particular aspect of the sunnah is to apply the concept of hijab. Because a woman who covers herself properly tolerates many discomforts, the reward may be the same if not more.
3) Uncovering the ankles.
Males should keep their ankles uncovered from the top down. If one desires their ankles to be covered, they can cover them from the bottom up, eg: with socks. There are four punishments for three different people, the first of whom is the one who covers his ankles. Allah Ta’ala wont speak to them, look at them, or purify them and they will have a great punishment. Nabi (S) said “Whatever is covering the ankles will be in the fire.” If your feet are in jahannam, the rest of your body will also be there.
4) Guard the gaze.
The other things are things that affect us externally. But we also have things that effect us internally, we have pathways into our hearts. So the main thing a person should do is guard their gaze. This is such a delicate matter, that Allah Ta’ala didn’t even deem it appropriate to address it Himself. He addresses Rasulullah (S) to, “Tell the believing men that they should lower their gazes and guard their private parts.” as well as the believing women. If you guard your gaze, then you won’t be involved in the second part of the ayat which involves any haraam act with the private parts. If you don’t guard your gaze, then you will. The easy way to get away from it is to just learn to lower your gaze. If you can’t lower your gaze, then sit in the company of those who do and eventually it will rub off on you. A person must have the attitude that “Look, I need to do this. I dont care if I die, I’ll die,” in order to live their lives properly. Nabi (S) says “May Allah Ta’ala’s curse be on the one who looks and is looked at.” It doesn’t matter whether it is a girl or a guy, if you put yourself in that situation then it’s your fault. Allah Ta’ala then says that, “This is the purest for you” and then at the end, “Allah knows exactly what you do.” He knows exactly how one looks, how they walk, what the intention is, and where the mind is going, etc. There is no escaping Allah Ta’ala. Just stay away from it and you won’t have these issues. If a person learns to be content with whatever Allah has given them then they won’t worry about other things. But if all of a sudden a person is driving on the road and they see other nice cars and worry about what other people are driving, then what’s going to happen? They’re going to crash and burn.
5) Protecting the heart.
This is a very broad and general point, but nonetheless it is still important. It is that a person needs to make sure that there is nothing, but Allah Ta’ala in their heart. When you take out everything else from your heart, then Allah Ta’ala will come in. Allah Ta’ala’s ghayrah is unlimited, He won’t enter a heart when there are other things in it. However, any permissable type of love (for your mother, husband, wife, etc) is included in the love of Allah Ta’ala because you love those people because Allah Ta’ala tells you to. But at the end, a real believer, his love for Allah is more. You can love anything you want but more love should be for Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala won’t enter a heart that hasn’t been broken in. In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah says “I am with the broken hearted.” That means that a person will yearn for Allah to enter their heart so much that it actually hurts them. Allah Ta’ala enters the heart in that manner.
Every single thing that has been mentioned requires some level of exertion. Some require a lot, some require less, but nonetheless they all require some exertion. A person cannot gain any closeness to Allah Ta’ala without putting in some time and effort. Allah Ta’ala doesn’t come automatically without going through any difficulties. For example, look at the Prophets. Every Nabi went through problems because when Allah Ta’ala loves a person, then He sends problems their way. Rasulullah (S) said that “Whoever loves me, poverty will come to them like a flood.” Not just poverty, but difficulties as well. The people whom Allah Ta’ala loves the most are the Ambiyaa, and “The people who have had it the worst in terms of difficulties are the prophets, then those who resemebled the prophets, and those who resemble them.” We see people going through problems and difficulties, but understand there is also a type of enjoyment they feel while going through it that nobody else knows unless they have tasted it themselves. It is like one who enjoys spicy food. On the outside, one may be tearing up and feeling pain and onlookers may wonder why they are eating it. But the person eating, they know the enjoyment they are getting from it and they don’t want to stop. A person who for the sake of Allah does these things, then they don’t want to stop even though there are many opportunites in which they can.
The easiest way to get everything that was mentioned is to be in the company of those who are pious. If a person doesn’t have that then they haven’t even tasted a drop of the Ma’arifat of Allah Ta’ala. Those who have no touch with the Ahle-Taqwa, they haven’t even tasted a droplet of the Ma’arifat of Allah Ta’ala because if they don’t even know the creation of Allah then how are they supposed to know Allah Ta’ala Himself? Keep the company of the righteous and then you won’t have to worry about bad company. Those friends who do not want to see you become a better person are not really your friends, they are your enemies.
We only have one life to live, so make the most of it. This isn’t all of Deen, but if a person does these few hard things, then everything else will come easily. It is just that simple. If it was something that was impossible, then Allah Ta’ala wouldn’t have told us to do it in the first place.
Allah Ta’ala grant us all the tawfeeq to bring these things within our lives and to really become an embodiment of the sunnah Rasulullah (S). Ameen!