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  • Raya Shokatfard


Updated: Nov 2, 2020

By: Raya Shokatfard

Allah the Almighty has 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.” (Al-Bukhari)

Following the correct path with a pure heart can bring a person to his destination sooner than he imagined

As stated in the previous part, many have attempted the path of purification with sincere desire to get close to God, but did not know the right way.

This section attempts to guide the worshiper through necessary steps and considerations.

The Correct Path of Purification

The first step is to use Qur'an as our guide followed by instructions given by His Messenger. God states:

{He it is who sent among the unlettered ones a messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His verses, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the Sunnah. And, verily, they had been in manifest error.} (Al-Jumu’ah 62: 2)

Obviously, this verse verifies that there is no doubt or question about his method of purification of the soul, since it is affirmed by the Supreme Creator.

The path is clear and easy to be followed by all sincere seekers. It is compromised of three components.

- First step is purifying one’s belief from any kind of association (shirk) with God.

{O, believers! Verily, the polytheists are impure.} (At-Tawbah 9: 28).

It is reported in a sacred hadith from the Prophet about God:

I am most self-sufficient and am in no need of having a partner. Whoever does a deed for My sake as well as for someone else will have it rejected by Me with the one he associated [with Allah].” (Muslim)

- The second step is performing obligatory acts:

One must take extra care not to ascribe his/her closeness to God by seeking methods other than what has been ordained. Yes, of course, many claim that they are achieving closeness to God by other means. God has a clear answer for them:

One can become a friend (wali) of God by sincerity and devotion to God. This does not have to take years…

{Surely the religion is to Allah alone. And those who take protectors and helpers besides Him [say], we worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah. Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that therein they differ. Truly Allah guides not him who is a liar, and disbeliever. (Az-Zumar 39: 3)

– Performance of voluntary acts.

One can become a friend (wali) of God by sincerity and devotion to God. This does not have to take years, but it is related to the level of the sincerity and commitment of the devotee.

Following the correct path with a pure heart can bring a person to his destination sooner than he imagined.

The Goal of Purification According to the Qur'an and Sunnah

Correct goal is quite essential while pursuing purification – or one may fall into a dangerous pit. The goal is to be a truthful servant of God. The believer lives to please God and is in His service and seeks His pleasure and correct worship. This is achieved by strengthening one’s faith and submitting to God through the obligatory and voluntary deeds which includes outward and inward submission: {To Him, belongs whosoever is in the heavens and on earth.

And those who are near Him (the angels) are not too proud to worship Him, nor are they weary (of His worship).} (Al-Anbiya’ 21: 19)

Prophet Muhammad exemplified purification in its ultimate manifestation. Fortunately, through correct narrations, his life, actions and teachings have reached us to this day. He made a clear distinction between the Creator and the creation and warned people not to fall into errors others fell in when they made human worship as part of Divine worship.

He strove to teach his followers that worship belongs only to God and the path to closeness to him is clear. One will reach his destination according to his efforts.

“…were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.”

Can God give someone without being asked?

Of course He can. However, when a servant asks and his wish is granted, God becomes more beloved to him and he would feel and want to be even closer to Him.

This means a person who performs obligatory deeds as well as voluntary ones and remains far from forbidden and disliked deeds will be honored with a special position with his Creator. In such case, his wish is granted when he asks and also God will give him refuge and respite when needed.

One may ask then why are some of the pious people suffering and their needs are not met by God?

The Prophet’s answer to that was that when a believing person supplicates, it is sure to be granted but in three different ways:

He may grant his supplication right away and in an obvious manner, He may reserve for him something better in the Hereafter, and lastly, He may not grant it according to His wisdom but take away some harm from him instead. God knows what is in the best interest of His creatures and He responds accordingly.

So, a believer is patient when his request is not granted right away. He does not doubt God and puts his trust in Him that He will choose the best outcome for him.

Also, it is important to note that the friends of God are on the highest level and according to the level of belief, others may be degrees lower than them. God may grant to those in higher level differently than those in lower level, yet He hears all supplications and responds according to His wisdom. (Al-Shawkani)

What Is the Benefit of Asking God?

One may ask, since God already knows what His creatures want, what is the point of asking and seeking refuge in Him? He can just take care of his servants, especially the awliyya’ and those very close to Him?

First, when God responds to the supplication of a believer, this would give the person a lofty experience and brings him even closer to Him.

“Whoever loves the Quran loves Allah and His messenger” (Ibn Mas’ud)

Second, supplication is one the greatest form of worship. Hence the person will lose the benefit of reward for this worship if God gives him before he asks.

Third, the wali (friend) will be freeing himself from the arrogance of not praying to God.

Forth, supplications are one of the causes that lead to a certain effects in this world. He will not be granted such result if he did not supplicate. (Al-Shawkani)

Quran: The Ultimate Tool for Closeness to God

The following are words of some great scholars about the Quran:

“One of the greatest deeds that bring a person closer to Allah is the recitation and study of the Quran.” (Ibn Rajab)

“Get as close to Allah as you can, and realize that you do not get closer to Him by anything that is more beloved to Him than His own speech. In general, the one who loves another, loves to hear the other’s speech.”(Khabab ibn al-Arrat)

“If your hearts become pure, you will never have enough of the words of your Lord.” (Uthman ibn ‘Affan)

“Whoever loves the Quran loves Allah and His messenger.” (Ibn Mas’ud)

Fighting Against God

Naturally no one thinks he is able to fight against God. Yet, every act of disobedience is a type of war against God. Al-Hasan Al-Basri once said:

“O children of Adam, do you have the ability to fight against Allah?

Whoever disobeys Allah is fighting against Him. But the greater the sin, the greater is the battle against Allah.” (Al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id)

So, this brings us to the beginning of this article where God warns those who fight against his awliya’ (friends). Thus, those who oppose the friends of God without proper knowledge and also continue insisting in acts of disobedience against Him, are in fact, fighting against Him.

Summary of Hadith 38 – An Nawawi:

To oppose one of Allah’s devotees is equivalent to opposing Allah.

This hadith demonstrates the power of the beloved servants of Allah who are never left on their own, but instead, they have the full support and aid of Allah, the All-Powerful.

There is nothing equal to the obligatory deeds.

Obligatory acts are the most beloved to Allah. One should perform them first before moving to the voluntary deeds and not vice-versa.

The one who performs obligatory and voluntary deeds moves closest to Allah.

Allah blesses his beloved servants with special guidance and mercy as well as answering their prayers.

Whatever “level” the servant reaches he must always keep his relationship with Allah in complete submission. When he is in need, he must turn to Allah. When he seeks refuge, he must seek refuge in Allah. Due to his close relationship with his Creator, Allah will respond quickly to him under those circumstances. (Summary of Commentary on Forty Hadith, An Nawawi – hadith #38)


Published on: Wednesday, 06 March 2013

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