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Seeking Nearness to Allah – How?

Human being is in a perpetual state of seeking something. We all feel the need of filling the emptiness inside of us, whether we’re Muslim or non-Muslim.

We’re always looking for something to make us feel home. Some of us use romantic love, some of us use money, power, even food, and others, unfortunately seek to dolloping to doll this feeling of emptiness with drugs or alcohol and even other destructive behaviors.

So why are we created in such a way that we feel a need for something that can’t be filled with material things? This is because we are created as spiritual beings; God created us in such a way to have this feeling, to have this need for something that can’t be filled with material possessions or material things in this world so that we will seek Him out.

In Quranic terms, the word used as waseelah (closeness to God) in surah 3:15

{for the righteous our guidance and nearness to our Lord with rivers flown beneath therein is their eternal home} (3:15)

And this is ultimate goal, why? Because it’s amazing and it’s relaxing and it’s beautiful, yes, but also and more importantly because it’s near to our Lord; we’re going back to our originator.

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But how can we seek this out in this life since we have this need, we have this emptiness that we feel in this life? How can we feel near to God?

Ibn Taymiyah said: “The waseelah (the means by which Allah has asked us to take in order to approach Him) only means that we should perform obligatory and extra works, it means nothing else. Furthermore, what obligatory duties and what extra works we should engage in have been defined by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Hence, to take the waseelah means nothing but to follow what the Prophet (peace be upon him) has taught.”

To sum up, we don’t need to seek out anything other than what God has sent to us through the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). And the first thing we seek out of course is the obligatory and in this we find fulfillment, we find nearness to God.

And I’d like to think of the five pillars of Islam as the spiritual needs, the needs of the spiritual life just like the needs of physical life of food, clothing, shelter, water and so on.

The five pillars are the basics, the obligatory, they are the five necessaries of the spiritual life.

But many of us even when we do them, we often feel like we don’t have any time to do more, and life has a funny way of creating for us a gradation to be pulled away from actual works.

It is not all about sitting in the masjid and a constant state of fasting; if you have the means and option to do so, don’t waste it.

But most of us have work and family and dirty dishes and life to deal with; some of us struggle to meet the minimum even, but there are few things that we can do that need zero money, only a little of brain power.

Making Du’a

These are some of things I do in my personal life and I’d like to recommend them for you.

The extra things I do that help me feel closer to Allah. I make du’a all the time inshallah, if I’m frustrated I make du’a, if I submit to Him I make du’a, if I’m hopeless I make du’a, if I’m feeling awesome, I make du’a. If I’m feeling happy, I make du’a… so this makes me feel more way connected to Allah than I ever was before. And I’ve only started doing this within the past couple of months and has created a very big difference in my life.

Seeking Forgiveness

Also seeking forgiveness is something else I do, and I think it’s super important to feel our connection with Allah. When you feel anxious, empty, weird, when you know you’ve done something wrong intentionally, sometimes it happens, we know we’re human, when you feel like you’re on the right way track even, seek forgiveness.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) sought forgiveness numerous times a day, even though he was one of the most perfect human beings.

Refocusing Intention

Another thing I do is to turn anything into worship simply by refocusing my intentions.

So if work is a drag, you know, you think about why you’re doing it, to provide for your family, this is an act of worship because you’re pleasing your Lord by doing that.

And then it suddenly seems you’re lucky because you’re being rewarded. You’ve to go and pay the bills… Alhamdulillah this is sadaqah (charity) for you and you’re greatly rewarded.

Also housework is the worst but when you refocus your intentions of not just getting it just needs to be done, it also becomes lighter when you know that Allah will be rewarding you for your good intentions in keeping your house a healthy environment for your family to seek Allah’s pleasure.

All of these things if we do them we will feel closer to Allah. You know, if we’re talking to God and asking Him for things, seeking His forgiveness, and even turning everything if we refocus our intentions, we will help but to seeking closeness to Allah and feel fulfilled Insha’Allah.

So now having given you some advice, I’m going to take my own advice and seek nearness to Allah and I hope you all feel fulfilled physically and spiritually in all your days come. Ameen

Read Part 2

(From Discovering Islam archive)

About Theresa Corbin
Theresa Corbin is the author of The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book and co-author of The New Muslim’s Field Guide. Corbin is a French-creole American and Muslimah who converted in 2001. She holds a BA in English Lit and is a writer, editor, and graphic artist who focuses on themes of conversion to Islam, Islamophobia, women's issues, and bridging gaps between peoples of different faiths and cultures. She is a regular contributor for and Al Jumuah magazine. Her work has also been featured on CNN and Washington Post, among other publications. Visit her blog, islamwich, where she discusses the intersection of culture and religion.