"When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me: let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2, verse 186)
After mentioning the rules of fasting and significance of the month of Ramadan, Allah says that He is indeed Qarib or close to his servants. Allah, of course, knows His whole creation. He is aware of every one and every thing. He knows the believers and the non-believer. He knows those who are truthful, honest, sincere and righteous and those who are sinners and wrongdoers. But His closeness is a special honor that He grants to special people. Who are those people and how they become closer to Allah and what benefit they draw when Allah comes closer to them?
The people who become closer to Allah are those who love to be closer to Him. They make an effort to come closer to Allah. Allah then grants them the honor of His closeness. Taqarrub ila Allah, getting closer to Allah or drawing near Allah is thus a very important Islamic value. The Prophet (PBUH) was the closest person to Allah and he used to teach people the way of this closeness.
We all can try to come closer to Allah and Allah in His glory and majesty can be closer to all of us at the same time. It is possible for every person to draw near to Allah. But we have to make an effort. The question is how to make this effort. In the Qur'an and Sunnah we are given various ways and methods to come closer to Allah. We should try all these ways and may try to excel in one or the other. The possibilities are immense and reward are many.
Ways To Come Closer To Allah
- Way of Devotion and Worship:
This is a way to come to closer to Allah. People close to Allah are those who are most devoted to Allah. They love Allah more than any one and anything. Worship is a very important way of coming closer to Allah. Allah says:
Nay, heed him not: but bow down in adoration, and bring thyself the closer (to Allah)! (Surah Al Alaq 96 - Verse 19)
- Way of Piety and Righteousness:
Taqwa (piety) and righteous deeds also bring us close to Allah. People close to Allah are those who are foremost in doing good things. They want to go ahead of every one in their faith, deeds of charity and goodness. Allah says:
And the pioneers who compete with other (in Faith and righteousness). These will be those Nearest to Allah. (Surah Al-Waqi'ah 56 - Verses 10-11)
Call on your Lord with humility and in private: for Allah loves not those who trespass beyond bounds. Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order, but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the Mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do good. (Surah Al-A'raf 7 - Verses 55-56)
- Way of Charity and Kindness:
This is another way that can bring us very close to Allah. The Prophet (PBUH) mentioned that Allah identifies with the poor and those who help the poor and needy they find Allah and they come closer to him.
"Allah will say on the Day of Judgment, O son of Adam, I was ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant so and so was ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant so and so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant so and so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me." (Muslim 4661)
In a Hadith the Prophet (PBUH) said:
"..my servant does not come closer to Me with anything more dear to Me than that which I made obligatory upon him. My servant keeps coming closer to Me with more volunteer deeds, until I love him. When I love him, I become His ear by which he hears, his eyes by which he sees, his hand by which he holds and his foot by which he walks. If he asks Me any thing I shall give him. If he seeks My protection I shall grant him My protection… "(Al-Bukhari 6021)
All these are the ways to come closer to Allah. Those who strive in this direction they become the beloved of Allah and they become the people of Paradise:
Thus, then, if he be of those Nearest to Allah, there is for him Rest and Satisfaction, and a Garden of Delights. (Surah Al-Waqi'ah 56 - Verse 88)