Al Qari’b “The Near”
Have you ever felt with loneliness? Have you ever been let down by a close friend? Have you ever felt that there is a blockage between you and the closest human ever, and he/she cannot understand you like before? Does your soul dearly miss a lover to tell him/her your sufferings?
What do you think if we put this lover and that friend and direct your focus to the One who never disregard you while you approaching Him?
Allah is nearer to you than your jugular vein. With Allah, your life will be featured with tranquility and happiness. He has a great name overwhelmed with beauty and crowned with brilliance. This name is “The Near”. Let us go through the name to know its meanings so as to have a close consideration of it and to taste of its supplication in nights of loneliness.
While He wants you to know that He is firm in power, He wants you to be certain that He is nearer to you than your jugular vein.
He hears your words, He sees your deeds and no secret of yours shall remain hidden.
Prophet Mohammed –peace be upon him- entered the mosque and he noticed that his honorable companions were calling upon their Lord with loud voice, the he told them, “O people! Take it easy on yourselves. Verily, you are not calling one who is deaf or absent, rather, the One you are calling is All-Hearer, Near (to His servants by His knowledge).
After Allah’s servant finishes his/her prayer, the respond of Allah is just felt so near; as Allah is near in a way unbelievable to be imagined!
A moving creature belonging to someone got lost and he walked with mind full of thoughts until he met Ibrahim Ibn Adham who asked him about his matter. The man replied: “my moving creature got lost”, “O Allah” replied Ibrahim who stood still and adding: “I will never leave my place until his moving creature came back to him!” Then, the moving creature appeared at the turning of the road!
One of friends told me that he entered the mosque with little water left from his ritual ablution in his ears. He headed to stand at the first row facing the air-conditioner, so cold air entered his ears and mixed with the water left. Then, he felt with the beginning of pain in his ears. He did not open his mouth but his heart uttered these words: “O Allah! This was for You!” Then, his ears started to get recovered with no premises or progression.
What kind of nearness is that to have Allah known all of you internal talks without even moving your lips?
When you prostrate to Allah, you become the nearest to Him whispering: (Glory be to my Lord, the Greatest) and you have all heavens opened to your whisperings and Almighty Allah hears you!
Do not be delusional that Allah is far away from you or any secret of yours is hidden from Him.
The Messenger of Allah –peace be upon him- left his house at the middle of the night and knocked the house of Ubai Ib Ka’ab. Ubai went out to find the Messenger of Allah telling him that: “Allah ordered me to recite Al Fatiha (the Opening Chapter of the Holy Quran) before you”.
“Allah calls me by my name?” said Ubai.
“Yes!” replied the Messenger of Allah.
The Footfalls of Ants…
He is near from all of His creatures; He sees and protects them.
How can He be the Self-subsisting by Whom all things subsist without being so near to them?
How can He be our Lord without being so near?
His nearness is inclusive to all –knowing, all –hearing, all –seeing, and all –knowledge. It is not a physical nearness of the self; as His high Self is exalted from such nearness.
Because of His nearness as correctly said by our Prophet Mohammed –peace be upon him- that Allah lands to the lowest heaven at the last third of night, saying: “Is there any asker to give, is there any prayer to respond, is there any asker for forgiveness to forgive”
Because of His nearness, He hears the footfalls of black ants on deafen stones in dark night.
Allah Almighty says,
“…Not a leaf falls but He knows it…”
Imagine the number of trees then extend your imagination to include the number of leaves. Imagine them while they are scattering all over in autumn. He knows that all; He knows their numbers, their forms, their types and anything relevant!
A woman came to plead with Prophet Mohammed –peace be upon him- about her husband, and Asaidah Aisha (Lady Aisha) –may Allah be bless her- was standing at the side of the house and she said that she almost heard a word and missed the other. After the argument, Gebriel descended from Heaven to Prophet Mohammed –peace be upon him- with Allah’s revelation:
“Allah indeed knows the plea of her whom pleads with you about her husband and complains to Allah, and Allah knows the contentions of both of you; surely Allah is Hearing, Seeing”
It is a wonderful nearness, great knowing, all-hearing and far insight.
He Sees You Now!
Stretch your hands now? Have you done that? He saw them! You have to believe in that!
One of my friends asked me that moment before his exist from my room in the hostel to write something on a piece of paper to read after my return to my room. I
wrote to him: “He sees you now” He told me awhile after that he got shocked because of that!
His nearness frightens you and it has to be so.
His nearness keeps you company and it has to be so.
His nearness keeps you warm and it has to be so.
His nearness makes you courageous and undisputed champion.
Listen to Him while He is calming down Moses –peace be upon him- after Moses spoke about his fear from going to pharaoh, and He said to him:
“I am with you all hearing and all seeing”
It is enough; as His Companion is the greatest protection ever for Moses and his brother.
Because Allah is with them, they should not show fear from pharaoh; as they should be undisputed proud champions.
It is said in the books of faith that Allah has two forms of presence: a special presence for those who believe in Him: this special presence is a presence of love, victory and grace, and a general presence for all of His creatures: it is a presence of all knowing, all hearing, all seeing and all knowledge.
Thus, His presence for Moses and Haroun was a special presence, which necessitates His victory and His grace. How could they be afraid and Allah promised them to bestow upon them His victory and grace?
The same is applied to those who bore the responsibility like Moses and Haroun; as they while inviting to good and enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong are equipped with knowledge and guidance that the presence of Allah Almighty is with them according to their faith in their hearts and according to their compliance with Allah’s orders. Hence, every caller to the right and forbidder of the wrong is characterized with power, courage, perseverance and grace, so we feel that Allah’s special presence is surrounding and supporting them.
An obvious example of Quranic verses which keeps us company in this regard is the saying of Allah:
"Who sees you when you stand. And your turning over and over among those who prostrate themselves before Allah"
How much company do you feel while you say: Allah is Great while praying to Allah. Allah Almoghty tells you about a special kind of seeing which will be dedicated to you while performing such act; as He sees all creatures; those who stand and those who do not. The above-mentioned is a proof that Allah's seeing a servant while praying is a special one not general; as it is a seeing full of love, acceptance, response and forgiveness.
Similarly, a Hadith proofing the above is related by Al Bukhari: Prophet Mohammed –peace be upon him- said: "What pleases Allah is to listen to listen to a prophet with beautiful voice reciting Quran with loud voice"
Ibn Kathir said: "the above Hadith means that Almighty Allah is to be pleased with listening to the masterly recitation of a prophet of the Holy Quran; as the recitation of Allah's prophets is mixed with the good voice for the perfection of their creation and fear, and this is the ultimate end. Allah Almighty hears the voices of His servants with their righteousness and their immorality. Aisha –may Allah be pleased with her- said: "O Almighty Allah Who hears all voices", yet His hearing of His believers is greater; as He said:
"And you are not (engaged) in any affair nor do you recite concerning it any portion of the Quran nor do you do any work but We are witnesses over you when you enter into it"
Then Allah's listening to His prophets is greater.
If you were stricken by fears, then smile with a remembrance of the nearness of Allah the Exalted.
All things you are afraid of are not nearer to you than Him.
Then, contemplate various matters but shield yourself with optimism! Scatter them with idea that He is nearer to you than jugular vein!
Some preachers mentioned in some ancient times that one was traveling in desert; he was stopped by a bandit who bore his sword with the intention to kill him.
The man told him; "take my money!"
The bandit replied: "No! I will kill you and then take your money!"
Then, the man wanted the permission to pray two prostrations and the bandit gave him the permission. While praying, the man forgot all the Quran except for one verse:
"Or Who answers the distressed one when he calls upon Him and removes the evil"
The man repeated the verse while praying. Once finished, he saw a strange knight whom he did not know from where he appeared and the knight strike the bandit with sword to cut his head out.
O Allah the Exalted!
He is so near. Just move your lips with the taste of mentioning His name and the doors of Heavens will open for you.
Younes –peace be upon him- was in the belly of the whale crying:
"There is no god but Allah, glory is to You; I am surely of those who make themselves to suffer loss". However, such weak voice arising from three layers of darkness penetrates the horizon of heavens to be heard by Angels of Allah who told Allah the Exalted: "familiar voice from unfamiliar place"
Allah says in His Holy Hadith: "If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him
in a better assembly"16. This us because He is near. Just say "O Allah!" and He answers you with mentioning your name!
What an amazing thing to imagine that the King of kings mentions your name, saying: O my servant son Ibn so and so mentions My Name!
All of the worldly life is trivial not even equals to such kind og imagination.
His nearness becomes closer and closer; as by repentance, returning and obedience make you closer to Him. Allah say in His Holy Hadith: "When a slave of Mine draws near to Me a span, I draw near to him a cubit; and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom."17 Thus, every attempt initiated by you to become closer to Him by the virtue of obedience is to be followed by His nearness by the virtue of acceptance, graces, blessings, grants and gifts.
Have you Reached!
Among the meanings of His nearness is that He makes you see something from the surrounding environment to remind you with Him:
You see His wisdom in the accurate formation of His creatures;
You see His power in raising the heavens without any pillars;
You see His mercy in the fall of rains and in the growth of trees;
You see His greatness in the ultimate height of mountains;
You see His chastisement in volcanoes, earthquakes and catastrophes.
Allah the Exalted says:
"We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth…"
If you see something with your eyes, then your eyes remind you with the All Seeing the Exalted.
If you hear a whisper in middle of night, then what you hear reminds you with the All Hearing the Exalted.
If you know something was unhidden before, then your knowledge reminds you with the All Knowing the Exalted.
In everything there is a sign of Him
Which signifies that He is the One and Only
One day, I was sitting with a group of children with whom I was talking about the thinking of the creatures of Allah. A child said to me: "if you think about the creatures of Allah, you will reach Allah Himself!!" I got surprised! I felt that this child understands these meanings more than us and I should listen to him more than have him listened to me!
He is so near to you and you have just to think about Him to feel His nearness and to feel that He sees you and then you say: "O Almighty Allah"
If you Ask Him
"And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near"
Anyone asks you about Allah, the first thing to describe Allah is to say that He is near to Him! The self is broken because it is not yet willing to worship a faraway god who does not listen to its prayers and does not see its needs. One of the most important characteristics to begin with while describing Allah is tell him that Allah is "near". This is the way whereby you have to tell people about Allah as per Allah's teachings!
This nearness does not only make you love Allah, feel His company and fear Him, but also grants you the perseverance to ask for His forgiveness and repenting to Him. On one hand, the Near is worthy to be asked for His forgiveness and to be asked for repentance; as by the virtue of His nearness, He saw your sins and immoral deeds. On the other hand, He is too near to make your asking for forgiveness and repentance fruitful. None will forgive you except the One who hears your asking for forgiveness and none will accept your repentance except for the One who knows your repentance. He is Near and Answering. After that I want you to feel His saying:
"…Then turn to Him; surely my Lord is Near and Answering"
One of the rarest stories that makes you shy from the Near Exalted is the saying of someone that: "Is not He worthy to be loved by you? At the moment when you close all doors to commit a sin, oxygen enters to you from the beneath of the door so as to keep you alive!"
This nearness is established side by side with the attempt of a servant to be more close to Allah the Exalted:
"Those whom they call upon, themselves seek the means of access to their Lord –whoever of them is nearest…"
It is like a racetrack and it is a competition; and the end of each servant is not to be near to Allah but rather to be the nearest to Him!
Among the smokes:
Among the inflictions which are being lived by nation. Among the smokes, the devastating wars inflict the hearts of believers with suffering and those believers are in need to three levels of knowledge related to the name of the Near:
First: the knowledge of His nearness with belief and certainty to gift the self with a comfort from the suffering of cry and seeking safeguard from humans, yet the Lord of humans is near and knowing witness. There is a verse with clear signification in the Holy Quran:
"Surely He is Hearing, Near"
At the gate of this verse, there is the medication for the suffering of the soul and all of the previous sayings are related to the significant level.
Second: among the burning fire of subjugation, seeing the details of scattering objects, destruction of houses, homicides and rottenness of the fruits, a servant may be in need for mercy, may search for mercy and may wish mercy so as to end the suffering tortures of his human fellows and the subsequent malice against him. A pause should be taken at Allah's words:
"…Surely the mercy of Allah is near to those who do good to the others."
O Allah! There is nothing between brave knight who vows his soul to Allah Almighty but a transparent veil behind which benevolence exists. This knight has to strive in the earth like an angel in way which makes him feel that he sees Allah! If he does not see Allah, Allah sees him. Thus, he does not shoot a single bullet without knowing why, how and when did he shoot it?! This servant is still striving to move from benevolence to another to earn in return Allah's mercy nearer than his fellows until Allah's mercy covers him from all side and takes him from the smokes of death to the clouds of satisfaction.
Third: days are so long, sighs go consecutively, inflictions become aggravated and siege is closed tightly from everywhere. At that moment, the brave knight looks at a third verse in which Allah says:
"…Yet, the victory of Allah is near"
Since Allah is so near from His servants and since His mercy is so near from His servants who commit themselves to do good deeds, the close victory comes to true on the ground by the knights of Allah:
"Surely; Our knights are the victorious ones"
By that promise, Allah comfortably supports the hearts of His servants which have been inflicted with the passionate of waiting and which have been fatigued by the so long patience. Thus, they wait such close victory nights and days.
O Allah! My tears dropped passionately in the fear of You
So have mercy on whining of love within my tears!
O Allah! My heart is with fire burned
So have mercy on the flame of love in my pulses!
O Allah! My words are poured with the longing of my regret
So have mercy on the love inherent in my poetry!
After this tour of deep thinking in the name of Allah "the Near". I pray for Allah to have all of us winners of His nearness and to work in accordance with the dictations of this great name, including the meaning of humbleness, obedience, watching and fear along with asking for mercy and victory from Him only.
O Allah! You are near from those who call upon and beseech you, so bestow upon us nearness from Your mercy and guidance and bestow upon us nearness to keep us company, to comfort our souls and their sufferings and to have all in Your Heaven.