Originally published at Habibi Halaqas
In part 2 of this topic, we continue to discuss our relationship with Allah and how we are preparing to meet him InshaAllah
No one says, “I love you but from a distance. Stay away, no offence intended.” A natural consequence of real love is a desire to meet the beloved; to be able to look into his or her eyes and find acceptance and a reciprocation of the love. That is why it is so painful for parents when children roll their eyes at them or the spouse becomes distant and silent. There are those that transcend the ephemeral relationships of this world and aspire to a higher calling. They seek the ‘Wajh’ (face/ countenance) of Allah and strive for it all their lives.
“And those who are patient, seeking the countenance of their Lord, and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them secretly and publicly and prevent evil with good – those will have the good consequence of [this] home –” (13,22)
When the most critical relationship of all, that of the ‘abd (slave) with his Master, is ignored, the human being is left to drift amid the tide of culture, fashion and oppression. He has no direction in life because, unlike those who are working on their relationship with Allah, he has forgotten that he has an appointment to keep with his Lord.
“And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.” (59,19)
They are lost and bored, wasting their time and talent in activities of disobedience rather than obedience.
Imagine an important meeting: a job interview, your first meeting with a potential spouse, meeting parents after a long time, a guest coming over etc. Intense preparation precedes such encounters. When are we preparing for our meeting with Allah? Are we arrogantly assuming that we will be granted His Wajh (countenance)? Is that why we are so relaxed and we have time to complain and whine? We aspire to the company of the Prophets and the sahaba. Have we acquainted ourselves with their lives? Do we sit with people that miss them? Do we really expect to fit in with such exalted company?
“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His Countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.” (18,28)
The appointment with Allah also requires appropriate preparation, a life immersed in ikhlas (sincerity), sabr (patience) and shukr (gratitude). Days and nights spent in actions that will carry weight in the hereafter, engaged in constant worship and remembrance desperately, consistently planning to meet Allah. Lips that remain moist with the recitation of the Qu’ran, and hearts that aspire to imitate the akhlaq (character) of His beloved Messenger Muhammad sal allahu alaihi wa sallam.
Like all appointments, this one is also at a specific time and place:
The Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “When the inhabitants of Paradise enter Paradise, Allah will say to them, ‘Do you want Me to give you anything more?’ They will reply, ‘Have You not made our faces bright? Have You not brought us into Paradise and moved us from Hell?’ Allah will then remove the Veil and they will feel that they have not been awarded anything dearer to them than looking at their Lord.” (Sahih Muslim)
But sadly there will be those that Allah will not look at on that day and they will be shielded from seeing Him. Their preparations were checked and were found lacking.
“No! Indeed, from their Lord, that Day, they will be partitioned.” (83,15)
Just as the ability to see Allah will surpass all the other pleasures of Paradise, the inability to view Him will be the most excruciatingly painful experience of those in the Hellfire. Separation is not inevitable. Not yet at least. In this world, the doors to Allah’s nearness are always open. It is always possible to run back to Allah subhana wa tala:
“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (2,186)
May Allah subhana wa tala save us from the fire of hell and grant us the light of His face in Paradise. Ameen