Reflection No. 100 on Q 56:10-11 – Nearness to Allah

وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ أُولَٰئِكَ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ

Wassaabiqoonas-saabiqoon. Ulaa’ikal-muqarraboon

And the Foremost (in Faith) will be the Foremost (in the Hereafter). These will be the ones nearest to Allah. Suratul Waqi‘ah  (No.56), Aayaat 10-11

Human beings often lead lives that are lonely and unfulfilled. Although surrounded by family and friends, and many of the trappings of worldly success, they still suffer from feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is widespread in our modern, urban society. To relieve this loneliness, Islam tells its followers to seek nearness to Allah, to build and strengthen a relationship that is utterly reliable and available at all times. According to Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq (a) a person’s faith can provide fulfilling company even when he is completely alone. He says: There is no believer except that Allah has made from his faith a source of delight he can seek solace in, so that even if he were on the summit of a mountain he would not be lonely.

Nearness to Allah is the ultimate pleasure of the soul. It provides fulfillment and happiness which cannot be got elsewhere. Every other relationship, however good and loving, is still vulnerable and not completely reliable. Through nearness to Allah, the believer gains a tranquility that no worldly situation can disrupt. It is though he is enveloped by a veil that wards off the negative effects of fluctuating circumstances and is immune from emotional disturbances. Amirul Mu’mineen Ali b. Abi Talib (a) says: O Allah You are the most intimate companion of Your friends . . . if loneliness overtakes them Your remembrance delights them, and when calamities befall them they seek refuge in Your nearness.

The holy month of Ramadan is a great opportunity to seek nearness to Allah. Allah has provided believers with a fast track through this month, so that they can achieve nearness to Him quicker. Use the track to move at express speed in the journey towards Him. You may slow down sometimes but this month is the time to speed up and catch up as much as possible. It is a race we are running, and the ones who move fastest on the right track will be the successful ones.