1. DUA’A (SUPPLICATION)
We forget that we need Allah’s help and strength to guide us. When we get too caught up with dunya (this life) we often think we can do it on our own without His help. We have to know that nothing changes without the strength and power of Allah. We need to ask Him for His help, even if it is to get closer to Him, or become better at worshiping Him. We need to seek refuge in Allah in everything. It could be negative thoughts we have, our lack of productivity or even our lack of faith. We need to ask Allah to help us and guide us to the Straight Path. Allah says in the Qur’an:
”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).
2. STAY AWAY FROM POISONS
You need to get any poisons out of your life. Poison has many forms. Fix your heart, by staying away from anything that Allah doesn’t love. If you are around friends that make you sin and make you disappoint Allah, then you need to get them out of your life.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
3. GET TO KNOW ALLAH [SWT] THROUGH HIS 99 BEAUTIFUL NAMES
How can you love Allah and want to get closer to Him if you don’t know Him that well? We fall in love with people as we get to know them more and realize that they have a lot of beautiful qualities and characteristics. Of course Allah is above any analogy, but you need know Him more. Wanting to get closer alone won’t do you any good without falling in love with your Creator. Start with the name of Al-Wadud, the Ever-Loving. Allah’s love for you is unconditional. He does not need or want anything from you in return. He loves you so He keeps giving you even if you disobey Him. Ask Allah with His 99 Names.
He is the One who is closest to you (Qareeb). So ask Him to bring you closer to Him. Call on Him using the name Al-Wadud and ask Him to love you more and make you love Him more. It’s as simple as that. We tend to overthink stuff and forget that if we seek refuge in Allah, He will make everything easier on us.
Abu Huraira narrates that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying, ‘Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! Love him.’ Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,’ and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
4. DHIKR (REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH)
Remembering Allah is essential in achieving closeness to Him. You can remember him by engaging in dhikr (remembrance) and tasbeeh (praise).
Say Astaghfirullah a lot to erase your sins.
Say Alhamdulillah so Allah will give you more.
Look outside your window and say Subhan-Allah about His beautiful creations.
The most elegant form of remembering Allah is by looking at His creations. When you are in between tasks like driving or walking, remember Allah. Listen to Islamic lectures or Islamic poetry that talk about Allah’s glory. Surround yourself with people who remind you of Allah. Attend halaqas or religious circles in masjids or you can even create your own gathering of remembrance. The more you remember Allah, the more He will remember you. See what happens when you are sitting in a gathering that is filled with Allah’s remembrance.
Allah’s Messenger [SAW] said:
“Whenever some people gather in one of Allah’s houses (mosques) to recite the book of Allah and study it among themselves – then calmness (tranquility) descends upon them, the angels surround them, mercy covers them, and Allah mentions them to those who are with Him.” (Sahih Muslim)
5. FOLLOW THE SUNNAH OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD
By following the Sunnah of our prophet (pbuh) we will gain the love of Allah. When you gain the love of Allah, you will get closer to him. Following the sunnah of the Prophet makes you a better person. You will have better manners and ethics. Read more about the Prophet (pbuh) ; fall in love with your Messenger. After all, he was a mercy to all mankind. Allah says so in the Qu’ran:
“Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (3:31)”.
6. STAY CONNECTED TO THE QUR’AN
Reading or memorizing the Qur’an alone is not enough. Understand it and act upon it. Try your best to act the way we were asked to in the Qur’an. Strive for the best. Reflect on its meanings; it will give you answers to your daily life’s complications. When you read the Qur’an and understand it more you will be more likely to reach the level of ihsan. You will want to do everything right. In the form of a man, Gabriel/Jibreel (as) once entered a gathering where the Prophet (pbuh) was sitting. One of the questions the angel asked was to elaborate on the term “ihsan”, Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said, “That you worship Allah as if you see Him, for if you don’t see Him then truly He sees you.”(Bukhari and Muslim)
WRAPPING IT ALL UP
Be productive, seek knowledge and take action. The more you love Allah, the more you will do to get closer to Him. The more you get closer to Him, the more He will get closer to you. The more you will want to learn about the sunnah and the Qur’an and want to get even closer to Him, the closer you will become to reaching the level of ihsan. When you reach that level you will feel Allah’s love and you will be satisfied with everything He gives you. You will be productive because you won’t want to waste time without pleasing Allah. You will be confident in anything that you do in your life, because you will have full trust in Allah.
May Allah guide us to the path that takes us closer to Him. Ameen.