10 Steps to Draw Closer to AllahIt should be the desire of every Muslim to draw nearer and closer toAlmighty Allah the most compassionate and the most merciful. Bydrawing closer and near to Allah we gain his help in every aspect ofour lives in this world and to be merciful to us so that we may gainmercy in the hereafter in order to enter Jannah in the next world.When we call upon him he would answer our calls and when we askof him for anything he would give it to us and when we draw nearerto him then our sincerity and intentions will enable us to becomecloser to him.So we should strive to draw nearer to Allah, the Glorified theExalted, who is the majesty of honour and generosity and the giverof peace, the most high and the most honoured.So what can we do to draw closer to him? The following are 10steps for us to draw closer to our Almighty Allah:1. Fulfilling obligatory duties and abstaining from prohibitedmattersThe Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) has guidedus. And Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, has guided us how todraw near to Him. As He said According to Hadith Qudsi:“Whoever draws near to Me among those drawn near by fulfilling
what I have made obligatory on them….You do not draw near to Allah except by fulfilling the obligatoryduties which Allah has made obligatory on you; (that is) theobligatory duties from the obligatory duties (Faraid) such asPrayers, and Zakat (obligatory charity), and Hajj, and Fasting andbeing good to Parents and all these obligatory duties on you drawyou near to Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted. And the faraid(obligatory duties) are the first things that draw you near to Allah.You do not reach the door of nearness nor do you reach to thepresence of nearness except by fulfilling the obligatory duties. Thisis the first thing that draws you near to Allah, the Glorified and theExalted, and you are in His Presence.So the first thing we need to do is fulfil ALL of our obligatoryduties and abstain from that which Allah and his messenger haveforbidden us from.2. Nawafil prayers (superogatory prayers)Allah says in Hadith Qudsi:….and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performingNawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him, so I become his sense ofhearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which hesees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which hewalks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks MyProtection, I will protect him..." [Bukhari]A Source of Elevation for youThe Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Ask (anything)."Rabiah said: "I ask of you to be your companion in paradise." TheProphet said: “Anything else?" Rabiah said: "That is it." TheProphet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said to him: "Then help me bymaking many prostrations (i.e., supererogatory prayers)." [Muslim]TahajjudAllah Most High said, “Establish worship at the going down of thesun until the dark of the night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an atdawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. Andsome part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship foryou. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.”[Qur’an, 17: 78-79]
Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messengerof Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, andcompanions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers isthe night prayer.” [Muslim]Abu Umama al-Bahili (Allah be pleased with him) reports that theMessenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family,and companions) said, “Hold fast to night prayer, for it was the wayof the righteous before you, a way of drawing closer to your Lord,an expiation for wrong deeds, and a shield from sin.” [Tirmidhi, andothers] In some narrations, there is an addition, “And it repelssickness from the body.”And because night vigil time is the best of times for voluntaryworship and prayer, and the closest a servant is to his Lord.So let us make the habit of reading as many Nawafil prayers as wecan for more prayers means more prostrations and one is truly theclosest to Allah in prostration.….bow down in prostration and bring yourself the closer (toAllah)." (96:19)3. Zikr (remembrance of Allah) and glorification of Allah"…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." (13:28)Remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue.(29:46).O ye who believe, remember Allah much. And glorify Him morningand evening (33:42-43)Remembrance of Allah is the foundation of all good deeds.Whoever succeeds in it is blessed with the close friendship of Allah.That is why the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to makeremembrance of Allah at all times. When a man complained, "Thelaws of Islam are too heavy for me, so tell me something that I caneasily follow," the Prophet told him, "Let your tongue be alwaysbusy with the remembrance of Allah." [Ahmad].Remembrance of Allah the best of deedsThe Prophet, peace be upon him, would often tell his Companions,"Shall I tell you about the best of deeds, the most pure in the sight ofyour Lord, about the one that is of the highest order and is far better
for you than spending gold and silver, even better for you thanmeeting your enemies in the battlefield where you strike at theirnecks and they at yours?" The Companions replied, "Yes, OMessenger of Allah!" The Prophet, peace be upon him, said,"Remembrance of Allah." (Tirmidhi,Ahmad)Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The similitude of one who remembershis Rubb and one who does not remember Him, is like that of theliving and the dead. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].Zikr can be done anywhere and anytimeA person may ask, ‘How can we do Zikr all the time whilst we haveso many things to do in life such as we go to work, feed the family,pay bills, etc.? Well, the answer to this is that, firstly, it is theSunnah of Allahs Messenger to work and feed the family which isrewarded by Allah and, secondly, that when a person is working orat school or wherever a person may be this does not mean that heshould stop remembering Allah while he is working, while he isserving his customers or while he is programming his computer.In fact the heart of the believer should be attached to Allahsremembrance throughout his day to day activities such that heprotects himself from falling in love with the materials andtemptations of this world and that his love for Allah and hisMessenger becomes stronger and stronger as time goes by. When aperson begins to remember Allah all the time it is then that hebecomes conscious of his actions.Remember: in a place where people are oblivious to dhikir,remembrance of Allah is like being steadfast in jihad, when othersare running away. (Targhib, p. 193, vol. 3 ref. Bazar and Tibrani)"... And the men and the women who remember Allah much withtheir hearts and tongues. Allah has prepared for them forgivenessand a great reward (i.e., Jannah). (33:35)4. Calling upon Allah in Dua (supplication)Allah the most compassionate says in the Holy Quran, "Call on Me.I will answer your prayer, but those who are too arrogant to serveme will surely find themselves humiliated in Hell" (40:60).Allah the Exalted, has said: "And your Lord says: Pray unto me: and
I will hear your prayer" (Quran 40:60),"Call upon your Lord Humbly and in secret" (Quran 7:55),"When My servants question thee concerning Me, I am indeed close(to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he callethon Me" (Quran 2:186),"Is not He (best) who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls onHim, and who relieves its suffering." (Quran 27:62)Dua’s are never wastedAisha radhiallaahu anha said, "No believer makes Dua and it iswasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him inthe Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated."Allah’s anger at those who don’t make duaIn fact, it is even wrong to never make Dua, "Whosoever does notsupplicate to Allah, He will be angry with Him." [Saheeh Jaami`as-Sagheer #2414]Dua is a weapon for the believersRasullullah is reported to have said, “Dua is the weapon of aMuslim”.Dua for ones brother in his absence"The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made byone Muslim for another in his absence." [Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi]So let us build a close relationship with Allah by making much duato him. He loves it when his slave calls upon him and it angers himif his slave does not call upn him.Let us have full hope that our dua’s will be accepted and if youthink they won’t they know Allah is keeping the rewards for you inthe hereafter and those rewards are so great that one would wish thatnone of there duas were excepted in this world just so that one cangain all the rewards for their duas in the next world.5. Building a close relationship with the Qur’anRecite the Holy Qur’aan as much as we can for It will come as an
intercessor for its reciter’ on the Day of Judgement [Muslim]Learn the Qur’an and recite it, because the example of one wholearns the Qur’an, reads it and recites it in Tahajjud is like an openbag full of musk whose fragrance permeates the entire place. Andthe person who has learnt the Qur’an but sleeps while the Qur’an isin the heart is like a bag full of musk but with its mouth closed.Virtues of reciting the Qur’an“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive ahasanah (good deed) from it (i.e. his recitation), and the hasanah ismultiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is (consideredas) a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is aletter.” [At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darimi]“There is no envy (acceptable) except in two (cases): a personwhom Allah has given the Qur’an and recites it throughout the nightand throughout the day. And a person whom Allah has givenwealth, that he gives out throughout the night and throghout theday.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]It was narrated that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: Whoever readsTabarakallahi Biyadihil Mulk [i.e. Surah al-Mulk] every night,Allah will protect him from the torment of the grave. At the time ofthe Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) we used to call it al-mani’ah (that which protects). In the Book of Allah it is a surahwhich, whoever recites it every night has done very well. (an-Nasa’i)Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (Ra) reported that theProphet (Peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever recited Surah Zilzilah(99) would get the reward of reciting half the Qur’an. Whoeverrecited Surah al Kaafirun (109) would get a reward as if reading aquarter of the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas (112) wouldget a reward as if reading one third of the Qur’an’. (At-Tirmidhi2818/A)Reading, understanding and implementing the Qur’an in our dailylivesThe virtues of reciting the Qur’an are too numerous to list. In orderto get closer to Allah we need to recite the Qur’an, understand it andimplement it in our daily lives.We should make a target of reading at least a chapter a day. If onecan’t manage that then at least half a chapter. If one still can’t
manage that then recite at least quarter of a chapter or even a page aday. However much we can manage we should try to recite each daywith its meanings and implement what we learn into our daily lives.Reading a little each day is better than reciting a lot once in a while.We should build a close relationship with the Qur’an which is infact building a close relationship with Allah!“Verily Allah raises nations by this book (the Qur’an) and putsdown (i.e. destroys) others by it.” [Muslim]6. Keeping good companyOne of the most important things we must do, which sadly manypeople neglect, is that we should avoid bad company. People weshould avoid taking as friends those who speak too freely, who missSalah, who do not dress modestly, who backbite, slander etc.The company of such people is poison; just even sitting and talkingwith them will lead one to commit sins. Just as a person who sits fora long time with a perfume seller begins to smell nice, and a personwho sits by a gutter cleaner begins to smell awful, similarly a personwho spends time in the company of the wicked eventually getsaffected badly by them.Rather, we should seek out pious friends who fear Allah taala andwho have the qualities of humility, charity, compassion, modestyand knowledge. If we sit with them we will always benefit and theywill be a means for us to get closer to Allah taala!The Prophet (saws) said, “The case of the good companion and thebad companion is like that of the seller of musk and the blower ofthe bellows (iron-smith). As for the seller of musk, he will eithergive you some of the musk, or you will purchase some from him, orat least you will come away having experienced its good smell.Whereas the blower of the bellows will either burn your clothing, orat least you will come away having experienced its repugnantsmell.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]Remember: “All friends will be enemies of one another on that Day(Day of Judgment) except those of the virtuous.” (al-Qur’an 43:67)7. Having fear and hope in AllahIndeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelievingpeople. (Surah Yusuf 12:87)
One must be hopeful of Allahs mercy and forgiveness and fearful ofHis punishment. It is this fear that should lead one to seek Allahsforgiveness with hope. Allah says:Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is Forgivingand Merciful. (Surat al-Maaidah 5:98)In the above verse, Allah gives us reason to fear because Hispunishment is justly severe, as well as good reason to have hope,since He is the Most Forgiving and Merciful. There should be abalance between fear and hope and not too much or too less of oneor the other.We should always remain between fear and hope. For, the right andthe approved kind of fear is that which acts as a barrier between theslave and the things forbidden by Allah. But, if fear is excessive,then the possibility is that the man will fall into despair andpessimism.On the other hand the approved state of optimism is of a man whodoes good in the light of the Shariah and is hopeful of beingrewarded for it. Or, conversely, if a man committed a sin, he repentssincerely, and is hopeful of being forgiven. Allah (swt) said:"Verily, those who believed, and those who migrated and fought inthe way of Allah, it is they who are hopeful of Allahs mercy. AndAllah is very Forgiving, very Merciful." (Al-Baqarah, 218)In contrast, if a man indulges in sins and excesses, but is hopefulthat he would be forgiven without doing anything good, then, this isself-deception, mere illusion and false hope. Abu All Rowzbari hassaid, "Fear and hope are like the two wings of a bird. If they are wellbalanced, the flight will be well balanced. But, If one is stunted, theRight would also be stunted. And, to be sure, if the two are lost, thebird will soon be in the throes of death." Allah has praised thepeople of hope and fear in the following verse:Is one who worships devotedly during the night, prostrating himselfor standing, fearing the Hereafter, and hoping for the mercy of hisLord (is equal to him who doesnt do these things)? (Al Zumar, 9)Hope then also demands fear. If that was not the case, one would bein a state of false security. Conversely, fear demands hope. Withoutthat it would be despair.
Fear and hope, both should be equally proportioned in our hearts, inour worship, and in our dua to Allah. Allah says:Call out to Him with fear and hope. (Surat al-Araaf 7:56)They forsake their beds to call their Lord in fear and hope. (Surat as-Sajdah 32:16)8. Voluntary fasting for the pleasure of AllahFasting in general and voluntary fasting in particular is a greatworship. Fasting is not restricted to Ramadhan, but it is an act ofworship that can be [and should be in some cases] performed at anytime and at any place except when not recommended. Indeed, it is aworship that draws the believer closer to Allah and closer toperfection.Fasting Mondays and Thursdays:`Aaishah said: The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wasalam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays". [An-Nasaa’i; Sahih]Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihiwa salam, would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He wasasked about that and he said: "The deeds of people are presented toAllah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslimexcept for those who are deserting each other. He says: "leave themfor later." [Ahmad; Hasan]Intention for voluntary fastingAs opposed to Ramadan, the intention does not have to be madebefore dawn. The person can intend fasting [and start fasting] afterdawn any time [even after noon] given that he did not eat anything.`Aaishah said : The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, came tous one day and said, "Do you have any [food]?" We said "No". Hesaid: Therefore, I am Fasting". [Muslim and Abu Dawood]Fasting three days of every month(White days):Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: "The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahualaihi wa sallam, said "O Abu Tharr! if you fast three days of everymonth, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]". [Ahmad, an-Nasaai and at-Tirmithi; Sahih]“Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for the slave on the Day of
Resurrection. Fasting will say: ‘O My Rabb! I prevented him fromfood and desires, so accept my intercession for him.’ And theQur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleep during the night, soaccept my intercession for him.’ He (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam)said: ‘And they will (be allowed to) intercede.’” [Ahmad, at-Tabarani, Al-Hakim, Sahih]So let us get closer to Allah by fasting Mondays and Thursdays or atleast 3 days every month on the 14th,15th and 16th. If we leavesomething for the pleasure of Allah then we will get MUCH greaterin return!9. Sincerely repenting to AllahAllah says: O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds ofthe sky and you would then seek My forgiveness, I would forgiveyou.When a person sins and then sincerely turns to Allah forforgiveness, one will find Allah ready to accept his repentance andto forgive him, as this verse indicates:And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeksforgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful.(Surat an-Nisaa 4:110)Everyone commits sin and does wrong, but Allah is always willingto forgive and He always gives them a chance to repent and seekHis forgiveness. A believer should never forget the fact that Allah isso forgiving. If Allah had willed, He could have held everyoneaccountable for his or her sins, but He has decreed that He shallallow His servants to seek His forgiveness and that He shall in factforgive who and what He wills. In fact, Allah commands that Hisservants seek His forgiveness:And seek Allahs forgiveness. Certainly, Allah is Forgiving,Merciful.(Surat al-Muzzammil 73:20)Repentance is an act, which purifies the soul and brings the servantcloser to Allah. It puts the heart at rest from guilt. It protects onefrom falling prey to his desires and lusts and increases his faith.We must ask ourselves this question: Would we be willing toforgive anyone who hurts us and disobeys us constantly as easily asAllah is Able to forgive? Most probably, the answer would be no.
But our Creator is the Most Kind and He is the Most Perfect.Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankindgive not thanks. (Surat al-Baqarah 2:143)In this Hadithi Qudsi, mankind is encouraged to seek Allahsforgiveness and repent, but there are five conditions of repentance,which must be met for ones repentance to be accepted. The first andmost important is that the act of repentance be sincerely for Allahalone. Secondly, the person must feel remorse and guilt over hisactions so much so that he wished he had never done it in the firstplace. The third condition is that the person must immediately ceaseperforming the wrong and sinful act. Fourthly, the repentant personmust have a firm intention to never commit the sin again. Andlastly, the person must repent before it is too late, meaning beforedeath approaches.However, there is a condition. One must not associate any partnerswith Allah, which is shirk. And Allah does not forgive shirk and ifone dies without believing in Allah alone as ones Creator, then hewill be doomed to the Hellfire for all of eternity. So, Allahemphasizes the importance of calling on Him alone. He has no andneeds no partners, associates, wives, children, etc. There is no god,but Allah. None forgives sins except Him, so one who is seekingforgiveness should seek it only from Allah.Allahs forgiveness and mercy is far greater and vaster than the sinsof the creation. One must always have trust and hope in Allah inboth good times and bad times and especially when seeking Allahsforgiveness. And the believer who calls out to his Lord forforgiveness demonstrates his true weakness and that he is totallydependent on the Creator.When one confesses his sins to Allah and sincerely repents withhope in Allahs mercy, the heart should come to peace and the soulshould feel rest. When a person has hope, he has no reason todespair because it only leads to destruction. Allah gives hope to all,especially those who despair that there is no reason to despairbecause Allah is the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.Allah praises those who repent and turn to Him:And those who, when they commit a lewd act or wrong themselveswith evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins andwho forgives sins except Allah? And they do not persist in what(wrong) they were doing while they knew it. For such, the reward isforgiveness from their Lord and Gardens with rivers flowing
through, wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is thereward of the doers (of good)! (Surah Ali Imran 3:135-136)10. Having good manners, character and being humbleMany of us think that “a perfect Muslim” is simply one who iscorrect in the observance of the salah (ritual Prayer), the fasting, thezakah (payment of a certain portion of one’s wealth to the poor),and the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). This indeed is not the case.If the ritual observances do not help the person to be humble,virtuous and truly God-fearing, then he or she is not a real Muslim.A Muslim should be good and just in dealing with others, no mattertheir religion, and take special care to keep away from all theshameful and sinful things Allah (God) has forbidden.One can never get close to Allah by being arrogant, full of pride andhaving a bad character and manners. Those who have humility andare humble and have good character and manners are the closest toAllah and Allah raises their ranks in the hereafter.The superiority of good character:Hadrat Abu Darda, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that theHoly Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah beupon him, said, “Nothing is heavier in the scales of a believer on theDay of Judgement than his good behaviour. Allah detests a personwho is obscene and shameless”. (Tirmidhi)Having humility and being humble:The Prophet (PBUH) said: "He who was humble for the sake of Godby one degree, God (SWT) would then elevate them to a degree tillthey reach the uppermost of high Orders, and he who was arrogantto God (SWT), God (SWT) would then lower him for a degree tillhe reaches the lowest of low Orders", (Narrated by: Muslim(Hadeeth: 6535).Al-Nawawi said:The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:“And no one humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah will raisehim (in status).”Humbleness is to know the value of oneself, to avoid pride, ordisregarding the truth and underestimating people. As the Prophetsallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said, according to Muslim and others,
"Al-Kibr is rejecting the truth and looking down upon people"[Muslim, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].Humbleness is for one who is important and significant and he fearsto gain notoriety or to become too great among people. Humblenessis that one should humble himself with his companions.Humbleness is to humble oneself to one who is below you. If youfind someone who is younger than you, or of less importance thanyou, you should not despise him, because he might have a betterheart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even ifyou see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act inarrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from thetribulation that He put him through. Remember that there might besome riyaa or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them tobe of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful andfearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause offorgiveness of his sins.Humbleness is that your deed should not become too great in youreyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah ta`alathrough an act of obedience, your deed may still not be accepted,"Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa (fear of Allah)."(Surat al-Maida: 27)Humbleness is that, when you are advised, if Shaytaan calls you toreject the advice, you must negate him. Because the purpose ofadvice is that your brother points out the defects that you have.The arrogant never gives credit to anybody or mentions good aboutsomeone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention fivedefects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding himabout his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to hisinferiority complex. This is why it is among mans moral integrity toaccept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort orfeelings of shame and weakness.We can summarize the teachings of Islam about the Muslimcharacter in the following list:Be truthful in everything, don’t lie.Be sincere and straightforward, don’t be hypocritical.Be honest, don’t be corrupt.Be humble, don’t be boastful.Be moderate, don’t be excessive.Be reserved, don’t be garrulous.
Be soft-spoken, don’t be loud.Be refined and gentle in speech, don’t curse and use foul language.Be loving and solicitous to others, don’t be unmindful of them.Be considerate and compassionate, don’t be harsh.Be polite and respectful to people, don’t be insulting ordisrespectful.Be generous and charitable, don’t be selfish and miserly.Be good natured and forgiving, don’t be bitter and resentful.Share and be content with what Allah has given you, don’t begreedy.Be cheerful and pleasant, don’t be irritable and morose.Be chaste and pure, don’t be lustful.Be alert and aware of the world around you, don’t be absent-minded.Be dignified and decent, don’t be graceless.Be optimistic and hopeful, don’t be cynical or pessimistic.Be confident and have deep faith, don’t be doubtful and wavering.Be spiritually oriented and not materialistic.Be confident of the mercy of Allah, don’t be despairing and loseheart.Be diligent and vigilant of your duties, don’t be negligent.Be thankful to Allah and constantly pray to Him, don’t be forgetfulof His innumerable blessings.Finally as the righteous say, "The love of Allah is the axis aroundwhich all good revolves." If you fall in love with Allah, and thenstrive to be true in your love--in accordance with the way of theBeloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), then youllfind nothing but increasing light and contentment in your life.And Allah alone gives success.Top of Page Contact Mission Islam Home Recommended Links