Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Many of us ask this question: How to get closer to Allah? Oftentimes we feel that we have somehow lost connection with our Creator; we don’t feel the love and enthusiasm we used to feel for worshiping Him. We have lost touch with our own souls, and no matter how we try, we don’t seem to be able to regain that connection. Why does this happen?
There could be several reasons for this:
The Messenger of Allah said,
When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases. That is the Ran that Allah mentions in His Book: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.” [83:14] [ibn Majah]
When one’s heart is covered with black spots, the light of remembrance cannot enter it.
Not remembering Allah enough
فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ
So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. [2:152]
If our prayers become merely ritual exercises without our hearts in it, if our dhikrs become parroting some Arabic words that we don’t even bother to understand, how will we feel connected to Allah? It often happens that when things are going too well in our lives, we forget Allah.
وَإِذَا أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَأَىٰ بِجَانِبِهِ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ فَذُو دُعَاءٍ عَرِيضٍ
And when We bestow favor upon man, he turns away and distances himself; but when evil touches him, then he is full of extensive supplication. [41:51]
How to Get Closer to Allah?
The formula for getting closer to Allah can be found from the following hadiths:
In a hadith Qudsi, Allah the Exalted has said: ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (prayer or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him. When I love him I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I give him, and if he asks My Protection (refuge), I protect him.” [Bukhari]
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) also said, “Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks of Me when he remembers Me.’ By Allah! Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than one of you who unexpectedly finds in the desert his lost camel. ‘He who comes closer to Me one span, I come closer to him a cubit; and he who comes closer to Me a cubit, I come closer to him a fathom; and if he comes to Me walking, I come to him running”. [Bukhari and Muslim]
Therefore the ways of turning to Allah and getting closer to Him are:
Constant remembrance of Allah
ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ
This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah. [2:2]
4. Obeying Allah in everything He ordained
5. Increasing in supererogatory acts
Even if you find the above acts difficult to perform, or you find that you heart is not in it, keep doing them, and in sha Allah soon Allah will turn your heart, based on Allah’s promise that if we go towards Him walking, He will come running towards us.
In order to really taste the sweetness of prayer, we should at least try to learn something about what it is that we are reciting, and find out how it relates to us personally. The best way to do that is to learn Arabic, and here at Understand Quran you will be taught 50% of Quran in just 9 hours.