“At this very moment, while you are reading these words, recognise that the Fashioner and Shaper SWT has indeed called you to His precincts, and sent you words like these, so that you may approach Him and do so covetously. What approaching Allah, and seeking His presence and nearness means, is that al-Haqq SWT has injected an impulse of want into the heart of His servant; and an impulse of want means that Allah has injected eagerness to approach Him, longing for Him, yearning to be near Him, and the fear of Him SWT in that heart. It also means that He has injected reflection into the heart. This reflection makes man contemplate his state with God. He thus says, “Allah has created me from nothingness and has honoured me with all manner of munificence and generosity, yet I have dealt with Him badly, and I have become unaware of the purpose for which He has distinguished me and placed this universe at my service. I forget that in this world I am transient and that I will soon be called from this life. The Herald of Departure will call me, yet I do not know when that call will come. And when such a call does come there shall be no respite – I will be unable to delay answering it. When the Angel of Death AS appears before me and says, “I have gone to the Easts of the earth, and its Wests, in search of a single breath for you, but I have found none.”
With that, he will seize my soul before I can take another breath. This is without question! And the seizure of my soul, and the seizure of my soul… and the seizure of my soul means the end of its term of opportunity which it enjoyed in this life. Were the inhabitants of the graves, uponbeing laid in their graves, to spend all their time in worship, focused entirely upon Allah, in seeking to purify their inward and approach Allah, their effort would not be accepted, because the term of opportunity – for which they were exclusively created – is this life.
Reflect on this meaning attentively with your heart: the fruit of your approaching Allah, is that Allah approaches you! Now the implication of Allah’s approaching you cannot be expressed or encompassed by the inadequate tongue. It is the moment when the King of kings approaches the heart of a mu’mina and when that mu’mina approaches Him. Allah approaches!… Think about that. And together with your mind, concentrate your heart… Allah approaches! Who is approaching? Allah! What bliss! What expectations! What quests! What aspirations! What ease! What ecstasy! What tranquility! What rejoicing! What delight! What distinction! Is there room for withdrawing when Allah SWT approaches?
The spur is the impulse that occurs to and galvanises the human heart and drives the person along. It tells him, “For how long will you live the life of this world whilst in a state of heedlessness? How long? When days pass by while you remain unaware? How long? And in spite of the opportunity itself calling out to you? Indeed, with every breath your life diminishes and you are closer to your end.” Now, this reproach, this address, which arises in one’s heart, urges one to Allah the Exalted. It makes one yearn for Allah, desire to approach Allah and feel regret, and feel regret for what has been missed and neglected of the obligations of seeking nearness to Allah the Exalted. It admonishes and reminds and rocks the mu’mina with premonitions of her impending death and what follows thereafter.”
Wayfarers to God
Habib Ali Al-Jifri