It is possible to see a Muslim’s personality, good manners, beautiful attitudes or observable acts of worship from outside. However one’s closeness to Allah in his heart, which is one of the most important signs of faith,is impossible for anyone to see from outside. The friendship, closeness and love one experiences in his heart towards Allah is one of the blessings in this world for a believer who loves Allah more than anyone and anything else. The characteristicsor attitudes seen from outside may sometimes be deceptive. Howeversincerity and closeness felt towards Allah deep in one’s heart reflects his true state. Believers themselves also witness this. At moments when noone else is around and one is all alone, a believer knows to put his or her trustin Allah, and their unconditional submission and loyalty to Him.
When a person attains suchprofundity in their soul, even if there might be many flaws in their attitudes, by Allah’s leave it will be very easy to correct these flaws and perfect them. However, if the attitudes and behavior of a person seem flawless from outside but he has a cool and distant state of spirit towards Allah in his heart (surely Allah is beyond that),then this is a more inferior and dangerous state than the previous one described. That is because, even though suchperson does not have a detectable flaw, they experience a great emptiness and deficiency. Even more important, because such a person has never experienced the actual spiritual feelingof being close to Allah, such a person will be unaware of how great loss of loss they are in and have been.
Being insufficient in one’s sincerity towards Allah; his living in a cool and distant state of soul towards Him (surely Allah is beyond that) is in fact a very obvious sign that onelooks at everything from such a perspective. That is because if one cannot feel sufficient love, closeness or sincerity towards our Lord, Who is the actual and infinite possessor of all sorts of beauty, goodness, flawlessness and perfection, then it is not possible for him to feel real love and candidness towards anything else or any other human being. A person can only appreciate the beauties surrounding him when he grasps the infinitely perfect names of Allah and feels Allah’s love.
In the Qur’an, Allah warns people against such a threat by relating the state of those who work a lot but whose efforts are in vain:
Some faces on that Day will be downcast,laboring, toiling endlessly… (Surat al-Ghashiyya, 2-3)
Those who have faith say, ‘Are these the people who swore by Allah, with their most earnest oaths, that they were with you?’ Their actions have come to nothing and they now are losers.(Surat al-Maida, 53)
That is because they followed what angers Allah and hated what is pleasing to Him. So He made their actions come to nothing. (Surah Muhammad, 28)
Consequently a person may fulfill many acts of worship Allah commands him in the Qur’an, make serious effort and use all his strength throughout the day. However this great deficiency in his soul is a great danger that may cause him to face a state he never expects both in this world and in the Hereafter.
There are moments when one remains alone in his or her inner world, turns to Allah to pray, pleadsto Him earnestly, asks for spiritual blessings from Him and reveals to Him his innermost secrets, feelings, troubles and wishes to Him. However, if a person is still cold, distant, superficial and apathetic even at those moments, then they need to reconsider this seriously.
Indeed people may assume a certain kind of cold, arrogant or distant attitude to those around them. Displaying such base forms of behavior also towards people is wrong. A person must be able to leave behind such pretense, arrogance or distance at such moments of prayer when no onecan ever hear or see him except Allah.
It is normal for unbelievers to live in such a cold world. People who do not love Allah, who fail to appreciate His superior attributes (surely Allah is beyond that), who never tend to plead to Allah out of his arrogance and pride cannot have an inner closeness to Allah. Even if they pray they usually do it in an insincere manner.
Aperson of faith who believes in Allah and the existence of the Hereafter with certainty and who devotes himself to Allah, will not have abnormal feelings and flaws in theircloseness to Allah. For this reason it is extremely important for a person to reconsider their attitude and behaviorfrom this viewpoint and immediately correct any deficiency, if he or she has any. A believer must see no limits in his love,exultation, candidness, closeness and sincerity towards Allah. The world and everything in it are doomed to perish. Consequently aware of the fact that nothing is eternal except for Allah, a believer must divert all his love and sincerity to our Lord. Only with this kind of sincere love of Allah, exuberance of faith and making our Lord his or her only true friend will any good deedsone makes in this world be rendered as precious.
In the Qur’an Allah relates this fact as follows:
…Whatever good you do, Allah knows it. Take provision; but the best provision is fear of Allah. So have fear of Me, people of intelligence! (Surat al-Baqara, 197)
Their flesh and blood does not reach Allah but your fear of Allah does reach Him.In this way He has subjected them to you so that you might proclaim Allah’s greatness for the way that He has guided you. Give good news to the good-doers. (Surat al-Hajj, 37)
Their reward is with their Lord: Gardens of Eden with rivers flowing under them,remaining in them timelessly, forever and ever. Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him.That is for those who fear their Lord. (Surat al-Bayyina, 8)