Deep in his heart, everyone must have a private and profound sincerity and intimacy towards Allah. Having an indifferent and distant style towards Allah even in such secluded moments is an important deficiency that requires serious consideration…
It is possible to see the personality, favorable attributes, beautiful attitudes and morality a Muslim displays while he fulfills his acts of worship from outside. However for someone who observes from outside, it is impossible to know one of the most important signs of faith, that is, one’s closeness to Allah in his heart. For a believer who loves Allah more than anyone and anything in this world, the friendship, intimacy and heartfelt love one has for Allah is one of the greatest blessings.
A person’s attributes or attitudes that are seen from outside may be misleading. However the earnest sincerity and closeness to Allah reflects that person’s genuine state. The Muslim himself also bears witness to this. At those moments nobody sees, hears or knows he himself knows the trust, submission and loyalty he displays towards Allah.
If a person can ever attain such profundity in his heart, even if he has many deficits or flaws in his attitude, it is, by Allah’s leave, quite easy to make up for these deficits and attain profundity in his faith. However if these person’s attitudes look flawless in outward appearance but he in fact experiences a distant and cool spirit towards Allah (surely Allah is beyond that), then this is a much perilous state. That is because, even if this person has no concrete flaw or mistake, he, in fact, experiences a great weakness in spirit and has an important lacuna in that sense. What is more important is that because he has not experienced a contrary state of mind, that is, because he has never tasted genuine spiritual profundity, he may even be unaware of the great deficiency he has. The fact is however, having a deficiency in one’s sincerity to Allah, experiencing a distant and cool state of mind towards Him (Allah is beyond that) is an overt sign that he has such a viewpoint towards everything in life. That is because, if a person can not feel sufficient love for our All-Mighty Allah Who is the real possessor of all sorts of beauties, good and perfection and cannot feel due closeness, candidness and sincerity towards Him, then it is impossible for this person to feel actual closeness, sincerity and closeness also to people. A person can appreciate the beauties around him only if he can grasp love of Allah and appreciate the beauties of Allah’s infinitely perfect attributes.
In the Qur’an Allah warns people against such a peril by describing the situation of those people who work very hard but whose labour come to nothing:
Some faces on that Day will be downcast,labouring, 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 well be fulfilling many acts of worship, spend many laborious hours and make serious effort for many issues throughout day. However this great deficiency in one’s spiritual world is a great peril that may cause him to face an unfavorable situation both in this world and the Hereafter that he has never anticipated.
There are moments when a person remains all alone in his inner world, turns to Allah for prayer, pleads Him, calls for forgiveness and repents, asks for blessings, and communicates his innermost secrets, feelings, wishes, trouble and expectations to Allah.
If a person, even at those moments when sincerity is experienced to its utmost level, preserves his cool, distant, superficial and affected manners, then this attitude deserves serious attention.
Indeed in their daily lives people may display pretended manners to others or remain distant or pretentious towards them. It is surely erroneous to assume such morality also to people. However at times of prayer when nobody sees or hears him, even such a person must be able to distance himself from all his poses, the affected personality he displays, his cool style, insincere way of talking and pretentious world and experience sincerity.
It is very normal for unbelievers to live in such a cold world. People who cannot love Allah, who are unable to appreciate Allah’s superior attributes and plead Him out of arrogance and pride and fail to turn to our Creator (surely Allah is beyond that) surely cannot experience closeness towards Allah in their inner worlds. Even if they pray they do it in the hope of reaping some benefits and in an insincere spirit.
However a devout who has certain faith in Allah and the Hereafter, who leads his life for Allah and devotes himself both in the spiritual and material sense to Allah, it is unacceptable to have a deficiency in his closeness to Allah. For this reason it is extremely important for every person to reconsider his situation from this perspective and immediately make effort to make up any deficiencies if he has. A believer must see no limits in his love, exuberance, sincerity, closeness towards Allah. The world and everything related to it are doomed to perish. Consequently aware that nothing is everlasting but Allah, a person must divert all his love and sincerity towards our Lord. Every good deed a person does in this world will have any worth by means of this heartfelt love and passion of Allah and taking our Lord as his closest friend.
In the Qur’an Allah relates this important 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)