AL-TANZIL
The
Revelation
 
[26:192]



Enjoying God’s Company

By Jasser Auda

In his well-known book, Al-Hikam (Words of Wisdom), sheikh Ahmad Ibn `Ataa'illah As-Sakandari says:

If He (God) takes you away from people, then know that He is opening to you the doors of His Company. And if He allows you to ask, then know that He wants to give you something.

This word of wisdom is another example related to understanding God's giving and deprivation. The Sheikh says: "If He takes you away from people, then know that He is opening to you the doors of His Company." Sometimes Allah may test you by the death of a spouse, a brother, or a dear person. You might find yourself on travel to a remote country for one reason or another. You might find yourself in jail, God forbid, or suddenly by yourself in a hospital. In all these cases, you feel loneliness and isolation. Yet, this could be another step in your journey to Allah!

The Sheikh makes it clear that all such trials might be gifts from Allah in the form of trials. There are unconfirmed reports in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says: "If God wishes to benefit someone, He will take him away from people".

The meaning of this hadith could be true in light of the wisdom under discussion here. When you are feeling lonely, God is opening for you a door of remembrance and meditation that would not be interrupted. Being in His Company is something that you might not be able to feel if you are a person who mixes with people all the time, day and night. You might think that isolation is a trial, whereas in reality it is a gift.

One of my teachers always remembers some phases of his life which he spent in jail and says: "If it were not for that jail, I would not have written most of my books or developed most of my ideas". Therefore, imprisonment and loneliness were a reason for being in God's Company and benefiting the people with his knowledge. This is, of course, a gift.

Then the Sheikh says: "And if He allows you to ask, then know that He wants to give you something". This means that Allah may put you to a test for which there is no solution except to pray to Him Almighty. Perhaps, before that time of trial, you did not pray sincerely enough to God.

You might have thought that you were not in need of praying to God or feeling distressed. Yet, if it is a serious crisis and the only way-out is seeking God's help, then prayers are much deeper and more sincere.

{Who is it that responds to the distressed when he calls out to Him?}. (An-Naml 27: 62)

"And if He allows you to ask, then know that He wants to give you something." (Ibn `Attaa’)
Praying to Allah may continue for days or weeks without an apparent end to your trials. This could be another precious gift from Allah, not because of your deprivation but because of your continuous state of worship. The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said:

"Supplication is the true worship". (At-Tirmidhi)

But the Sheikh says: "And if He allows you to ask, then know that He wants to give you something." Allah gives abundant rewards just for praying to Him. Not only that but He answers those who pray to Him either in this world or the next or both. Therefore, God allows us to ask because He wants to give us something. If you ask a generous person for help, surely he will answer you. What about if you ask Allah, the Ever Generous, Himself!

Deprivation and giving should not be measured by human standards which are based on material gains. The true standard is our relation with God. Sometimes Allah puts you to a test and after He Almighty removes the affliction your relation with Him improves. This is in itself an actual gift from God.

Edited from:
http://www.onislam.net/english/shariah/refine-your-heart/advice/454934-enjoying-gods-company.html
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