The following is part 2 in a series on creating a relationship with God Almighty. Part 1 can be found here.
Waathila (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (saw) said that Allah the Almighty says: “I treat my servant in accordance with his understanding and expectation of Me. So let him think of Me as he chooses.” [Bukhari]
Abu Huraira (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (saw) conveyed that: “Allah is more pleased with the repentance of a servant of His than one of you would be if he were to lose his camel in a barren desert and then find it unexpectedly. Allah says: “Whoever moves towards Me by the span of an open hand, I move towards him by half an arm’s length. And whoever moves towards Me by half an arm’s length, I move towards him by the length of an arm. When he comes walking towards me, I run to meet him.” [Muslim]
Both of these Hadith inform us how we should understand Allah. The first one tells us that Allah treats us according to our understanding and expectation of Him and the second one states that if we go towards Allah even slightly, Allah will come towards us more, multiplying our efforts.
This relates very closely to a question from an answer given by the 4th Khalifa (Caliph) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community when asked: ‘Are we allowed to treat Allah as a friend?’
He replied that not only should we treat Allah as a friend, but rather it is encouraged to treat Allah as a friend. We cannot cultivate a personal relationship with Allah unless we speak to him informally and naturally. If we speak to Him how we’d want to be addressed, with love and attention – that is the best way to develop a relationship with Allah.
The fourth Khalifarh went on to relate an incident in which the Prophet Mosesas overheard a shepherd praying to Allah the Almighty. This shepherd was telling God how he would brush God’s hair, remove His lice and clean His clothes if Allah was before him. The Prophet Mosesas harshly rebuked the shepherd for his lack of respect. However, God in turn reprimanded the Prophet Moses,as saying that He was enjoying the prayer of the shepherd and asking Mosesas as to how he dared come between Himself and His supplicating servant?
We see from this that although this shepherd was speaking in what appeared to be a disrespectful manner, it was according to his own understanding, perception, and sincere love for Allah.
So, like this shepherd, if we try to develop our own personal relationship with Allah based on our understanding and affection for Him, and try to make Him our best friend, then, God willing, we are sure to succeed in whatever endeavour we undertake.
The 2nd Khalifa (Caliph) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Bashirruddin Mahmud Ahmad, has mentioned that if we use each of Allah’s attributes according to the situation we find ourselves in, it greatly increases our chance of acceptance of prayer. As we begin to understand the attribute, it will increase our understanding of God also, he tells us. For example when we pray, we can bear in mind that Allah is Al-Wadood (Most Loving), and that his love for His creation is at innumerably greater than any mother’s love for her own child. Similarly we can address him as Al-Wahab (The Great Bestower) or as Al-Wali (The Friend) who is always with us. Even our dearest friends are not with us at all times, so why shouldn’t we make Allah who knows our every thought, our best friend?
If we develop this sort of relationship with Allah, increasing our understanding of Him and His attributes, then our university life will be much easier. Although university is a time of discovery, it is also new territory for many and for most of us it is the first time we’ve left the security of our homes and families. On top of that, it is academically and spiritually challenging. So, if we all work on our relationship with Allah the Almighty, developing a sincere loving friendship with God, then our university life and our future life will be so much easier, as we will always have the best companion to rely on at all times. If we bear these points in mind, then there will be no bridge we cannot cross and no struggle we cannot overcome, through His Mighty Love.