“For such people who have attained nearness, all sins will no longer be attractive to them and all sins become hateful and ugly to them.  They will then experience true dreams and mighty signs of Allah’s Pleasure that exhibits itself in wonderful acceptance of progress.”

The above statements were the submissions of the Amir (Head) of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola during his Friday sermon at Tahir Mosque Ojokoro Lagos where he discussed on the modes and guidelines of seeking nearness to Almighty God.

Dr. Fashola defined seeking nearness to Allah as seeking His communication by studying, reflecting, and acting upon the Holy Qur’an because to seek and know Allah, one has to study His greatness communication to mankind, His address to mankind as to what He desires.

In line with the teachings of the Holy Prophet(saw) and the Promised Messiah(as), Amir said one of the steps to be taken in seeking nearness to Allah is to engage oneself in constantly and carefully studying the Holy Quran, reflecting on it, and conducting one’s life strictly in accordance with its injunctions. This, he said, will make such person attain the status of Muhsin, the doer of good deeds.

He noted: “A major aspect of a Muhsin is that he engages in prayer (salat) so constantly, soulfully, humbly and with awe of Allah, as if he sees Him, and with perfect faith in His Mighty, Majesty and Mercy.  A Muhsin believes that Grace comes from Allah only and that is His Pleasure only that should be sought at all times and in all circumstances.  “He added that Salat constitutes the ultimate in the remembrance of Allah, which Allah declares as the greatest striving in the Way of Allah, that Salat is comprehensive and encompasses all aspects of Dhikr, including Darood (eulogizing the Holy Prophet).

The Amir stated that imbibing the spirit of humility before Almighty God is another step towards attaining closeness to Allah.  He said all mankind must be humble before Him considering Allah’s Might and Majesty compared with one’s helplessness, lowliness, and shortcomings.  The quality, he said, will reflect in one’s humble supplications for guidance on the straight path that leads to Him and for strength to develop the discipline and steadfastness in His path as well as seeking assistance for one’s needs and to surmount all problems and prevail over all enemies.

According to him; “Humility in prayer before Allah will also reflect in one’s humble attitude towards all His Creation, without any iota of arrogance and self-conceitedness, realizing that one has no credit in any excellence of social and intellectual achievement, human quality or beauty of one’s physical attributes.”

Members were also enjoined to imbibe the spirit of justice, charity, and self-sacrifice for the love of all greatness without personal hatred and injustice to any, as a reflection of the Divine Spirit of Grace, Mercy, and Justice.  Amir added that those who live comfortably in luxury cannot come closer like those who endure deprivation with steadfast devotion and commitment to Him in all ways.

He stressed: “The love of this world is a great barrier to achieving nearness and that is why you are not ready to sacrifice what you love most.  In this respect, the examples of Hazrat Ibrahim with his family members are sufficient lessons for us.

The fourth attribute of attaining nearness to Almighty God according to Dr. Fashola is to imbibe the spirit of courage and jealousy for the honour and Majesty of Allah in the sense of spreading the message of Oneness and Glory of Allah and the truthfulness of His Messenger, standing firm against disbelief, injustice and wickedness and the preparedness to sacrifice one’s health and person in this respect.  He said one should love all but never love the ways of the evil ones and of the enemies of God and never in any way cooperate with their evil ways and idolatry.

While highlighting the spirit of extra-ordinary strivings in the way of Allah as the fifth step to be taken towards attaining nearness to Almighty God, the Amir said believers will continue to experience trials in their paths of seeking nearness to Allah.  He said: “Trials will still continue to descend through the devil.  At that stage, the devotee of Allah will tend to receive true dreams, the true inspirations and communications from God.  But the devil will attempt to interfere and hinder the spiritual progress of the wayfarer by mixing true and false dreams and revelations which will constitute a test of one’s humility and devotion to the worship of Allah alone and not of the self.”

Giving a piece of general advice on seeking nearness to Almighty God, Dr. Fashola said: “Individuals must abstain from shirk and wickedness at all costs, give glad tidings of Allah’s benevolence and maintain perseverance and patience, never get frustrated or fed up.  Reflect on His blessings and take to prayer, be grateful and seek for forgiveness always.”