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“If My slaves ask you concerning Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me, so that hopefully they will be rightly guided.”(Q2:186)

This verse is one of my “turn-to” verses in the Qur’an (I have so many lol). It is my constant reminder that Allah is near, and He hears my cry, my fear, my thoughts, my silent prayers. He knows when I’m overwhelmed, when I’m scared, when I desperately want to call on Him but struggle expressing myself, when I’m so grateful but feel like don’t know how to express my gratitude and most importantly, when I’m lost.

It’s exam season and sometimes I feel lost. I find myself so exhausted by how much I have to do as well as the fear of not knowing what’s coming after this, but the one thing that keeps me going is knowing Allah is near. His nearness means His help is near, His mercy is near; literally, all I have to do is call on Him. As He said, “I answer the call of the caller when He calls upon Me.”

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “No Muslim supplicates to Allah with a du’a that does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb, but Allah will grant him one of the three things. He will either hasten the response to his supplication, save it for him until the Hereafter, or would turn an equivalent amount of evil away from him.”

This is enough reassurance that Allah hears me and there is nothing better than knowing that whatever it is I think I’m facing, big enough as it may seem right now, Allah, Al-Qareeb, the Lord of everything that exists, has got my back, and that’s all that matters to me.

Al-Qareeb

The name Al-Qareeb, means the One who is closest to all in His knowledge, awareness, seeing, witnessing and encompassing. In His Nearness, nothing escapes His knowledge, ability and authority. His special nearness is for those who sincerely invoke Him, do righteous actions and draw near unto Him. The more you perfect your worship to Allah, the more you draw near unto Him and Allah draws near to you. Allah says in Surah Waqiah (Q56:10-12):

“the successful ones, the ones who are near to Him, are those who believe and perform good deeds.”

It is important to emphasise that Qareeb refers to both physical and non-physical closeness; e.g. close to heart—emotional connection. There is nothing more fulfilling, more strengthening and more calming than knowing that Allah is aware of all you are going through and all You need to do is reach out to Him. He is always near. He never moves.

As humans, we make mistakes and we stray but Allah says, “So seek forgiveness from Him and repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is near and responsive.” (Q11:61)

As strong as our relationships might be with some people, there are probably times where we hesitate before we tell them certain things because we might worry about how they’ll take it, whether they’ll understand etc. Sometimes, the fear of being hurt prevents us from building/forming close bonds/deep emotional connection with people because we worry that we might be hurt again. Sometimes, it might not be that people are out to get us, it could just be that they genuinely do not understand what we are going through.

Allah, Al-Qareeb, is so near to us, that He hears our thoughts, reflections, unanswered questions and secret du’a. You don’t have to worry about the right words to say especially when you are finding it difficult to express yourself because Al-Qareeb hears you.

Has there ever been a time in your life when you wish for something in your heart, you don’t utter it at all, but it comes to fruition? That is Al-Qareeb in manifestation. Allah heard your thought/wish/desire and granted you exactly what you wanted (most likely, even better, because Allah always exceeds our expectations).

The benefit of being close to someone is feeling safe and understood, and Allah tells us, “and He is with you wherever you are…” (Q57:4)

Allah, Al-Qareeb, is inviting us to be close to Him, and as we mentioned in Al-Fattah, He does not close His doors to those who seek Him. It doesn’t matter how far gone you think you are, or how far you’ve strayed. Making it to Ramadan is a blessing, as well as an opportunity to reconnect with Al-Qareeb.

Sheikh Abdulrazzaq al-Badr said that Allah (swt) is near to everyone, but there are those who are special and seek His nearness. The ways in which we can come close to Allah/seek His nearness:

– Understand His Names: this gives you the opportunity to get to know Him better, which will increase your closeness to Him. Think about the close friends you have right now; the way you got close to them was through getting to know them better and vice versa. Allah has assured us that He is close and through learning about His names, we can become better acquainted with Him and more aware of His presence in our lives.

– Salah: The Prophet, peace be upon him, said “The closest that a person can be to his Lord, the Mighty and Sublime, is when he is prostrating, so increase in supplication then.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]; use this opportunity to connect with Allah. Spend some time this Ramadan learning the meaning of the invocations you read during salah to help improve khushoo (focus and humility).

– Ask Him: make the most of Sujood and ask Allah to help you draw nearer to Him.

– And finally, one of my favourite things to do when I feel overwhelmed is to open my heart up to Allah and I do this by writing a letter to Him. I literally pour my heart out to Him and I always feel better because in the end, I know I have left my troubles and worries in the Hands of the One who has got my back. The One who is in control of all that happens. The One who cares about me and has my best interests at heart. And best part of it all is I know I need not worry.

All I need to do is show up and take it one step at a time. He is near, and He hears me.