Friendship of Allah Is For Everyone
We should not think to ourselves that Wilayah (close friendship with Allah) is something really special which can only be acquired by scholars of high rank.
Each and every person can acquire Wilayah. Even those who have not yet been blessed with faith have the potential of becoming amongst the greatest friends of Allah.
Shaytaan however deceives us by making us think that Wilayah is something extraordinary and unbelievably difficult to attain. But if we adopt this attitude and give up right from the beginning then will we never get anywhere.
Wilayah is in the reach of each and every person; all that is required is that one exerts the right effort in the right manner. This is why people from every background and profession are found amongst our pious predecessors.
Allah ta’ala created men of Allah in every field in order to demonstrate to us that everyone can become the Wali (friend) of Allah.
Imaan And Taqwa
In order to become the friend of Allah one only needs two things; Imaan and Taqwa. The acquisition of these two things is fardh upon every Muslim.
And remember in order for something to be compulsory it means that Allah ta’ala has given every person the ability to acquire that thing. Otherwise it would be unfair of Allah to ask us to do something which is not within our capacity.
Thus if Imaan and Taqwa are fardh, it means that every person has the ability to acquire these things. And if every person can acquire Taqwa and Imaan this means that every person has the capability to acquire Wilayah.
Taqwa and Mujahadah
Dawam-e-Ta’at (to constantly remain in the obedience of Allah) is essential for the one who wishes to become the friend of Allah. To reach this stage, where obedience becomes second nature, one has to adopt Mujahadah.
Mujahadah means to make every effort to combat and overcome one’s desires whenever they lead one away from the commands of Allah.
If Mujahadah is adopted regularly then a time will come when the obedience of Allah will become easy. However without Mujahadah a person will not progress and the obedience of Allah will not be acquired.
Zikr And Pious Company
In order to make Mujahadah easy to adopt, one will need to hold fast to two things. The first is Zikr and the second is Suhbat (the company of one’s Shaykh and of the pious).
Zikr is generally defined as the remembrance of Allah and can take many forms. The recitation of the Qur’aan, the masnoon dua or the prescribed formulas given by one’s Shaykh is all classed as Zikr.
Zikr: With Concentration and Dedication
With regards the prescribed Zikr it is essential that one does not carry it out as a matter of routine. Thus it is necessary for one to have the correct concentration and dedication.
When one undertakes the prescribed Zikr advised by his Shaykh he should empty his mind and focuses fully on the task in hand. He should put aside all other concerns and concentrate only upon the remembrance of Allah.
One should become so dedicated to remembering Allah that it becomes second nature. This state can be understood from the example of a person who likes a particular nasheed.
Such a person will hum the words of the nasheed to himself whenever he gets the chance, and the words of the nasheed will always ring in his head.
Likewise one should remember Allah at all times and one should constantly think to himself that Allah is watching me with great love and affection.
Adopting the company of the pious and the company of one’s Shaykh in particular is the second essential ingredient which will help make mujahadah easier. The Shaykh’s company can either be acquired in the physical sense or via correspondence and communication.
When one attends the gathering of his Shaykh he needs to ensure that he adopts and observes three principles:
The difference between desire and need can be understood from the example of a rich man and a poor man who are told that money is being distributed freely at a certain location.
Whilst the rich man may also go to try and grab a share he will not be worried if he does not get anything for he already has enough. The poor man however will try much harder for he knows that if he does not get anything, he and his family will remain hungry for the night.
Thus, even though both individuals possess desire, there will be a great difference in their efforts to get a hold of a share of the spoils.
Connection With One’s Shaykh
In order to help one to counter any barriers that he may be facing in adopting mujahadah it is essential that a person keeps his Shaykh informed of his spiritual condition. With regards correspondence for guidance two points should be kept in mind:
When consulting one’s Shaykh one should be very open and inform the Shaykh of the entire spiritual situation. This is because consulting the Shaykh is akin to consulting a doctor.
The more symptoms the Shaykh has in front in him the easier it will be to diagnose the illness. And when a firmer diagnosis is made the chances of curing the spiritual illness are also greater.
After informing one’s Shakyh of a spiritual problem one must follow the guidance received very diligently.
A doctor’s prescription is only of benefit when the patient is compliant and regular in taking the medicine advised.
Likewise the prescription of the Shaykh will only work if one follows it with punctuality and steadfastness.
Only Through Allah’s Grace
Finally it is important to understand that the friendship of Allah can only be acquired by those whom Allah wishes. Thus ask Allah to make you His friend, continue striving and inshallah one day you will reach the goal.