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Responding to the Call

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  • Responding to the Call

    Responding to the Call
    Al-Baqara (The Cow) Sura 2: Verse 186

    "When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me. Let them then obey Me and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way. "

    The words "ask you concerning Me" do not necessarily imply that the question was merely about Allah and His attributes, but it could also be about His pleasure and displeasure as well as about the laws and commandments. From the present context it appears, however, that the question concerned the rules, conditions and etiquette of fasting in the month of Ramadan that arose in the minds of the people after the revelation of the original commandment to fast.

    "I am indeed close (to them)" expresses a self-evident reality, for a person's closeness to or remoteness from Allah depends on the condition of his own heart. There is nothing more remote from Allah than a person who is indifferent to and unmindful of Him. On the other hand, if a person is mindful of Him and his heart is alive with His remembrance, grateful for His blessings, patient and steadfast in times of trial, and humbly supplicates for His help and support, Allah is indeed the closest to such a person, nearer to him than even his own life vein.

    "I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me" is also a statement of a veritable truth. Whenever a servant calls upon his Sustainer, He does respond to him and grants his prayer. It is impossible that a servant should call upon his Sustainer and yet fail to evoke a response. The only condition is that the servant should call upon Him in sincerity and humility and supplicate only for what is befitting to ask of Him. If a servant supplicates to his Sustainer for what is worth supplicating for, and in a manner that is proper and befitting, his supplication is invariably and definitely granted. If not immediately, it is reserved for his or her future or for the life to come, and if not in the form it is prayed for, it is granted in a manner and a form far better than what had been asked for.

    "Let them then obey Me and believe in Me" is the implied or the essential consequence of the Divine attributes mentioned above, namely, when Allah is close to His servants, listens and responds to their calls and supplications, then surely it is proper and right that His servants should respond to His call and believe in Him; this is the least of what they owe to Him. There is not even the slightest justification for them to turn away from Him and follow others. It is indeed an act of extreme injustice to one's own self to target some of His commandments with objections and doubts or to take a deviant course on that account, especially since their Sustainer is Most Gracious and ever ready to explain and resolve all the unexplained or obscure aspects of His Divine law, the Shariah.

    Compiled From:
    "Pondering Over The Qur'an: Surah al-Fatiha and Surah al-Baqarah" - Amin Ahsan Is
    "Closer and closer to mankind comes their Reckoning: yet they heed not and they turn away" (21:1)

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