03 Nov Sūratu’l-Baqarah [The Cow] : (2:186)
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَاد۪ي عَنّ۪ي فَإِنّ۪ي قَر۪يبٌۘ أُج۪يبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِۙ فَلْيَسْتَج۪يبُوا ل۪ي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا ب۪ي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ
“And when (O Messenger) My servants ask you about Me, then surely I am near: I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he prays to Me. So let them respond to My call (without hesitation), and believe and trust in Me (in the way required of them), so that they may be guided to spiritual and intellectual excellence and right conduct.” (Al-Baqarah 2:186)
God Almighty declares, “I am near to My servants” here, as He states in many other different places, as well. It is absolutely true that Allāh is very close to His servants; however, the servants’ ability to have knowledge of Him depends on their sincerity in prayers and the development of their senses, and so on. It is quite understandable that the Prophet’s knowledge of Allāh and his perception of Allāh in his conscience is not equal with that of any other human being, even if they happen to be among the awliyā’ullāh, or closest friends of God. What is due and important for every believer is to try their hardest to increase in their knowledge of God, to preserve their standing that they have acquired, and to do whatever their position requires. In other words, a person must act according to the requirements of his status in terms of his relationship with God, his thoughts, lifestyle, and conduct. Otherwise, that person may degrade as if falling down to a bottomless pit from the top of a high tower.
▪In the verse discussed, God’s closeness to His servant is mentioned beyond any terms of quality and quantity and is related to the good news of His quick response to prayers. Emphasized here are the sincere prayer on the part of the servant and a quick response on the part of God, as well as God’s nearness to the servants in terms of His response to their prayers.
Besides, the verse draws the attention to the meta-physical, meta-material, or meta-natural effect of the prayer.
▪That is, the verse shuts the mouths of materialists, naturalists, and even monists who claim that prayer has no use and effect, and it warns them that physical causes and what they introduce as the laws of nature are only God’s creation, and that God’s Will and Power are never dependent on them.
It is God Himself Who creates the universe, nature, and physical causes and Who has established the “natural system.”
▪Although He has allowed His servants to be able to infer the laws from the established, constant working of nature, He can change everything whenever He wills, stop nature or some part of it from its regular operation, annul any of its laws, and, therefore, He can answer the prayers of His servants, working miracles or extraordinary, unexpected things.
Apart from this, the verse also reminds us that Allāh is close to His servants, even closer to them than their own jugular veins.(50:16)
He hears every voice and knows even what is kept secret in bosoms or hearts.
▪Therefore, there is no need to pray loudly and exclaim as if someone were explaining something to somebody who cannot hear or know. So we must pray in a decent manner of invoking with an awareness that He is closer to us than ourselves.
In addition, according to the last part of the verse, “So let them respond to My call, and believe and trust in Me so that they may be guided to spiritual and intellectual excellence and right conduct,” as long as God’s servants adhere to His commands sincerely and aim at attaining perfect faith in all their acts, then they become able to attain maturity and straightness on their path and achieve their goal. Because, as far as servants take refuge in God, isolating themselves from their own whims, desires, ambition, weak spots, and grudges, they have entrusted their affairs to God. And God Almighty confirms the person by showing His additional favor in a particular manner. Thus, He can create in a moment a thousand times what thousands of causes, natural laws, and specific powers are never able to construct in millions of years.
When the Ultimate Truth manifests Himself with His favor, He makes everything easy;
He creates the means to the thing desired and grants them in an instant.