“Allah says, ‘I am as my servant expects Me to be, and I am with him when he remembers me. If he thinks of Me, I think of him. If he mentions Me in company, I mention him in an even better company. When he comes closer to Me by a handspan, I come closer to him an arm’s length. If he draws closer to Me by an arm’s length, I draw closer by a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him. If my servant comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” (Al-Bukhari)
Streaming out of these words is a sense of the love Allah has for His servants and the special relationship they can have with Him. How inspiring it is that you can remember Allah at any moment and immediately have a connection with the Heavens, because He will remember you in that same instant. If you mention His name in front of people, He will mention you by name in the company of the angels.“I am as my servant expects Me to be….” the hadith says.
If we put our hope in the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, believing that He will treat us well and cover up our sins, He will meet and exceed our expectations. It is important not to allow our fear of Allah to overwhelm our hope, because He will be as we expect Him to be. While we strive to please Him and avoid what angers Him, while we fear His punishment and as we hope for His reward, we should take comfort in His beautiful names and characteristics and rejoice in His mercy. Some of us can only use their lips to mention the name of Allah. Some of us want to find a straight path towards the love of Allah but are only able to take small steps on that path. Others are able to take large bounds, walking and even running on the path to Allah. Allah will extend a hand to each and everyone of us at our own level. No matter what our current level or ability, we just need to take the first step.
The wisdom in this hadithcan convey great confidence if you contemplate it. You may think you do not have the strength, willpower, or even time to achieve your goals. You may be right-perhaps you do not. But we only have to make a plan and start the journey, because Allah will meet us on the way and help us forward. If you think that understanding the whole Quran, reforming your life, excelling in your work, forgiving someone, starting your own business, inventing the next cure for cancer, or quitting an addiction is simply too hard and beyond your capacity, let these words give you strength. You do not have to go the whole way by yourself. You only have to take the first step and for every step you make, Allah will make many more towards you and help you get there.
We often estimate our abilities only by calculating our personal talents, but we do not take into consideration the help of Allah. He will be with us when we remember Him, and He will help us if we take the first steps. His presence and help can give us strength beyond imagination. How hard and sincerely we try will determine how strong the help of Allah comes—go to him walking, He will come running.