وعن أبي هريرة، رضي الله عنه، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال: "يقول الله تعالى: أنا عند ظن عبدي بي، وأنا معه إذا ذكرني، فإن ذكرني في نفسه، ذكرته في نفسي وإن ذكرني في ملإٍ ذكرته في ملإٍ خير منهم ، وإن تقرب إلي بشبر تقربت إليه ذراعا ، وإن تقرب إلي ذراعا تقربت إليه باعا ، وإن أتاني يمشي أتيته هرولة ) رواه البخاري ومسلم" ((متفق عليه)).
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Allah the Exalted says: 'I am as my slave expects me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly (i.e., in the assembly of angels) and if he approaches me an inch, I come towards him an arm's length and if he walks towards me I run towards him"
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Also, God says in the Holy Quran 39:53
۞ قُلْ يَٰعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا۟ مِن رَّحْمَةِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."
A couple of things to ponder:
Firstly, God still calls the ones who sinned and excessively transgressed the limits set by Him as His servants. He did not excommunicate them or oust them from the folds of the faith even though they are sinning. He instead reminds us of His expansive mercy and His limitless forgiveness.
Secondly, things like "You haven't prayed in 5 years, now you want to pray?" Or "you were just out partying and drinking, now you want to come close to God" are ways in which satan tries to detract you from the mercy of God but think about the verse in light of the above hadeeth. If one is to assume/expect the best of God then one shall receive that and then some. You take the first step and God will run towards you.
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