Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)
We hear talk of people ‘reaching Allah.’ What does this actually mean?
‘Reaching Allah’ is reaching the noble station of special knowledge of Him. Someone who has attained this state witnesses Allah in every instant, and nothing may cut them off from their Lord. Someone who wishes to reach Allah must firstly be steadfast in their obedience to Him. They must then remove from their heart all blameworthy traits and attain all praiseworthy traits and then be constantly mindful of Allah. Then their inner sight becomes illuminated and the light of witnessing Him becomes firm in their heart. Finally they attain a portion of special knowledge of Him and pure love for Him. This is reaching Allah. Those who reached Allah, whether they were prophets, or their companions or those who followed them with excellence, came from different walks of life. Some of them were traders, some were farmers and some had no worldly involvement whatsoever. Some went out to struggle for the sake of Allah and some spent all of their time teaching. Any person, whatever their background, has the ability to reach Allah.