”O you who believe! Answer Allaah and His Messenger…”
Allaah (The Most High) said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
”O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he calls you to that which will give you life, and know that Allah comes in between a person and his heart. And verily to Him you shall (all) be gathered.” [8:24]
Allaah (The Most High) commanded His believing slaves with what their Eemaan (obligates upon) them, and (that) is to respond to the call of Allaah and His Messenger–That is: Submission to what is commanded, hastening to carry it out and calling to it. Avoiding what is forbidden, renouncing it and forbidding it.
إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ
”when he calls you to that which will give you life.”
It (i.e. the above statement) is a description that necessitates everything Allaah and His Messenger call to and have clarified its benefit and the wisdom behind it. For indeed the life of the hearts and the souls (i.e. their uprightness) is (established) through servitude to Allaah (The Most High), adhering and persevering in obedience to Him and being constant in obedience to His Messenger.
Then (came) the warning against the lack of responding to the call of Allaah and that of His Messenger; He (The Most High) said: [وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ ] ”And know that Allah comes in between a person and his heart.” Therefore, beware of rejecting the command of Allaah when it comes to you at first, lest He comes between you and it [i.e. He (the Most High)prevents you from guidance as a just recompense) when you turn away from it and your hearts (turn) in opposition– for indeed Allaah intervenes between a person and his heart—he causes it (i.e. the heart of the person) to change and turns it in any direction as He wills (i.e. as a just recompense for the one who rejects the truth). Therefore, a slave (i.e. the Muslim) should increase in (uttering) the statement (i.e. the Du’aa): ”O turner of the hearts, keep my heart firm upon your Religion; O turner of the hearts, turn my heart towards obedience to You.”
وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
”And verily to Him you shall (all) be gathered.”
To Him shall you be gathered on a day about which there is no doubt, so that He rewards the good doer for his good deeds and the sinner for his disobedience.
[For further details, see Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan]