Asking Allaah expresses servitude of a profound nature because in doing so, one displays his need of Him and acknowledges His ability of answering that need. To ask a created object is oppressive because that object is unable to produce good for itself, or repress harm from itself, let alone do so for another!To ask of it is to put something that is unable in the place of One who is able.
The meaning is testified to by the hadith in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Abu Dharr that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said (Allaah says:), “My servants! If the first and last of you, the man and jinn of you, stood in one plain and asked of Me, and I grant every one his request, it would not decrease what is with Me except as a needle decreases the (volume) of an ocean when dipped in it” (Muslim)
Tirmidhee and others record an additional wording “…and that is because I am Generous, Rich beyond need, Glorious. I do what I wish. My gift is a word and My punishment is a word. When I wish a thing to be, I only say, ‘Be!’ and it is.” (Tirmidhee graded Hasan)
So how can one who is needy and incapable be asked yet the One who is rich and able be left?! This is truely astonishing!
One of the Salaf said, ‘I am ashamed to ask Allaah for anything of this world even though He owns it, so how can I possibly ask someone who does not own it?! ‘ i.e an object of creation.
One of the Salaf came upon difficult times and decided to ask one of his brothers for help. He saw a person in a dream saying,
Is it acceptable for one who is free,
When he finds all he wants with Allaah,
To incline his heart towards the servant?
He awoke to find that he was, amongst people, the most content of heart.
One of the Salaf said, ‘I read the following in one of the heavenly scriptures:
“Allaah, Mighty and Magnificent, says, ‘Is someone other than Me hoped for during adversity?! Adversity is in my hand and I am the Ever-Living, the Self-Sustaining. Someone other than Me is hoped for and his door is knocked on in the early hours?! In My hands are the keys to all treasures and My door is open to whoever invokes Me! Who can say that he placed his hope in Me during hardship yet I cut him off? Who can say that he placed his hope in Me during adversity and I cut short his hope? Who can say that he knocked on My door and I did not open it for him? I am the source of hopes, so how can hopes be severed before Me? Am I a miser such that the servant finds me niggardly? Is not the world, the Hereafter, kindness and grace entirely with Me? What prevents the hopers from placing their hope in Me? Were I to gather the inhabitants of the heavens and earth and grant each and everyone of them what I grant all of them together, and were I to fulfil the hope of each one of them, My dominion would not be decreased an atoms weight! How can a dominion decrease, the sustainer of which is Me? Wretched is the state of those who disobey Me and boldly encroach My proscriptions!” ‘
Allaah loves to be asked and is angry at someone who does not ask Him. He wants His servants to desire Him, to ask Him, to invoke Him and show their need of Him.
He loves those who are earnest and persistent in supplication. Creation generally hates being asked because it is in need and incapable.
Ibn al-Sammak said, ‘Ask not one who will run away from you rather than listen to your request, instead ask One who has ordered you to ask Him.‘
Abu’l- Ataiyyah said,
Allaah is angry if you leave asking Him
The child of Adam is angry when you ask Him
Direct your request to Allaah since
In our Lords blessings do we vacillate.
Yahya ibn Mu’adh would say, ‘O You who is angry at whoever does not ask of You, do not hold back from someone who does ask You!’
Allaah, Most High, requests His servants to ask of Him. Every night He calls out, ‘Is there one asking of Me that I may give im? Is there one invoking Me that I may respond?’ (-Bukhari & Muslim)
Allaah, The Most High says,
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌۖ أُجِيبُ دَعۡوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِۖ
“If My servant asks you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me” (2:186)
Regardless of what time the servant supplicates to Him, he will find Him hearing, close and responsive; there will be no screen between the two and no sentry at the door. Were he to ask a created being, quickly would he find barriers erected, doors being closed and he will find it very difficult to reach the person most of the time.
~Ibn Rajab al Hanbali: Nuru’l l-Iqtibas fi Mishkat Wasiyyah al Nabi li’bn ‘Abbaas
The Legacy of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) Eng trans. pg. 76-79