This ayat is to the Prophet (saw), and people used to ask about Allah - and they used to ask “What’s the thing Allah loves the most? How do I pray to Him the best way?” etc. And you know, in this ayat Allah is not talking to us He’s talking to the Prophet. But He doesn’t say “IF" the slave comes and asks, He says "WHEN”. Because it’s like Allah is waiting, you know if is like “If he comes, he comes..” but when is like Allah is in anticipation for the slave to wonder about the Master. He’s anticipating us to come and ask about Him, or to enquire about Him and get to know who He is.
The words we learn from the Prophet (saw) teach us to connect directly to Allah. That’s the essence of our deen, we have a direct relationship with Allah. Many of us have messed up in life, we’ve made a lot of mistakes; I’m no exception you’re no exception - but that’s no excuse for us not to have a direct relationship with Allah. And Allah says ”If you just inquire about me, that’s enough for Me to want to engage with you directly in conversation.” The spirit of duaa is that you’re talking to Allah.
You asked about Allah and Allah came so near. And then He said something even more beautiful. “I respond immediately, and I will respond.” It carries the present and the future. You know what that does? It gives us hope.
You know, you meet some people sometimes who are like “Allah’s not going to answer my prayer. You don’t know, I’m super messed up.” Allah says “I do, and I will.” And they say “Yeah but not my prayers! He’ll answer the prayers of the Imam, the guy who’s leading taraweeh, the guy who’s got nice recitation, the guy that’s much more religious than I am, the girl who wears hijab etc, those are the good Muslims. Allah’s going to answer them.” Allah says “I will respond to the call of the caller.” He didn’t say the call of the believer, the call of the Muslim, the call of the one who submits, the call of the righteous, the call of the slave, the call of the worshiper - He didn’t use ANY of those descriptions. He said the “Call of the CALLER”. Anyone who calls qualifies to be a caller. You don’t have to be a special person to be one calling on Allah. So Allah opens the invitation to anyone who wants to engage in conversation with Allah.
- Nouman Ali Khan