Those Shaded when there is no Shade: Allah’s Mercy made Manifest

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(part 1 of 2) Description:  An introduction to the seven groups of people that will be shaded on the Day of Judgment and a more detailed loo...

(part 1 of 2)

Description: An introduction to the seven groups of people that will be shaded on the Day of Judgment and a more detailed look at the first three.
Objective:
·       To understand the actions that propel people into the groups that will be shaded on the Day of Judgment. 
Arabic Terms:
·       Hadith -  (plural – ahadith) is a piece of information or a story.  In Islam it is a narrative record of the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad and his companions.
·       Aayaat - (singular – ayah)  the word aayaat can have many meanings.  It is almost always used when talking about proofs from Allah.  These include evidences, verses, lessons, signs, and revelations.
·       Shaytan- sometimes spelled Shaitan or Shaytaan.  It is the word used in Islam and the Arabic language to denote the devil or Satan, the personification of evil.
ThoseShaded01.jpgOn the Day of Judgment the sun will be brought low.  Prophet Muhammad informed us that, “The sun will get closer to the earth until it is only a mile away and the people will perspire according to the level of their deeds…”.[1]  The people will be standing together, fearful and suffering from the effects of the heat.  For a lucky few the suffering will last what feels like seconds, for others they will begin to feel as if they have been standing in the scorching rays of the sun for half a lifetime or more.  The lessons entitled “Events on the Day of Judgement”[2]  describe in more detail what people will experience on that Day.   It mentions briefly that there are seven kinds of people who will be in the shade; the shade of the Throne of Allah.  In these lessons we will examine these groups of people in more detail.
Prophet Muhammad would talk to his followers about the Day of Judgment.  He wanted them, and us who follow him today, to be prepared for what is to come.  In a famous and much quoted hadith he reminded us of the boundless mercy of Allah and seven types of people who would stand serenely in the shade on the Day of Judgement.
“Allah will give shade to seven [people] on the Day when there will be no shade other than His (Throne's) shade:  A just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position (for illegal intercourse), but responds by saying, ‘I fear Allah’; a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and finally  a man who remembered Allah in private and wept.”[3]
Before we continue, it is worth mentioning that in most circumstances when ‘man’ is mentioned both in the Quran and ahadith it refers to both men and women; except where women or men are addressed separately and specifically.

1.     A just ruler.

Justice is a fundamental concept in Islam, along with tolerance, forgiveness and respect.   Justice means to give every person the rights he is entitled to believer or non-believer, relative or stranger, friend or enemy.  This is a concept that every Muslim must apply, not only the ruler.  God emphasizes justice, and Islam condemns all forms of injustice and oppression.   
“…And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just.  Be just; that is nearer to righteousness”.    (Quran: 5:8)
“…And God wills no injustice to the worlds.” (Quran 3:108)
Being just can put the ruler under a lot of pressure, he must be careful of his own intentions and actions and he also bears some responsibility for the actions taken under his authority.

2.     A youth who grew up in the worship of Allah.

It is the youth who are the most energetic and enthusiastic.  They have a zest for life and look to the future, planning and laying foundations for a long and fruitful life.  Their liveliness and zeal are great blessings from Allah and those who use this time wisely to gain knowledge of Allah and perform acts that they may not be able to perform later in life will be rewarded.  Amongst those rewards is to be shaded on the Day when there is no shade.  Youthfulness however is also the time when a person is most vulnerable to the temptations of life and the tricks of Shaytan.  There are many worldly distractions specifically marketed to the young, so they must keep their eyes on the prize and not be deluded by all that glitters and has no substance. 
We are reminded of this in another hadith where Prophet Muhammad says, “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your wealth, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.”[4]

3.     A man whose heart is attached to the mosques.

Once again there are great rewards for praying in the mosque.  In various ahadith we are reminded of this.  For a man praying in the mosque has 27 times more reward than praying in the home.[5]  Prophet Muhammad said that a person… “does not take a step towards the mosque except that because of it, he is raised by one rank and one sin is removed from him.  Then when he prays, the angels do not cease supplicating for him for as long as he remains at his place of prayer saying, ‘O Allah send blessings upon him, O Allah have mercy upon him’…” [6]
This does not take away from the fact that for believers the whole earth (with very few exceptions) is their praying place[7]; however the mosque is the heart of the community.  It is not only a place of worship but also  a meeting place, an educational institute, a place of social activities and a place of rest. 

4.     Two who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that.

Loving one another for the sake of Allah is another way of pleasing Allah, gathering rewards and living by the concepts embedded in Islam.  It means that one person loves another person because of his or her piety.  It does not matter whether the other person is rich or poor or what nationality they are or what colour their skin is.  It does not matter what they wear or where they live, what matters is their attachment to Allah and Islam.  A believer is tolerant of differences and respects others.  Loving a person because they love Allah is loving for Allah’s sake.


Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Muslim & Abu Dawood.
[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari  & Saheeh Muslim
[4] Iman Ahmad.
[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim
[6] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[7] Ibid

Those Shaded when there is no Shade (part 2 of 2): Striving to be Shaded

Description: A continuation of lesson 1 describing the last 3 groups of people who will be shaded by Allah.
Objective
·       To understand what sort of people will be under the shade of Allah’s Throne on the Day of Judgment.
Arabic Terms
·       Hadith -  (plural – ahadith) is a piece of information or a story.  In Islam it is a narrative record of the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad and his companions.
·       Aayaat - (singular – ayah)  the word aayaat can have many meanings.    It is almost always used when talking about proofs from Allah.   These include evidences, verses, lessons, signs, and revelations.
·       Ummah - Refers to the whole Muslim community, irrespective of color, race, language or nationality.
·       Taqwa - Awe or fear of Allah, piety, God-consciousness.  It describes a state of awareness of Allah in everything one does.
·       Shaytan- sometimes spelled Shaitan or Shaytaan.  It is the word used in Islam and the Arabic language to denote the devil or Satan, the personification of evil.
·       Sadaqah - voluntary charity.
·       Zakah – obligatory charity.
5.    A man who is called by a woman of beauty and position (for illegal intercourse), but responds by saying, ‘I fear Allah’.
ThoseShaded02.jpgPlease note that, as explained in lesson 1, the same reward is given to a woman who is tempted by a man but rebukes him saying, “I fear Allah”.  This world is full of temptations and especially now, in the 21st century we are assaulted almost constantly.  Our dependence on technology forces us to make hard choices.  We can choose to be led around by the nose by Shaytan and his minions or we can choose righteousness.  The attraction of one gender to the other is an age old problem, an age old temptation, and many people have been lured into destruction by failing to resist a thing of beauty.  This is why we find the rewards for restraint mentioned so often in the aayaat (verses) of the Quran and why Prophet Muhammad warned his Ummah about the danger of not learning self-control. 
“But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode.” (Quran 79:40-41)
People enter Paradise, due generally to their taqwa of Allah, full respect and obedience to the commands of Allah, and based on their good conduct.  Most however enter the Hellfire because of the ill use of the mouth and private parts”.[1]
Something that is guaranteed to strengthen our resolve to stay well away from the temptation of the opposite gender is ‘fear of Allah’.  Taqwa is the word often used to define the concept of fear of Allah.  Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) was a man with taqwa.  It is said that he will be one of the leaders of the people shaded by Allah on the Day of Judgement.  His way of dealing with the temptation of the seductress that was his employer’s wife is a fine example for all of us.  When he found himself tempted by her beauty he sought refuge with Allah. 
“Indeed she did desire him and he would have inclined to her desire had he not seen the evidence of his Lord.   Thus, it was that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse.   Surely, he was one of Our chosen, guided slaves.” (Quran 12:24)
6.    A man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity.
Charity in Islam takes two forms: zakah, compulsory charity and sadaqah, voluntary charity.  Zakah holds such a high position that throughout the Quran it is often coupled with prayer.  Islam places great emphasis on the need to give sadaqah and zakah and it places great emphasis and great reward on giving these two forms of charity in secret.  To give in secret preserves the dignity of those who receive and it also prevents the giver from seeking praise and acknowledgment.  Islam tells us that giving in secret is by far the superior way but that should not detract from giving publicly which is also a very desirous and rewardable act however deliberately drawing attention to one’s charitable deeds is a very undesirable quality.
Wealth is something that Allah can give to us at any time; however He can also take it away without even a moment’s notice.  We all know people that have plunged into bankruptcy overnight.  Because of the high position charity holds in Islam it is important that we spend our wealth in the way of Allah before we do not have the means to do so. 
The likeness of those who spend their money for Allah’s sake, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn), it grows seven ears, every single ear has a hundred grains, and God multiplies (increases the reward) for whom He wills, and Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures needs, All Knower.  (Quran 2:261)
7.    A man who remembers Allah in private and weeps.
Prophet Muhammad said, “There are two eyes which will not be touched by the fire, an eye which weeps out of fear of Allah and an eye that stays alert throughout the night guarding for the sake of Allah”.[2]
In the first type are those people whose eyes overflow with tears when they remember Allah.  They weep when they contemplate the sins that they have committed or might have committed if they had not remembered the great mercy of Allah.   Sometimes it is easy to be swept up by the emotion when praying in congregation and many people weep.  While this is a rewardable and commendable action those who weep in private, when there is none but Allah who can see them, are in a special category and will be sheltered under the shade of Allah. 


Footnotes:
[1] At-Tirmidhi
[2] Ibid.

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Jama Masjid: Those Shaded when there is no Shade: Allah’s Mercy made Manifest
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