The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the masjids; two men 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 he says: ‘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 a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.” (Narrated by Abu Hurairah and collected in Sahih al-Bukhari)
In this beautiful Hadith, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) spoke about small acts of worship which result in such a huge reward: shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade [this shade refers to the Shade of Allah’s ‘Arsh (Throne) as is mentioned in other authentic Ahadith.]
This may not seem like much at first but then reflect upon the following Hadith: “On the Day of Resurrection, the sun would draw so close to the people that there would be left a distance of only a mile. The people will be submerged in perspiration according to their deeds, some up to their ankles, some up to their knees, some up to the waist and some would have the bridle of perspiration and, while saying this, the Messenger of Allah put his hand towards his mouth.” (Narrated by al-Miqdaad in Aswad and collected in Sahih Muslim)
And in another Hadith, some will be submerged in sweat “seventy armlengths in the earth.” (Narrated by Abu Hurairah and collected in Sahih al-Bukhari)
Let us examine the characteristics and virtues of these seven categories of people who will be worthy of such an exalted position on the Day of Gathering.
1. “A JUST RULER...”
The concept of Justice in Islam is very important and it is something which the Muslim – Ruler and the ruled – must apply in all matters without exception. Justice means to give each the right he deserves: Muslim or non-Muslim, relative or stranger, friend or enemy.
Allah says: “...And do not let hatred cause you to act unjustly, that is nearer to piety.” [Al-Maa’idah 5: 8]
Unfortunately, even if we admit this in theory, we quickly forget it in practice.
So we find that when we speak about our friends and loved ones, we praise them beyond reason and when we speak about those whom we hold difference with, we can find no good in them and we just capitalise on their bad points.
This is far removed from the justice which Allah loves and gives great reward for, as mentioned in the Hadith: “The doers of justice will be on thrones of light at Allah’s Right Hand – and both of Allah’s Hands are Right Hands – those who were just in their Ruling, with their families and in all that over which they were given authority.” [Narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar and reported in Sahih Muslim. This hadith is one among several authentic Ahadith which prove that Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, has the Attribute of possessing Hands. Ahlus-Sunnah therefore affirm that belief that Allah has Hands. They do not delve into what His Hands are like, nor liken His Hands to the hands of creation, nor do they say that His Hands symbolise Power or anything else, since these claims have no basis except conjecture and opinion. And it is impermissible to say anything about Allah, except that which He affirms or denies about Himself, not going further than that.]
The concept of justice is most important for the Ruler, since he is in charge of the people and the prime disposer of justice in the land. For this reason, the Ruler is given special mention as one of the seven who will be honoured with Allah’s Shade.
2. “A YOUTH WHO GREW UP IN THE WORSHIP OF ALLAH...”
The great scholar Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee (d. 131H) said, “From the success of a youth or non-Arab is that Allah guides him to be a scholar of the Sunnah.” [Hasan – reported in Sharh Usoolis-Sunnah of al-Laalikaa’ee]
Indeed, it is a great blessing from Allah for a youth to be guided towards worship and befriended by the righteous, since it is in youth that a person is most vulnerable to the temptations of life and liable to drift away from the Islamic Path. This becomes apparent when we look at the society around us and we see that most of the worldly distractions, such as music, games, clubs, fashion, etc, are all specifically targeted at the young.
“You’re only young once,” they are told, which is why many Muslims nowadays waste their youth thinking that they will pray, wear Hijab and go on Haj, etc when they are old, as if they have a guarantee of longevity from Allah!
How well we would do to heed the Prophet’s advice when he said: “Take benefit of five before five: your youth before old age, your health before sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied and your life before your death.” [Sahih – Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbass and collected in al-Haakim and others.]
3. “A MAN WHOSE HEART IS ATTACHED TO THE MASJIDS...”
There is great encouragement in the Sunnah for men to pray in the masjids and the reward associated with it is tremendous. [This applies only to men, because for women it is more meritorious for them to pray in their homes. This is based on the authentically related Hadith in Sunan Abu Daawood where it is reported that the Prophet said, “Do not prevent your women from going to the masjids, but their homes are better for them.”]
Not only does it make the person eligible to Allah’s Shade on the Day of Judgment, but, “he does not take a step (towards the masjid), 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...” [Narrated by Abu Hurairah and collected in Sahih al-Bukhari.]
It must be emphasised here however that all the ahadith encouraging the men to be attached to the masjids are not intended to lead one to the conclusion that Islam is a Religion which should be confined to the masjids, as many people imagine (and as many governments would want in their countries!). Nonetheless, the masjid should be at the heart of the Muslim community, and the role of those in authority of the masjids is vital here. They are the ones mainly responsible for making the masjid a welcome refuge for the Muslims, rather than an arena for politics and power struggles as many seem to have become these days. And we seek Allah’s refuge from this!
4. “TWO MEN WHO LOVE EACH OTHER FOR ALLAH’S SAKE, MEETING FOR THAT AND PARTING UPON THAT...”
Having mutual love for the sake of Allah is one of the great doors leading to the good of the Hereafter and a cause of tasting the sweetness of eemaan in this world. Loving one another for Allah’s sake means that the Muslim does not love another except for the correctness of his Deen. So it does not matter what the person looks like, what he wears, how rich or poor he is, where he comes from, or what the colour of his skin is – perhaps you dislike everything about him, but you love him for his eemaan: this is loving for Allah’s sake.
“Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent says: Those who have mutual love for the sake of My Glory will have pillars of light and will be envied by the Prophets and martyrs.” [Sahih – collected in Sunan at-Tirmidhee and Musnad Ahmad]
Subhaan Allah! Imagine being envied by Allah’s chosen Messengers and those who were slain in His Path! Such is the reward for those who love one another for Allah’s sake.
5. “A MAN WHO IS CALLED BY A WOMAN OF BEAUTY AND
POSITION, BUT HE SAYS: ‘I FEAR ALLAH...”
This world is full of temptations which lead to burning in the Fire, and amongst them is that which comes from women. Many a man has led his soul into destruction on account of the lure of a woman, which is why the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) warned his Ummah specifically about this. He said, “The world is sweet and green and verily Allah is going to install you as successors upon it in order to see how you act. So avoid the allurement of women: verily the first trial for the Children of Israa’eel was caused by women.” [Narrated by Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree and collected in Sahih Muslim.]
The most important provision which we need to protect ourselves from this and all other temptations in life is the fear (khawf) of Allah. This fact is alluded to in the following Qur’anic aayah: “And as for him who feared standing before his Lord and restrained himself from impure evil desires, verily Paradise will be his abode.” (An-Naazi’aat 79:40-41)
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...”
This describes the type of person who goes to great lengths to protect himself from ar-Riyaa. Ar-Riyaa means to do deeds in order to earn the praise and recognition of people. This sin destroys all the benefits that lie in righteous deeds and brings on a serious punishment for the one who commits it. It is particularly dangerous because it is in man’s nature to desire and enjoy the praise of others. Thus, great care has been taken to ensure that one’s intentions begin and remain pure whenever good actions (such as charity) are being done. Not like what we see today where we have masjid noticeboards announcing who gave what to whom, why and when!
Allah warns us: “O you who believe! Do not render vain your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men and he does not believe in Allah nor in the Last Day.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 264). May Allah preserve us from this.
7. “...A MAN WHO REMEMBERED ALLAH IN PRIVATE AND SO HIS EYES SHED TEARS.”
Our noble Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) informed us: “If you knew what I knew, you would laugh little and weep much.” [Narrated by Abu Hurairah and Anas and collected in Sahih Muslim]
Crying is not a ‘sissy’ thing to do. The Prophet, who was the best of all creation, would weep as would all of his Companions. Tears are a genuine expression of fear of Allah’s Punishment and of our sincere love and awe of Him. But how often do we remember Allah in seclusion and are then moved to tears? How much do we laugh and how little do we weep? The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “There is nothing more beloved to Allah than two drops and two marks: A tear shed due to fear of Allah, and a drop of blood spilled in the Path of Allah. And as for the two marks, they are a mark caused in the Path of Allah, and a mark caused by fulfilling one of the duties made obligatory by Allah.” [Hasan – collected by at-Tirmidhee and al-Mishkaat]
Alhamdulillaah, through these seven types of people mentioned in the hadith, we have been given clear signposts of the way to attain Allah’s pleasure and satisfaction. So dear brothers and sisters in eemaan, devote yourself to being one amongst those seven, for indeed fortunate will be those who are granted Allah’s Shade on the Day when there will be no shade but His. (Article by Fareena Aslam and ‘Itrat Azad)
Tawheed (monotheism) the essence of Islam
Literally Tawheed means to make something one or to call it one. In English when something is made one it is deemed to be unified. However, in Islamic terminology Tawheed means to believe that Allah is the one and only God. It is sometimes referred to as monotheism, however in the purest sense in that no other entity can in any way have the attributes or be equivalent or even in competition with Allah. All acts of worship that a person does should be to Allah or for Allah Alone. For example, prayer should only be to Allah, religious animal sacrifice should only be done in Allah’s name, and fighting to establish and protect religion (Jihad). Tawheed is therefore the central concept upon which all of Islam rests.
IMPORTANCE AND BENEFITS OF TAWHEED:
* Tawheed is the essence of Islam and the mainspring of its strength. All other laws, beliefs and commands of Islam stand firm on this foundation. Take it away, and there is nothing left of Islam.
* Tawheed is the call of all the prophets to their people. And verily We have sent among every nation a Messenger proclaiming Worship Allah Alone and avoid all false deities. (Qur’an 16:36)
* Tawheed is the only reason for the world’s creation. And I created not the Jinns and Men except that they should worship Me. (Qur’an 51:56) By declaring sincere belief in Tawheed, a disbeliever will become a Muslim. Conversely, a Muslim will become a disbeliever (kaafir) if he rejects any aspect of it.
* By Tawheed we achieve salvation from Eternal punishment in the Hereafter, right guidance in this world, and forgiveness for sins. Allah states in the Qur’an: Verily Allah does not forgive associating partners with Him (Shirk) however He forgives all other sins as He pleases. (Qur’an 4:48). The Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: The worshipper’s right on Allah is that He will not punish those who worship none besides Him [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
* Whoever fulfils Tawheed will be admitted to the Garden (Al-Jannah) in the Hereafter. The Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has stated: Verily Allah has promised that whosoever does not commit shirk shall enter Al-Jannah (the Garden in the Heaven). [Al-Bukhari)]
* It is the reason for solving peoples’ sadness because true happiness will be achieved if persons realise Tawheed within their heart. They will also never feel psychologically enslaved even if physically captive.
* It is the only reason for Allah’s pleasure and rewards. In another aayah (verse) in the Qur’an Allah says: If you reject faith then know that Allah is in no need of you and He does not accept disbelief from His slaves. (Qur’an 39:7) Disbelief is nothing but a manifestation of shirk which is the opposite of Tawheed.
* The acceptance of all of one’s religious deeds is based upon Tawheed. Allah states: Whoever accepts a religion other than Islam it shall be rejected by Allah and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. (Qur’an 3:85). Islam is nothing if not an embodiment of the belief in Tawheed.
* Tawheed prevents man from eternally remaining in the Hellfire. The Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) stated in an authentic report: Whoever dies and has so much as a mustard seed of faith in his heart shall enter Al-Jannah.
SOURCES OF ISLAMIC ‘AQEEDAH
The Qur’an is the Revelation which Allah sent down to His Apostle Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and has been passed forth to us both in form and in content in an uninterrupted transmission. Meaning, it can be verified as coming from the lips of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) It is the last scripture to be revealed to mankind. As the actual word of Allah in its original form in the Arabic language it is the first and foremost source of Islamic ‘aqeedah Allah says: And we did not send any Messenger before you but we inspired him (saying) none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah) so worship Me. (Qur’an 21:25) .
Hadith in Arabic has the general meaning of speech whether pertaining to religion or not. Then it took a special sense (prophetic traditions), comprising all the Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) speech, deeds, or tacit decisions.
In this regard, the terms Hadith and Sunnah are synonymous. The Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) being the fount from which both the Qur’an and the Sunnah spring was the best to explain what each and every person should believe about Allah. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) stated about himself: I am the most knowledgeable of Allah amongst you and the most fearful of him. And he also stated: Every child is born on Al-Fitra (true faith of Islamic Monotheism) but his parents convert him to Judaism, Christianity or Magianism.
Tips on safeguarding, improving your prayers
The following is some advice to help you preserve and safeguard your prayer, and perform it in a proper manner, which makes it more likely to be accepted,
* Perform Wudhoo’ (ablution) properly because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), said: “Allah made compulsory upon Himself to admit into Paradise any Muslim who properly performed Wudhoo’, then prays two Rak’ah with attentiveness and submissiveness.” [Muslim].
* Leave your house in the state of Wudhoo’ because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The one who leaves his house in a state of Wudhoo’ to perform an obligatory prayer will get the reward of pilgrimage.” [Ahmad].
* Be keen to perform it as soon as its time is due because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The best of deeds is performing prayer on its due time” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
* Be keen to perform it with the congregation because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Prayer with the congregation is 27 multiples better than praying alone.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
* Be keen to reach before the Imam utters the initial Allahu Akbar because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whosoever prays 40 days with the congregation, attending the initial (Allahu Akbar) of the prayer, will be free of two things: Hell Fire and hypocrisy.” [Ahmad]
* Be keen to walk to the mosque because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Give glad tidings to those who walk to the mosque during dark with complete light on the Day of Resurrection.” [Abu Dawood and At-Tirmithi]
* Be attentive with your heart while performing prayer.
* Wait in the mosque for the next prayer as often as you can because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said when he mentioned the seven whom Allah The Almighty will protect under the shade of His throne: “A man whose heart is attached to mosques.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
* Learn the rulings of prayer and the Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
* Perform the regular optional prayers at home because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The best prayer is the one performed at home except the obligatory prayer.” [At-Tabarani]
* Beware of staying up late at night because you are likely to miss the Fajr prayer.
* Beware of eating, drinking and laughing too much, because this makes performing prayer heavier on the heart.
* Set your alarm for Fajr or get someone to call you to wake up for prayer.
* Ponder upon the verses recited during the prayer.
* Read about the Salaf (righteous predecessors) and their ambition and keenness to guard prayer.
* Think about the glory of Allah The Almighty before you start praying.
* leave the mosque before finishing them.
Ibn Al-Qayyim may Allah have mercy upon him said:
“There are five ranks of people in relation to prayer,
First, is he who transgresses against himself by neglecting parts of Wudhoo’, its timings and some of its conditions; and he will be punished.
Second, is he who maintains its timings and conditions, but his mind is occupied during prayer; and he will be questioned.
Third, is he who maintains its timings and conditions and all its rights and struggles against himself not to become busy thinking of something else; so he is in a state of Jihad while praying; and he will forgiven.
Fourth, is he whose heart is fully consumed by praying during his prayer, and his main concern is establishing it properly and perfectly, and he is in a state of servitude to his Lord; and he will be rewarded.
Fifth, is he who does as the fourth, but in addition he sets his heart in the Hands of his Lord, watchful of his Lord, glorifying and honouring Him as if he can see his Lord; his mind is concentrated on praying; and this type is far higher than any other rank; and he is close to his Lord and will have the pleasure of being close to his Lord in the Hereafter.”
Which one of these five ranks do you fit in? Hold yourself accountable and weigh it according to your performance of prayer, because it is an accurate scale.
Ways to glorify the status of prayer:
1. Perform it on time.
2. Perfect its conditions and compulsory acts.
3. Rush to perform it.
4. Feel sorrow if any portion was performed improperly, like the one who becomes saddened for not performing it with the congregation because he missed out on the 27 multiples of reward; or if he was inattentive during prayer, for a prayer without complete submission is like a body without a soul.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
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