Islamic Character With the Divine

In the Shade of the Throne

by Raiiq Ridwan

Glimpses into the World of the Unseen Part: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII

Muslim narrates a terrifying hadeeth (record of the words or actions of the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) who said that he heard the Prophet ﷺ say, “The sun will get closer to the creations on the Day of Resurrection until it is only a mile away. People will perspire according to the level of their deeds. Some of them will have perspiration covering his ankles, some to his knees, others to their shoulders, some will have it choke them,” and he pointed to his mouth.

For those living in the tropical regions, summer signifies a horrible time of the year. More often than not, people try to rush home every time they are out. If possible, their rooms are air conditioned.

This is while the average distance between the Sun and the Earth is 149 MILLION KILOMETERS! Imagine yawm al-qiyamah (the Day of Judgment) standing for so long, and with the sun merely a mile away? La hawla walaa quwatta illah billah (There is neither power nor might except with Allah). There is no air conditioning, no fan, no cooling—in fact quite the opposite. Bukhari and Muslim both narrate a hadeeth from Aishah radi allahu `anha (may Allah  be pleased with her), where she mentions the Prophet said, “You will be gathered bare-footed, naked, and uncircumcised.”

I don’t know about you, brothers and sisters, but my heart has lost it already. While it might seem unbelievable at face value, we must remember that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) has mentioned that the Day of Judgement is al-waaqi`ah, the Definite Day, and also al-aazifah, the Day that is definitely coming, hence it is also aptly named yawm al-hasrah, the Day of Distress. (For more on the names of the Day of Judgement, check first article of this series.)

However, as we discussed before, our relationship with Allah (swt) is one of love, fear and hope. While we are terrified of this Day, we are hopeful of the vast Mercy of Allah (swt), and we believe that Allah (swt) will indeed find a way out for us insha’Allah (God willing). This Day is also called yawm al-fasl, the Day of Division. The wicked divided from the good, and the believer divided from the disbeliever. If we truly believe, then Allah (swt) will insha’Allah find a way out for the believers. And All Praise is due to Allah (swt) that the solution to every problem is also with Allah (swt). Muhammad ﷺ said in a hadeeth narrated by Bukhari and Muslim again, from Abu Hurayrah (ra): “Allah will give shade to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His.”

Phew!! Indeed, Allah (swt) is Most Merciful! Not only is He Merciful by showering us in His Mercy all day and night, He is also Merciful enough to show us the ways and means by which we are saved from His wrath on the Day of Judgement. The hadeeth goes on to mention those who will be given 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 mosques; two men who love each other for Allaah’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.”

1. A just ruler

The concept of Justice in Islam is very important and it is something which the Muslim—the 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 (swt) says: “[…] do not let hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness […]”   [Qur’an, 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 capitalize on their bad points. This is far removed from the justice which Allah (swt) loves and gives great reward for, as mentioned in the following hadeeth: “The doers of justice will be on thrones of light at Allah’s Right Hand – and both of Allah’s Hands are Right Hands” [Saheeh Muslim]

They are those who were just in their Ruling, with their families and in all that over which they were given authority.

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

In another interesting hadeeth of Rasulullah ﷺ, he 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 richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death.” [Narrated by Imam Ahmad]

Shaykh Yaser Birjas states in one of his khutbahs (sermons), “Youthfulness is a time when a person is the most energetic, when he lays out the foundations for his future, and when he plans his life. So the Prophet ﷺ said to take advantage of this time before the time comes when you do not have that enthusiasm, when you do not have that zeal, or that outlook. The enthusiasm and energy that you have been blessed with will never again be given to you after this age. Therefore, the Prophet ﷺ said to seize the moment and take advantage of it. A person should exercise this energy for the sake of Allah by procuring knowledge of Allah, obtaining halal [lawful] sustenance and worshipping Allah through acts that he might not be able to do later on in life.” (Full khutbah here.)

Moreover, this young age is a time when desires are more, and the will to disobey Allah (swt) is more. The mind is rebellious and the temptations of the shaytan (Satan) are at its maximum. The one who does his part in restraining himself/herself and obeys Allah (swt) surely deserves the shade under the throne of Allah (swt).

3. A man whose heart is attached to the mosques

Numerous ahadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ say that praying in the mosque has 27 times more reward than praying in homes [Bukhari and Muslim]. Also the Prophet ﷺ said, “He 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…” [Bukhari]

It must be emphasized here however, that all the hadeeth encouraging the men to be attached to the mosques are not intended to lead one to the conclusion that Islam is a religion which should be confined to the mosques, as many people imagine. Nonetheless, the mosque should be at the heart of the Muslim community, and the role of those in authority of the mosques is vital here. They are the ones mainly responsible for making the mosque a welcome refuge for the Muslims, rather than an arena for politics and power struggles as many seem to have become these days.

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 (swt) is one of the great doors leading to the good of the Hereafter and a cause of tasting the sweetness of iman (faith) in this world.

Loving one another for Allah’s sake means one loves another only because 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 iman: 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.” (at-Tirmidhee and Imam Ahmad)

5. A man who is tempted by a woman of beauty and position but he says, “I fear Allah.”
The same is for the woman tempted by a man and she 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 ﷺ said that the most important provision which we need to protect ourselves from this and all other temptations in life is the fear (khawf) of Allah (swt). This fact is alluded to in the following Qur’anic aayah (verse): “And as for him who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, then indeed Paradise will be [his] refuge.” [Qur’an 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 part of the hadeeth shows two very important qualities that should be the hallmark of every Muslim. First is charity. We should give charity so much that even we forget the amount of charity we have given. Have you ever wondered that the ones who give charity never become poor? Even if they give millions in charity? A great example for us lies in Shaykh Suleiman ar-Rajhi, founder of the Ar-Rajhi bank in Saudi Arabia, who gives away millions in charity. See Al-Jazeera’s reporting on him here.

The second point emphasized is the fact that the one who gives charity should give it in secret. The early generations of the Muslims used to give charity so secretly that even their wife didn’t know. Riyaa, showing off in worship, is the hidden shirk (associating partners with Allah), destroying all blessings of a good deed, and making it null and void, as it is done to show off to the people and not for the sake of Allah (swt). The best way to keep ourselves in check is to do all sunnah and nafl (voluntary) acts of worship in secret and away from the eyes of the people.

7. A man who remembered Allah in private and shed tears.

Another amazing reminder from the Qur’an comes to my mind every time I listen to this part of this hadeeth: “Has not the time come for those who believe that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? […]” [Qur’an 57:16]

Oh my brothers and sisters, when was the last time we cried for the sake of Allah? When was the last time that we turned our faces to Allah (swt) in secret, and our eyes overflowed with tears remembering every sin that we committed day and night, day and night? Did we ever cry thinking of the immense Mercy of Allah (swt), and all the blessings He has bestowed upon us?

This hadeeth mentions crying in secret, as it is commonplace to cry publicly when the Imam makes du`a’. The fear of showing-off remains even here, and hence the one who cries in secret will be given shade under the Throne of Allah (swt), on a day when there will be no shade but Allah’s shade.

If you contemplate the seven whom Allah (swt) will shade with the shade of His Throne when there is no shade but His, you will find that they deserved that shade because of their opposition to their inner desires. Allah (swt) is the One to be petitioned to grant us protection from our desires, which are inclined to evil, and that He makes our desires in accordance with what He loves and what is acceptable to Him. He has power over all things, and He is most worthy of answering our petition.

May Allah (swt) indeed enable us to be among those whom He shades under His Throne on a day when there is no shade but His shade!

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