The seven under the shade of Allah
THE Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) 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 mosques; 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 be 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.’”
In this beautiful Hadith, the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) 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 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 one 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.’
And in another Hadith, some will be submerged in sweat ‘seventy arm-lengths in the earth.’ So who would want more then, on this Day, than to be under the Shade and protection of Allah Azza wa Jall?
Let us examine now the characteristics and virtues of these seven categories of people who will be worthy of such an exalted position on the Day of Gathering:
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 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 capitalize on their bad points. This is far removed from the justice which Allah loves and gives great reward for, as mentioned in the following 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.
The Prophet assigning to Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud the open spaces in Madina between the dwellings and palm gardens of the Ansar, and when the Banu Abd Ibn Zuhrah said, “Remove from us the son of Umm Abd (Ibn Mas’ud),” replying, ‘Why then did Allah send me? Allah does not bless a people among whom a weak man is not given his right.’”
The concept of justice is most important for the Ruler, since he is in charge of his people and the primary disposer of justice in the land. For this reason, the Ruler is given special mention as one of the seven who will be honored with Allah’s Shade.
‘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 is that Allah guides him to a scholar of the Sunnah.” Indeed, it is a great blessing from Allah for a youth to be guided towards worship and be 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 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 Hijaab and go to Hajj, 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 your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied and your life before your death.’
‘A man whose heart is attached to the mosques’
There is great encouragement in the Sunnah for men to pray in the mosques and the reward associated with it is tremendous. Not only does it make the person eligible for Allah’s Shade on the day of Judgment, but, ‘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 (sayings): O Allah send blessings upon him, O Allah have mercy upon him…’
It must be emphasized here however, that all the Hadith 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. And we seek Allah’s refuge from this!
‘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 (faith) 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.’ Subhan Allah! Imagine being envied by Allah’s chosen Messengers and those who were slain in His Path! Such is the reward of those who love one another for Allah’s sake.
‘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 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.