ISLAM EXPLAINED By Husain Zakariyya Yawale
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Allah says: “Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, to Him will we give a new life, a life that is good and pure and we will bestow on their reward according to the best of their actions.” [an-Nahl: 97]
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah; We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, is His servant, and messenger. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time.
The Apostle of Allah was sitting one day with his Companions discussing their affairs, and one of the issues deliberated was about the condition of the Day of Resurrection was on seven people that Allah will shade under his Throne from the unbearable heat of the sun, as it will be brought very close to the mammoth gathering, frying them. The hadith reads: It is related from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are seven whom Allah will shade with His shade on the day when there is no shade but His shade: a just Imam, a youth who grows up worshipping Allah, a man whose heart is attached to the mosque, two men who love each other for the sake of Allah alone, meeting for that reason and parting for that reason, a man who refuses the advances of a noble and beautiful woman, saying, 'I fear Allah', a man who gives charity and conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives, and a man who remembers Allah when he is alone and his eyes overflow with tears.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]
It is this hadith, Insha Allah, I intend to discuss in detail, bring into reality the possibility to attain entrance into the only cold shadow on that day. That is to say there will be other shades, but they are not shades that give fortification to that atrocious roasting sun on that day! The Qur'an has foretold us the other shade terrible shades, thus: “(It will be said:) ‘Depart ye to that which ye used to reject as false! Depart ye to a Shadow (of smoke ascending) in three columns, (Which yields) no shade of coolness, and is of no use against the Fierce Blaze. Indeed it throws about sparks (huge) As Forts. As if there were (a string of) yellow camels (marching swiftly).’ Ah Woe, that Day, to the rejecters of truth!” [al-Mursalah: 29-34]
Therefore, let us take these categories of people one by one and analyze those unique personalities that made them such important sorts.
1. A just ruler
Allah SWT says: “O you who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of anyone lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do.” (Surah Al-Maa'idah 5:8)
A just ruler is not an easy status to achieve. The process of ascending onto the power seat must be free from every aspect of corruption and illegalities. If the process is conducted by selection, election or hereditary process, let there be transparency enough to foreclose any future complaints or grudges. There must also be honest and plain measures exhibited. The electoral or the clearing house must also be competent and knowledgeable to carry out the task as stipulated and outlined.
The ruler, similarly, must be competent, self-confident, selfless and honest. He must also be strong and healthy, educated enough to lead his subjects to glory and success. His heart must be filled with the welfare of his followers. The power, when finally grabbed must not be used for self-aggrandizement and wealth self-amassing avenue or simply fame. The wealth of the nation must be sacred and spent only for and when it is for the collective good of the subjects.
A leader who is a 'vampire' cannot be rated or categorised as successful in his tenure no matter the amount of statues built around the cities or pictures hanged in offices and public places, let alone called a hero or nationalist. The amount of votes cast should not be seen as a consequence of peoples' love, respect and choice in a national election. Actually, Islam does not support general voting in a notational election.; the bulk of electorate are the masses who are less informed, improvised and easily maneuvered or deceived with tokens by the few corrupt office seekers. To this end, the messenger of Allah (SAW) once warned:
“Anyone who has been a ruler over ten people will be brought shackled on the Day of Resurrection, until the justice (by which he ruled) loosens his chains or tyranny brings him to destruction.” [Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1037]
Similarly, in another Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim said; It has been reported on the authority of Abd al-Rahman b. Shumasa who said: I came to A'isha to inquire something from her. She said: From which people art thou? I said: I am from the people of Egypt. She said: What was the behaviour of your governor towards you in this war of yours? I said: We did not experience anything bad from him. If the camel of a man from us died, he would bestow on him a camel. If any one of us lost his slave, he would give him a slave. If anybody was in need of the basic necessities of life, he would provide them with provisions. She said: Behold! The treatment that was meted out to my brother, Muhammad b. Abu Bakr, does not prevent me from telling you what I heard from the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He said in this house of mine: O God, who (happens to) acquire some kind of control over the affairs of my people and is hard upon them-be Thou hard upon him, and who (happens to) acquire some kind of control over the affairs of my people and is kind to them-be Thou kind to him. [al-Muslim, No 4494]
Imam Muslim narrated another hadith also worthy of heeding thus; The Messenger of Allah said," A commander (leader of the Muslims) is a shield for them. They fight behind him and are protected (by him from tyrants and aggressors). If he enjoins fear of Allah, the exalted and glorious, and dispenses justice, there will be a great reward for him. But if he enjoins otherwise, it will rebound on him"[al-Muslim: Book 020, no. 4542]
Thus, a just ruler is such a rare and scarce personality who is loved and respected by his subjects out of their free will. But that is not possible unless and until he is up to the responsibilities and demands. The Messenger of Allah described what makes a just ruler, surrounded by just subject, not sycophants, bootlickers or glorified praise singers and hawkers! The hadith:
It has been narrated on the authority of IbnUmar that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Beware! Every one of you is a shepherd and every one is answerable with regard to his flock. The Caliph is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned about his subjects (as to how he conducted their affairs). A man is a guardian over the members of his family and shall be questioned about them (as to how he looked after their physical and moral well-being). A woman is a guardian over the household of her husband and his children and shall be questioned about them (as to how she managed the household and brought up the children). A slave is a guardian over the property of his master and shall be questioned about it (as to how he safeguarded his trust). Beware, every one of you is a guardian and every one of you shall be questioned with regard to his trust.” [al-Muslim: no. 4496]
The adumbrated hadiths gave us a profound insight into achieving the status of a just rulership, leading to the enjoying the shade of Allah on the Day of Judgment. A question lingers on: can there be just ruler from unjust followership or electorates? Yes! It is possible as long as Allah wills. He says:
“It is He who brings out the Living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and who gives life to the earth after it is dead: and Thus shall ye be brought out (from the dead.” (ar-Rum:)9]
And: “Say: ‘Who is it that sustains you (in life) from the sky and from the earth? Or who is it that has power over hearing and sight? And who is it that brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living? And who is it that rules and regulates all affairs?’ They will soon say, ‘(Allah)’. Say, ‘Will ye not then Show piety (to Him)?” [Yunus: 31]
The characteristics of justice can be inculcated and imbibed, and can effectively be translated into reality. The Qur'an is very clear about it, and says:
The mission of the ruler is to rule according to the Qur'an and Sunnah, to spread justice among his entire domain, to dispense out justice; reward and punishment, to spread Islam by words and action, to protect the Ummah and its territorial boundaries Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He (Allah) gives you!” [al-Nisaa' 4:58]
Justice is one of the most important principles, which Islam stands for, that involves both to Muslims and others: “…And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety.” [al-Maa'idah:8]
And in return for dispensation of justice and fairness, every citizen is commanded by the messenger of Allah (SAW) to give true allegiance and obedience to his or her ruler regardless of colour or language. He said: “The Muslim is obliged to hear and obey whether he likes it or dislikes it, unless he is commanded to disobey (Allah), in which case he should not hear and obey.” (Narrated by al-Muslim, no. 1839)
Thus, if any ruler oppresses or cheats his flock and is not sincere towards them, Allah will deprive him of Paradise on the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (SAW) said: “There is no person whom Allah has placed in charge of others, who dies whilst he is insincere towards his people, but Allah will forbid him Paradise.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 142)
And he (SAW) said: “There is no Muslim ruler who is put in charge of the Muslims' affairs then he does not strive on their behalf or act sincerely towards them, but he will not enter Paradise with them.” (Narrated by Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaarah, no. 22).
Islam is for all of the Ummah and their belongings. Every member of the society must be an active player in the success of a just leader and as well be carried along into the establishment of justice on earth. The citizens must not fight or support in anyway, those who fight against the religion of Allah or those who speak the word of truth in the houses of Allah, as that will earn them disgrace in this world and chastisement in the Hereafter. Allah says:
“And who are more unjust than those who forbid that Allah's Name be glorified and mentioned much (i.e. prayers and invocations) in Allah's mosques and strive for their ruin? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter them (Allah's mosques) except in fear. For them there is disgrace in this world, and they will have a great torment in the Hereafter.” [al-Baqarah:114]
Thus, leadership is not only an affair for the rulers; it is also the affairs of every member of the society. In these modern times of democracy, where each man has a voting right, they, collectively, can dislodge any unjust and corrupt ruler within a given period. But if, willingly, they sell their rights and forfeit their future for a trifling fee, then they are partners to the rebounds of their actions in both worlds!
May Allah help our leaders to dispense justice fearlessly and without favour. Give them the heart of contentment and satisfaction without recourse to embezzlement of public trusts, establish in their hearts courageousness to obey Him only and protect them from every apprehension and vulnerability to tribulation and failure!