The Jews hope they will only remain in the Fire for a few days

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And they (Jews) say, “The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.” Say (O Muhammad to them): “Have you taken a covenant from Allah, so that Allah will not break His covenant Or is it that you say of Allah what you know not?”

Allah mentioned the claim of the Jews, that the Fire will only touch them for a few days, and then they will be saved from it. Allah refuted this claim by saying:

قُلْ أَتَّخَذْتُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَهْدًا

Say (O Muhammad to them): “Have you taken a covenant from Allah?”

Hence, the Ayah proclaims, “if you had a promise from Allah for that, then Allah will never break His promise. However, such promise never existed. Rather, what you say, about Allah, you have no knowledge of and you thus utter a lie about Him.”

Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said about the Ayah,

وَقَالُواْ لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلاَّ أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَةً

And they (Jews) say, “The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.”

“The Jews said, ‘The Fire will only touch us for forty days’.” Others added that this was the period during which the Jews worshiped the calf.

Also, Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah reported Abu Hurayrah saying:

When Khaybar was conquered, a roasted poisoned sheep was presented to the Prophet as a gift (by the Jews). The Messenger of Allah ordered, “Assemble before me all the Jews who were here.” The Jews were summoned and the Prophet said (to them), “Who is your father?” They replied, “So-and-so.” He said, “You have lied; your father is so-and-so.” They said, “You have uttered the truth.” He said, “Will you now tell me the truth, if I ask you about something?” They replied, “Yes, O Abul-Qasim; and if we should tell a lie, you will know our lie as you have about our fathers.”

On that he asked, “Who are the people of the (Hell) Fire?” They said, “We shall remain in the (Hell) Fire for a short period, and after that you will replace us in it.” The Prophet said, “May you be cursed and humiliated in it! By Allah, we shall never replace you in it.”

Then he asked, “Will you tell me the truth if I ask you a question?” They said, “Yes, O Abul-Qasim.” He asked, “Have you poisoned this sheep?” They said, “Yes.” He asked, “What made you do so?” They said, “We wanted to know if you were a liar, in which case we would get rid of you, and if you were a Prophet then the poison would not harm you.”

Imam Ahmad, Al-Bukhari and An-Nasa’i recorded similarly.

Subhanallah.

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The least tortured man on the Day of Resurrection will think that he is the most tortured when he is not

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Nu`man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The least tortured man on the Day of Resurrection is one underneath whose feet will be placed two live coal, and his brain will be boiling, and he would think that he is the most tortured, while he is the least tortured.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary:

According to the narration in Muslim, the straps of shoes to be worn by the inhabitants of Hell would be of fire which will make their brains boil like a cooker placed in an oven. Some narrators have stated that the man alluded to will be Abu Talib, the real uncle of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and his most kind and sympathetic supporter. But since he had died as a polytheist, he will be sent to Hell. May Allah save us from it.

[Riyad as-Saliheen, Book of Miscellany, Chapter 50, Hadith 398]

Fasting on the day of Arafat expiates the sins of two years

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The first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah have been classified as the best 10 days of the year, and the Day of ‘Arafat, on which Allah perfected His religion has been classified as the best day of the year according to some scholars.

Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said: “The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumuah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. Some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina).”  [(Saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee in Irwa al-Ghaleel (no: 2018). Related by Abu Dawood no: 1765].” [Majmoo al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]

The ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar) is the Day of ‘Arafat, since it is on this day that millions of pilgrims set out for the plains of Arafat after sunrise to attend the Khutba of Arafat and perform their Dhuhr and Asr salat combined as was the Sunnah of Rasool Allah (ﷺ). Thereafter they engage in supplication to Allah from Dhuhr to Maghrib, seeking forgiveness of their Lord before setting off for Muzdhalifah.

On this day of Arafat, Muslims all over the world who do not witness the annual Hajj should spend the day in fasting as it is mustahabb (highly recommended), in preparation for the three-day festivity following ‘Eid ul-Adha (the celebration marking the end of the Hajj commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim’s (willingness of sacrifice). When asked about the fasting on the day of ‘Arafah, the Prophet Muhammad said,

“It expiates the sins (Minor) of the past year and the coming year.”  [Muslim (no. 1162)]

Abu Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on ‘Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.”  [Reported by all except al-Bukhari and at-Tirmidhi]

But, this does not mean that one can continue to commit sin in the upcoming year, rather it portrays the virtue of fasting on the day of ‘Arafat, and the blessings to be obtained therein.

In another saying the Prophet’s wife Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

“Four things the Messenger of Allah never neglected: Observing fast on the day of ‘Ashura,‘Arafat, three days every month, and offering fajr sunnah prayers early in the morning.”  [Muslim]

These statements are proof that fasting on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, the day before ‘Eid ul-Adha was a lifelong practice of the Prophet (ﷺ) as his wife reported.

There are some reports that fasting is prohibited on the Day of ‘Arafah. However, it must be understood that this refers to a person performing the Hajj. If a person is on the Hajj, there is no fast for him or her on the day of ‘Arafah. That is undoubtedly a blessing for him because of the hardships of the pilgrimage. In a saying reported by Umm al-Fadl, may Allah be pleased with her, she said:

“The companions doubted whether the Prophet (ﷺ) was fasting on ‘Arafah or not. She decided to prove to them that he was not, so she said, ‘I sent to him milk, which he drank while he was delivering the khutbah (sermon) on ‘Arafah.'” [Recorded by al-Bukhari]

Prohibiting the pilgrims from fasting on these days is a great mercy for them, for fasting will exert undue hardship on the person performing the Hajj, while they are primarily concerned with their pilgrimage. Above all, the pilgrim would not be fasting anyway because he is travelling.

The fact that not all of the Muslims are required to go to Hajj every year is a mercy and source of ease from Allah to His servants. He has made Hajj binding once in a lifetime and not binding every year. However, it is a communal obligation occurring every year. This is different from fasting, which is an individually binding obligation on every Muslim, every year.

Because the month of Dhul-Hijjah is a season of worship, it bring along blessings, benefits and opportunities to correct one’s faith and make up for shortcoming. This special opportunity involves a kind of worship, which brings the slave closer to his Lord. And Allah bestows His blessings and Favours on whom He wills. The fortunate person is he who makes good use of these special months, days, and hours, while worshiping Allah. He is most likely to be touched by the blessings of Allah. Rewards of good deeds are multiplied in these days. [Ibn Rajab, al-Lataa’if pp. 8]

For non-pilgrims, it should be remembered that not only should you fast on this day, but make sure to ask Allah for all of your prayers. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The best dua is the dua of Arafat.” (Tirmidhi)

The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions

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Abu Huraira (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying, “The (Hell) Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked undesirable things.”  [Sahih al-Bukhari 6487]

In another hadith reported by Abu Hurairah (RA), the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) also said:

“When Allah created Paradise, He said to Gabriel: ‘Go and look at it.’ He went and looked at it, then came and said: ‘O my Lord! By Thy (Your) might, no one who hears of it will fail to enter it.’

He (i.e. Allah) then surrounded it with disagreeable things and said: ‘Go and look at it, Gabriel.’ He went and looked at it, then came and said: ‘O my Lord! By Thy might, I am afraid that no one will enter it.’

When Allah created Hell, He said: ‘Go and look at it, Gabriel.’ He went and looked at it, then came and said: ‘O my Lord! By Thy might, no one who hears of it will enter it.’

He then surrounded it with desirable things and said: ‘Go and look at it, Gabriel.’ He went, looked at it, then came and said: ‘O my Lord! By Thy might and power, I am afraid that no one will remain who does not enter it.'”  [Sunan Abu Dawood 4744, graded Hasan Sahih by al-Albani]

The deniers will not be permitted to put forth any excuse on the Day of Resurrection

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{ (It will be said to the disbelievers): “Depart you to that which you used to deny!”) }  Al-Mursalaat 77:29

{ “Depart you to a shadow in three columns,” } 77:30

{ “Neither shady nor of any use against the fierce flame of the Fire.” }  77:31

{ Verily, it (Hell) throws sparks (huge) as Al-Qasr, }  77:32

{ As if they were Sufr camels. }  77:33

{ Woe that Day to the deniers (of the Day of Resurrection)! }  77:34

{ That will be a Day when they shall not speak (during some part of it), }  77:35

{ And they will not be permitted to put forth any excuse. }  77:36

{ Woe that Day to the deniers (of the Day of Resurrection)! }  77:37

{ That will be a Day of Decision! We have brought you and the men of old together! }  77:38

{ So, if you have a plot, use it against Me (Allah)! }  77:39

{ Woe that Day to the deniers (of the Day of Resurrection)! }  77:40

Allah informs about the disbelievers who deny the final abode, the recompense, Paradise, and the Hellfire. On the Day of Judgement it will be said to them:

{ “Depart you to that which you used to deny! Depart you to a shadow in three columns, } meaning, a flame of fire when it rises and ascends with smoke. So due to its severity and strength, it will have three columns.

{ Neither shady nor of any use against the fierce flame of the Fire.” } meaning, the shade of the smoke that comes from the flame — which itself will not have a shade, nor will it benefit against the flame. This means it will not protect them from the heat of the flame.

Allah said, { Verily, it throws sparks as Al-Qasr, } meaning, its sparks will shoot out from its flame like huge castles. Ibn Mas`ud said, “Like forts.” Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and Malik who reported from Zayd bin Aslam and others said, “This means the trunk of trees.”

{ As if they were Sufr camels. } means, black camels. This is the view of Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, and Ad-Dahhak, and Ibn Jarir favored this view.

Ibn `Abbas Mujahid, and Sa`id bin Jubayr said about, { Sufr camels. } “Meaning ropes of ships.”

{ Verily, it (Hell) throws sparks as Al-Qasr. } Imam Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said: “We were directed to the timber a length of three cubits or more in order to use it for construction of buildings. We used to call it Al-Qasr.

{ As if they were Sufr camels. } These (Jimalat) are ropes of ships that are bundled until they resemble the intestines of men.”

{Woe that Day to the deniers! }

Then Allah says, { That will be a Day when they shall not speak, } meaning, they will not speak.

{ And they will not be permitted to put forth any excuse. } meaning, they will not be able to speak, nor will they be granted permission to speak so that they can make excuses. Rather, the proof will be established against them, and they will be called upon to speak about the wrong that they did, but they will not be able to say anything. The courts of the Day of Judgement will occur in stages. Sometimes the Lord informs of this stage and sometimes He informs of that stage. This is to show the terrors and calamities of that Day. Thus, after all the details of this discussion, He says: { Woe that Day to the deniers! }

Then Allah says, { That will be a Day of Decision! We have brought you and the men of old together! So if you have a plot, use it against Me! } This is an address from the Creator to His servants.

He says to them, { That will be a Day of Decision! We have brought you and the men of old together! } meaning, He will gather all of them by His power on one common plane, He will make them hear the caller and He will cause them to see.

Then He says, { So, if you have a plot, use it against Me! } This is a serious threat and a harsh warning. It means, `if you are able to save yourselves from being seized by Me, and rescue yourselves from My ruling, then do so. But you are certainly not able to do so.’ This is as Allah says,

This is as Allah says, {O assembly of Jinn and men! If you have power to pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, then pass beyond (them)! But you will never be able to pass them, except with authority (from Allah)! } (55:33) Allah also says,

Allah also says, { And you will not harm Him in the least. } (11:57)

It is narrated in a Hadith (that Allah said), “O My servants! You all can never attain My benefit and thereby benefit Me, and you all can never attain My harm and thereby harm Me.”

[Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surat al-Mursalaat (77), verses 29-40]

The Covenant of the Prophets

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{ And when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you, and from Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, and `Isa son of Maryam. We took from them a strong covenant. }  Al-Ahzab 33:7

Allah tells us about the five Mighty Messengers with strong resolve and the other Prophets, how He took a covenant from them to establish the religion of Allah and convey His Message, and to cooperate and support one another, as Allah says:

{ And when Allah took the covenant of the Prophets, saying: “Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah, and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.” Allah said: “Do you agree, and will you take up My covenant?” They said: “We agree.” He said: “Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses.” }  Al `Imran 3:81

This covenant was taken from them after their missions started. Elsewhere in the Qur’an, Allah mentions five by name, and these are the Mighty Messengers with strong resolve. They are also mentioned by name in this Ayah and in the Ayah:

{ He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you, and that which We ordained for Ibrahim, Musa and `Isa saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it. }  Ash-Shura 42:13

This is the covenant which Allah took from them, as He says: { And when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you, and from Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, and `Isa son of Maryam. }

This Ayah begins with the last Prophet, as a token of respect, may the blessings of Allah be upon him, then the names of the other Prophets are given in order, may the blessings of Allah be upon them. Ibn `Abbas said: “The strong covenant is Al-`Ahd (the covenant).”

{ That He may ask the truthful about their truth. And He has prepared for the disbelievers a painful torment. }  Al-Ahzab 33:8

{ That He may ask the truthful about their truth. } Mujahid said: “This refers to, those who convey the Message from the Messengers.”

{ And He has prepared for the disbelievers } i.e., among their nations, { a painful torment. } i.e., agonizing. We bear witness that the Messengers did indeed convey the Message of their Lord and advised their nations, and that they clearly showed them the truth in which there is no confusion, doubt or ambiguity, even though they were rejected by the ignorant, stubborn and rebellious wrongdoers. What the Messengers brought is the truth, and whoever opposes them is misguided. As the people of Paradise will say:

{ Indeed, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth. }  Al-A`raf 7:43

[Tafsir ibn Kathir, Surat al-Ahzab (33), verses 7-8]

Respect, honor, esteem: Good manners which the Sahabah observed with Allah’s Messenger

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{ O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance before Allah and His Messenger, and have Taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is Hearing, Knowing. }  Al-Hujuraat 49:1

In these Ayat, Allah the Exalted teaches His faithful servants the good manners they should observe with the Messenger, which are: respect, honor, and esteem. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,

{ O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance before Allah and His Messenger, }  meaning, do not rush in making decisions before him, rather, follow his lead in all matters. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, commented:

{ Make not (a decision) in advance before Allah and His Messenger, } “Do not say anything that contradicts the Qur’an and Sunnah.” Qatadah commented, “We were told that some people used to say, `Revelation should be sent down about such and such matters,’ and, ‘such and such practices should be rendered allowed.’ Allah the Exalted disliked this attitude.”

Allah said, { and have Taqwa of Allah. } meaning, ‘in what He has ordered you;’ { Verily, Allah is Hearing, } ‘your statements,’ { Knowing. } ‘your intentions.’

{ O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds should be thwarted while you perceive not. }  Al-Hujuraat 49:2

Allah said, { O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, }

This contains another kind of favorable behavior. Allah the Exalted is teaching the believers that they should not raise their voices above the voice of the Prophet. It was stated that this Ayah was revealed about Abu Bakr and `Umar.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abi Mulaykah said, “The two righteous ones, Abu Bakr and `Umar, almost earned destruction when they raised their voices before the Prophet who was receiving the delegation of Bani Tamim. One of them recommended Al-Aqra` bin Habis the member of the Banu Mujashi` while the other recommended another man. Nafi` (a subnarrator) said: “I don’t remember his name.” Abu Bakr said to `Umar, `You only wanted to contradict me,’ while `Umar said, `I did not intend to contradict you.’ Their voices then became loud, thereupon Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah,

{ O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds should be thwarted while you perceive not. }

`Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr said, “After that, `Umar’s voice was so low that the Messenger of Allah had to ask him to repeat what he said so that he could understand what he was saying to him.”

`Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr did not mention the same regarding his father, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. Muslim did not collect this Hadith.

In another narration collected by Al-Bukhari, he said that a delegation from the tribe of Banu Tamim came to the Prophet and that Abu Bakr recommended Al-Qa`qa` bin Ma`bad to be appointed as their leader, while `Umar recommended Al-Aqra` bin Habis. Muslim did not collect this narration.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet missed Thabit bin Qays and a man said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I will find out about his news.’ That man went to Thabit and found him sitting at home with his head lowered and asked him, ‘What is the matter?’ Thabit said, ‘An evil matter!’ And he said that he used to raise his voice above the voice of the Prophet . He feared that his good deeds would be useless and he would be among the people of the Fire. The man went back to the Prophet and conveyed Thabit’s statement and returned to Thabit with a wonderfully good news.

The Prophet said, “Go back to him and tell him this news; you are not among the people of the Fire. Rather, you are among the dwellers of Paradise.” Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith with this wording.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “When this Ayah was revealed, { O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet }, until, { while you perceive not }, Thabit bin Qays bin Ash-Shammas, whose voice was loud, said, ‘I was the one who raised his voice above the voice of Allah’s Messenger . I am among the dwellers of the Fire. My good deeds have been done in vain.’

He remained in his house feeling distressed, and the Messenger of Allah noticed his absence. So some men went to Thabit and said to him, ‘The Prophet noticed your absence. What is the matter with you?’ Thabit said, ‘I used to raise my voice above the voice of the Prophet and speak loudly in front of him. My deeds have been rendered useless and I am among the people of the Fire.’ They went to the Prophet and told him what Thabit said and the Prophet said, ‘Nay, he is among the dwellers of Paradise.'”

Anas commented, “We used to see Thabit walk among us knowing that he was (to be) among the dwellers of Paradise. During the battle of Yamamah, our forces suffered retreat. Suddenly, Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas came, having put on his Hanut and shrouds, and said, ‘The worst habit is the one you acquire from your enemy and do not set a bad example for your companions.’ And he went on fighting until he was martyred, may Allah be pleased with him.”

Allah then prohibited speaking to the Prophet in a loud voice, just as one speaks loudly to another in a way that offends him. Instead, they were required to speak to him in terms of respect, honor and calmness. This is why Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said, { nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, } just as He said in another Ayah,

{ Make not the calling of the Messenger among you as your calling one of another. } An-Nur 24:63

Allah’s statement, { lest your deeds should be thwarted while you perceive not. } means, ‘We ordered you to refrain from raising your voices to the Prophet, so that he will not get angry with you, because in doing so, you will also anger Allah.’ The good deeds of he who caused the Prophet’s anger will become useless without him even knowing.

In the Sahih, there is a Hadith that states,

“Verily, a man might utter a word that pleases Allah the Exalted, even though he does not recognize the significance of his word, and on its account Paradise is written for him. Verily, a man might utter a word carelessly that angers Allah the Exalted, and on its account, he is cast in the Fire farther than the distance between the heavens and earth.”

Allah then ordains lowering one’s voice before the Messenger and encourages, directs and recommends this better behavior.

{ Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of Allah’s Messenger, they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for Taqwa. For them is forgiveness and a great reward. }  Al-Hujuraat 49:3

{ Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of Allah’s Messenger, they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for Taqwa. } whose hearts have been purified by Allah and made as a residence and dwelling for the Taqwa, { For them is forgiveness and a great reward. }

Imam Ahmad recorded in the Book of Az-Zuhd that Mujahid said, “Someone wrote to `Umar, ‘O Leader of the faithful! Who is better, a man who does not feel the desire to commit a sin and does not commit it, or a man who feels desire to commit a sin, but does not commit it’ `Umar replied, `He who feels desire to commit a sin, but does not commit it, { they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for Taqwa. For them is forgiveness and a great reward. }‘”

[Tafsir ibn Kathir, Surat al-Hujuraat (49), verses 1-3]

Concealment of Islamic knowledge is fundamentally prohibited

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Concealment of knowledge is fundamentally prohibited. Allaah curses those who hide knowledge of the Qur’aan and the Prophet was reported to have said, “Whoever concealed knowledge, Allaah will make him wear a bridle of fire on the Day of Judgment.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 3, p. 1038, Authenticated by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn-I-Majah & Haakim, see Jami’ as-Sagheer (Extended)) This is due to the harm resulting from concealment.