Are you in need of shade?

On Saturday we were host to a short-lived heatwave and walking home with my children got me thinking about shade. We had spent most of the day in the blazing sun and the route home was long, arduous and an uphill battle with very little respite. It got to the stage where we were desperate for a screening that would block out the impact of the hot, unbearable sun shine. Our prayers were quickly answered and we found ourselves running for a patch of shade that unexpectedly appeared.

Those brief moments in the shade protected us from the pulverising, sweat inducing sun and allowed us to experience coolness for mere moments before we continued our journey home.

We are southern softies and are not used to extreme changes in temperature, but this experience really made me reflect upon being under the shade of the Throne of Allah on the Day of Judgement and the importance of it.

To put things into perspective, the Day of Judgement will be ridiculously hot because the sun will be close overhead and people will be literally drowning in their own sweat.

‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “The sun will be brought near to the earth and the people will sweat. For some people, the sweat will come up to their heels; for some it will come halfway up their shins; for some it will come up to their knees; for some it will come up to their backsides; for some it will come up to their hips; for some it will come up to their shoulders; for some it will come up to their necks; for some it will come up to the middle of their mouths; and some of them will be completely covered with their sweat.” Musnad of Imam Ahmed

So, what we went through on Saturday with 35 degree heat and no cloud cover is actually nothing compared to this, but still, it made me contemplate on how through God’s Mercy, on that day, the only protection from the beating sun will be the shade of Allah’s Throne.

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There are seven whom Allah will shade on a day when there is no shade but his. They are a just ruler, a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, one whose heart is attached to the mosques, two who love each other, meet ,and depart from each other for the sake of Allah, a man who is tempted by a beautiful woman of high status but he rejects her, saying ,’I fear Allah,’ one who spends in charity and conceals it such that his right hand does not know what his left hand has given, and one who remembered Allah in private and he wept.” Bukhari and Muslim.

There are others whom Allah will also shade with His shade – apart from the seven mentioned in the hadeeth quoted above – who are mentioned in other hadeeth. Ibn Hajar listed them in Fath al-Baari as follows:

 “Those who fight (for the sake of Allah); those who help the mujaahideen; those who defer payment of debt for debtors who are in difficulty, or let them off all or part of the debt; those who help people who are heavily in debt; those who help slaves who have drawn up contracts of manumission; those who have a good attitude; those who walk to the mosque; sincere and honest traders; those who take what is due to them and no more; those who spend for the sake of Allah; those who sponsor orphans.”

For us to be amongst those souls who are protected by the shade of Allah’s Throne, we must ensure that we live a life that allows us to be among one of the 17 types of people mentioned above. This requires knowledge and action.

We finish with a duah which Imam Ghazali narrates after wiping the hair during wudu – “Oh Allah, cover me with Your mercy, send down Your blessings upon me, and shelter me beneath the shade of Your throne on the Day of Judgement when there will be no shade except Yours.”

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