Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah will cover seven people with His shade, on the Day when there will be no shade but His: a just ruler, a youth who has grown up in the worship of Allah, a man whose heart is attached to the mosques, two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only, a man who refuses the call of a beautiful and influential woman for illicit relation with her and says, ‘I am afraid of Allah,’ a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given, and a person who remembers Allah while he is alone and his eyes are flooded with tears.” (Al-Bukhari)
Friendship for the sake of Allah, for the reasons of piety and goodness, is a very blessed friendship.
We all need Allah’s shade. To be under Allah’s shade is to be protected by Him and be blessed by Him. We need His shade in this life and in the Hereafter. It is mentioned that the Day of Judgment will be a very hard and difficult Day. On that day everyone will be worried and will try to find some protection and shade; but there will be no shade on that Day except the special shade of Allah. As specified in the above hadith, this shade will be granted to seven special types of people:
- A just ruler or a just leader: It could be any person who has some authority and he/she uses this authority with justice and fairness without any favoritism or prejudice. Justice is the command of God for all people; but the most critical is the doing of justice when one has power and authority. More difficult, of course, is dealing justly with those who show hate and animosity towards you. A just person, especially a just leader or ruler, is given number one place in this list of seven.
- A young person growing up in the worship of Allah: Worship of Allah is virtuous for all people at any age and time; but the worship of Allah from the tender young age has special blessings. Many people become devoted to Allah when they grow old. In the old age when the body becomes weak, people start paying attention to the spirit. However, to be conscious of one’s spirit and growing up as a youth in the obedience of Allah bring special honor and blessings.
- A person whose heart is connected to the mosque: Literally it says that the heart is hanging (mu`allaq) in the mosque. Imam Malik explained that it was a person who when he leaves the mosque, looks forward to coming back again soon. Normally people’s hearts are attached to their jobs, business and home. The mosque is not the priority for many people. However, those who love the House of Allah and keep it as their priority are the blessed people and they shall receive the special favor of Allah.
- Two people loving each other for the sake of Allah: One should be friendly to all people and deal with all people in a kind and courteous manner. However, friendship for the sake of Allah, for the reasons of piety and goodness, is a very blessed friendship. This is a sincere friendship and when two or more people become attached to each other for Allah’s sake they bring a lot of good to themselves and to those around them. This is a kind of friendship that generates goodness in the world and is especially blessed by Allah.
- A person of solid moral character: The Prophet gave an example of this solid character— a man tempted to an illicit relationship by a woman who is beautiful and rich, influential, or of a prestigious family (the word “mansib” means all these things in Arabic) and he refuses. Imam Ibn Hajar says that this is not limited to a man who is tempted by a woman; it equally applies to a woman who is tempted by a man who is very handsome, powerful and rich and she refuses and says “I fear Allah.” It requires a lot of moral strength to refuse temptation when the other partner is attractive, rich, and not only willing but persuasive. Those who have a strong moral character are indeed under the protection of Allah.
- A person of charity who does not show off his/her charity: A person gives charity in such a way that even his left hand does not know what his right hand has done. This is a very powerful and beautiful way to say that a person gives quietly, discreetly and with sincerity. His/her purpose is not to show off, seek publicity, name or fame; but only to please Allah. This is the purest kind of charity and it has a special reward and blessing from Allah.
- A person who remembers Allah privately with eyes filled with tears: Thinking of Allah, repeating His Beautiful Names, thanking Him and praising Him, these are the ways to remember (dhikr) Allah. Doing the dhikr alone in one’s privacy, when no one is watching, with a spiritually moved heart and tearful eyes is a sign of sincere faith and deep love of Allah. Those who feel such love for Allah are indeed under His shade and protection.
These seven types of people demonstrate a deeply moral and spiritual character. Such character indicates a person’s genuine faith and sincere commitment, which are expressed in their feeling, thinking, speaking, and action. We pray to Allah to bless us with these attributes so that we might be worthy of His shade in this world and also in the Hereafter. Ameen.