Auzu billahi minash shaitan nirrajim.
Nahmaduhu wanusalli ala rasulihil kareem.
This life is a preparation for the Eternal home to which we are going, which is far more important than the ephemeral pleasures which may possibly seduce us in this life. Allah (swt) reminds the believers to save themselves and their near and dear from the Hell Fire over which are appointed angels stern and severe who flinch not from executing the commands they receive from Allah, but do what they are commanded. We must carefully guard not only our own conduct, but the conduct of our families, and of all who are near and dear to us. For the issues are most serious, and the consequences of a fall are most terrible. “A fire whose fuel are men and stones”. This is not merely like the physical fire which burns wood or charcoal and consumes them. The Hell fire will have for its fuel men who do wrong and are as hard hearted as stones, or stone idols as symbolical of all the unbending falsehoods in life.
Evil tempts man in all sorts of ways, and presents seductive promises and alliances to delude him into the belief that he will be saved from the consequences. The Evil One says, “Deny Allah”: which means not merely denial in words, but denial in acts, disobedience of Allah’s Law, deviation from the path of rectitude. To save ourselves, fear of Allah is essential. This fear is not merely a feeling or an emotion: it is an act, a doing of things which become a preparation and provision for the Hereafter – the next life, which may be described as ‘the morrow’ in relation to the present Life, which is ‘today’.
Hell Fire is personified in Surah Al-Furqan: ayat 12, “When it sees them from a place far off, they will hear its fury and its raging sigh”. The Hell Fire is raging with hunger and fury, and as soon as it sees men from ever so far, it emits a sigh of desire. Men have a warning in clear signs during all the period of their probation. The clear signs come from Revelation (Quran), from their own conscience, and from all nature around them. Man has himself the power given to him to distinguish good from evil, and he is further helped by the teachings of the Prophets and World Teachers. Where such teachers do not come into personal contact with an individual or a generation, the true meaning of their teaching can be understood by means of the Reason which Allah has given to every human soul to judge by. It is failure to follow a man’s own lights sincerely that leads to his degradation and destruction. Whatever we are, if we do evil, we must suffer the consequences, unless Allah’s Mercy comes to our help. There is no pleasure nor advantage to Allah in punishing His own creatures, over whom He watches with loving care. On the contrary He recognizes any good – however little – which He finds in us, and delights to give us a reward beyond all measure. His recognition of us is compared by a bold metaphor to our gratitude to Him for his favors.
Allah (swt) warns the believers that their riches and family may be a trial for them. In some cases the demand of families, i.e., wife and children may conflict with a man’s moral and spiritual convictions and duties. In such cases he must guard against the abandonment of his convictions, duties, and ideals to their requests or desires. Children may be a trial in many senses. (1) their different ways of looking at things may cause you to reflect, and to turn to the highest things of eternal importance; (2) their relationship with you and with each other may confront you with problems far more complicated than those in separate individual lives, and thus become a test of your own strength of character and sense of responsibility; (3) their conflict with your ideals may vex your spirit, but may at the same time research out your fidelity to Allah; and (4) their affection for you and your affection for them, may be a source of strength for you if it is pure, just as it may be a danger if it is based on selfish or unworthy motives. So also riches and worldly goods have their advantages as well as dangers. So guard yourselves and your families and lead lives of self-restraint.
“And know ye that your possessions and your progeny are but a trial; and that it is Allah with whom lies your highest reward”. There is a saying in English: a man with many children is said to have his “quiver full”. Property and possessions add to a man’s dignity, power, and influence. Both possessions and a large family are a temptation and a trial. They may turn out to be a source of spiritual downfall, if they are mishandled, or if the love of them excludes the love of Allah.
We must repent and place our trust in Allah. His appreciation and forbearing kindness can reach so far beyond our merits, because (1) His universal knowledge comprehends hidden motives, which others cannot see in us; (2) His power is so great that He can afford to reward even the unworthy; and (3) His wisdom is so great that He can turn even our weakness into our strength.
Allah’s (swt) mercy precedes His wrath. We should not loose hope in His Mercy and try our best to mend our ways and be mindful to His warnings. Narrated Abu Huraira (ra) that Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: Allah says: Whenever my slave intends to do a bad deed, (I say to the deeds recording angels): Do not record it against him until he (actually) commits it. If he has done so, write it down exactly as one in his record book. But if he refrains from it for My sake, write down this as a virtue in his favour. And when he intends to do a good deed, but does not actually do it, write it as a virtue for him. And if he puts it into practice, write its reward equal to, from ten to seven hundred times (in his account). (Hadith Qudsi reported by Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi.)
“Allah humma ajirna minannaar.” (O Allah save us from Hell Fire)
Alhamdulillahi rabbil aalamin. As salatu was salamu ala rasulihil kareem.
Ack: The fireman gif used on this page is a download from public domain.