The 9 Characteristics of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman (4/10) – Seeking Refuge From Jahannam

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Articles authored for The Ideal Muslimah are available here.

To read the series in chronological order, please click the links below:
Pg 1 | Pg 2 | Pg 3| Pg 4 | Pg 5 | Pg 6 | Pg 7 | Pg 8 | Pg 9Pg 10

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

And those who say: Our Rabb! Avert from us the torment of Hell.
Verily! Its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.
Evil indeed it is as an abode and as a place to rest in.
[Surah Al-Furqan 25: 65-66]

🌸 Fourth Characteristic: They seek refuge from the Jahannam (Hellfire)

This ayah tells us the fourth characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman: they are those who constantly make du’a to Allah asking for refuge from Jahannam. They firmly believe and understand that the torments and penalties of Jahannam are so monstrous, so heavy, they just can’t bear the thought of it. They know it is a terrible and horrifying place to be, whether for a little while or a long time. They understand that the torment of Jahannam is ever-present, and never ending. Al-Hasan Al-Basri rahimahullah said concerning this ayah:

“Everything that strikes the son of Adam, then disappears, does not constitute an inseparable, permanent punishment. The inseparable, permanent punishment is that which lasts as long as heaven and earth.”

Subhanallah! Yet there are a few Muslims who say: “Sure I do some bad stuff and will go to Hell because of my sins. But it’s only temporary because I’m a Muslim. I’ll go to Jannah eventually anyway. So what’s the big deal!” This is the exact mentality of Bani Israel of the past as stated in the Qur’an:

And they (Jews) say, “The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:80]

This is clearly not a characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman fear of being thrown into Jahannam either for a long time, or even a short time – not for a minute, not even for a second!

Is doing good deeds out of fear of Jahannam considered insincere acts of worship?

There are Muslims who think that doing acts of ‘ibadah out of fear of Jahannam and hoping for Jannah is insincere. They think that all acts of worship must only be done out of love for Allah s.w.t. and nothing else.

This belief is incorrect and contrary to the teachings of Islam. The proof is in this ayah that we are studying, where it clearly shows that the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman are those who seek refuge from Jahannam. There are several ayat showing that the worship of the Prophets, scholars and pious people is based on both fear and hope, and it is not devoid of love of Allah at all. Allah s.w.t. says, describing the Prophets:

Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds,
and they used to call on Us with hope and fear,
and used to humble themselves before Us.
[Surah Al-Anbiya’ 21:90]

And in another ayat, Allah s.w.t. says:

Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides,
and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying):
“Our Rabb! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You!
Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.
Our Rabb! Verily, whom You admit to the Fire, indeed, You have disgraced him,
and never will the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) find any helpers.
[Surah Ali Imran 3:191-192]

Hoping for Jannah and fearing Jahannam are the results when one has the correct understanding of Tawhid. They are the results when one truly understands that it is Allah s.w.t. Himself Who has promised Jannah for those who are obedient, and Jahannam for those who are not.

And do you know what is the greatest punishment of the inhabitants of Jahannam? They are veiled, forever, from looking upon Allah s.w.t. Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullah wrote in his Madaarij as-Saalikeen:

“…one of the greatest joys of Jannah is that of gazing upon the Countenance of Allah and hearing His Words, and the delight of being close to Him and attaining His pleasure. There is no comparison between what it contains of delightful food, drink, clothing and images and this sublime joy. The least of His Good Pleasure is greater than Jannah and all that it contains of such things, as Allah s.w.t. says:

“Allah has promised the believers – men and women – Gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein forever, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of ‘Adn. But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allah. That is the supreme success. “[Surah At-Tawbah 9:72]

…Similarly, with regard to the Fire – we seek refuge with Allah from it – for those who enter it the pain of being veiled from Allah, and of being disgraced by Him, and feeling His anger and wrath, and being far away from Him, will be greater than the pain they suffer because of the flames burning their bodies and souls. In fact the flames of this fire start in their hearts, and this is what causes the flames to torment them physically.”

What we can learn from these evidences is that ‘Ibad-ur Rahman absolutely fear Jahannam, and seek refuge with Allah s.w.t. from His Anger and Punishment. We also learn that our acts of ‘ibadah should be done out of fear of Allah’s Punishment while hoping for His Mercy – both of which are themselves indicators that we love Allah s.w.t. because we want to look upon Allah s.w.t., and we hate and are afraid of being veiled from this greatest blessing ever!

Selected du’as to seek refuge from Jahannam

The ‘Ibad-ur Rahman always make du’a to Allah for protection from Jahannam. If we want to be one of them, we need to make such supplications constantly in our everyday lives. There are many beautiful supplications in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, these are three selected du’as that are short and easy to memorize, insya Allah.

1. Surah Al-Furqan 25:65-66 (the du’a by the ‘Ibad-ur Rahman)

رَبَّنَا ٱصۡرِفۡ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ‌ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا
إِنَّهَا سَآءَتۡ مُسۡتَقَرًّ۬ا وَمُقَامً۬ا
Our Rabb! Avert from us the torment of Hell.
Verily! Its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.
Evil indeed it is as an abode and as a place to rest in.

2. Surah Al-Baqarah 2:201

رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةً۬ وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً۬ وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ
Our Rabb! Give us in this world that which is good
and in the Hereafter that which is good,
and save us from the torment of the Fire!

A golden advice from my teacher: Keep this du’a close to our hearts, for it is a supplication that covers everything that we need – a good worldly life, and good Hereafter as well as protection from Jahannam. It is a short yet comprehensive du’a, so recite it often, and recite it from the depths of our hearts.

3. From the following hadith recorded in Sunan an-Nasa’i (graded sahih)

Rasulallah ﷺ used to say in his supplication:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ جَهَنَّمَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ
O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of Hell,
and I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave,
and I seek refuge in You from the tribulation of the Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal,
and I seek refuge with You from the trials of life and death.

Allahumma ameen!

Alhamdulillah we have covered the fourth characteristic of ‘Ibad-ur Rahman. We will continue with the subsequent characteristics in the next posts, insya Allah.

🌸 ‘Ibad-ur Rahman Characteristics Recap 🌸

4th Characteristic
They constantly make du’a to Allah asking for refuge from Jahannam. They firmly believe that the torments and penalties of Jahannam are so monstrous and heavy. They know it is a terrifying place to be, whether for a little while or a long time.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Surah Al-Furqan by Dr Abdullah Yasin
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan