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

A Project in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah.
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.

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References:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Tafsir Surah Al-Furqan by Dr Abdullah Yasin
Rumaysho.com
Islamqa.info
Who Gets Allah’s Mercy by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

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[Al-Kahf 18:108] Al-Kahf Challenge (18/20)

If you have been following the Al-Kahf Challenge Series,
you should have memorized and learned the first ten ayat of the Surah – alhamdulillah!
From this post onwards, the series will be focusing on the last ten ayat of Surah Al-Kahf.

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 9 | Pg 10
Pg 11Pg 12Pg 13 | Pg 14Pg 15 | Pg 16 | Pg 17 | Pg 18 | Pg 19 | Pg 20  | Pg 21
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“Wherein they shall dwell (forever).
No desire will they have for removal therefrom.”

[Al-Kahf 18:108]

In the previous post, we learnt that the believers who have the correct belief and who did righteous deeds will be granted Gardens of Al-Firdaus. This ayah continues to explain that their eternal abode is the Gardens of Al-Firdaus.

My teacher once asked: “Are men created to live forever?”
To which we replied, of course not!
He said: “Wrong! Allah s.w.t. has indeed created us to live forever. It’s just that we have to move on to our next stage of life – the Akhirah.” Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

“When the people of Paradise have entered Paradise
and the people of the Fire have entered the Fire,
death will be brought and will be placed between the Fire and Paradise,
and then it will be slaughtered, and a call will be made:
O people of Paradise, no more death! O people of the Fire, no more death!
So the people of Paradise will have happiness added to their previous happiness,
and the people of the Fire will have sorrow added to their previous sorrow.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

Everytime I try to ponder the concept of living forever, I just couldn’t grasp it. The thought of continue to live, and live, and live on, forever and ever in Jannah, is too overwhelming to be fully understood by this limited mind. What is more terrifying is the fact that the same will be faced by the people of Fire – who will continue to live on and on, forever and ever in the Hellfire, drinking and eating filth, to be inflicted punishment upon punishments – day in and out – for eternity.

Can you imagine that condition?
Can you bear that thought?
Subhanallah, may Allah save us from the terrors of Jahannam.

Let us continue with the ayah:

“No desire will they have for removal therefrom (from Jannah).”

Ibn Kathir wrote that the believers will never choose or want anything else. This ayah explains how much they love and desire it! We might think that a person who stays in one place forever would get bored and tired of it. This is true in this dunya. What happens to our beautiful homes? They’re only perfect for a few months and after a while, we start wishing that the designs, colors, interior, neighbourhood, landscapes were different. We can even stay in a beautiful 5-star hotel for several weeks, but eventually we will want to move on, try something new, eat something new, make new changes. But in this ayah, Allah s.w.t. tells us that despite the eternal stay in Jannah, the believers will never, ever want to choose, nor want to change, nor want to move from where they are.

This is because Jannah is absolutely perfect in all senses, beyond our comprehension. We all know that there are many different levels of Jannah, where people of greater piety will have higher levels than others. But the point of this ayah is that each and every person will feel that no one else has anything more than him! He will feel no one else has anything greater than what he has! He will feel that he has THE BEST THERE IS in Jannah!

Subhanallah – such is the perfection of Jannah! And such is the Rahmat of Allah s.w.t. towards the slaves whom He loves. May Allah grant us all Jannatul Firdaus!

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For the article written in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah & mp3 of the Ayah, please click here.

[Al-Kahf 18:106] Al-Kahf Challenge (16/20)

If you have been following the Al-Kahf Challenge Series,
you should have memorized and learned the first ten ayat of the Surah – alhamdulillah!
From this post onwards, the series will be focusing on the last ten ayat of Surah Al-Kahf.

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 9 | Pg 10
Pg 11Pg 12Pg 13 | Pg 14Pg 15 | Pg 16 | Pg 17 | Pg 18 Pg 19Pg 20  | Pg 21
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“That shall be their recompense, Hell;
because they disbelieved and took My Ayat
and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery.”

[Al-Kahf 18:106]

In the previous ayat, we have discussed two characteristics of those who Allah s.w.t. say will be the greatest losers in the Hereafter. Those characteristics are:

(1) They lost or wasted their deeds, and
(2) They deny the Ayat of Allah s.w.t, His messengers, and the Hereafter.

In this Ayah, Allah s.w.t. tell us the ultimate consequence for these worst losers – they will be thrown into Jahannam. These people do not only disbelieve, but they ridicule the clear signs of Allah and His Messengers in the worst possible way. Allah s.w.t. promises that their abode will be Jahannam.

Even though Allah s.w.t. is referring to the disbelievers in this ayah, notice the warning:

“…they took My Ayat and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery.”

This warning is super important to us Muslims. We should not mock the commandments and prohibitions of Allah s.w.t., nor should we make fun of the Sunnah of Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. Even though we know it’s totally haram from doing so, but we might just fall into this sin unknowingly. How many of us do or say the following:

❌ “Hudud is so outdated in this time of ours. We need to be progressive!”
❌ “I know alcoholic drinks are haram, but my business is just about selling them, I don’t drink! So what’s the fuss!”
❌ “Bro, cut off the beard, it doesn’t look good on you.”
❌ “Sis, why don’t you take off your hijab once in a while. You’d look prettier without it.”

These are some examples of belittling and making fun of the Ayat of Allah s.w.t. and His Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. So beware o Muslims, lest we mock the Deen unknowingly, due to our ignorance and arrogance. Be aware the gravity of our words.

Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:
“A slave (of Allah) may utter a word
which pleases Allah without giving it much importance,
and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward);

a slave (of Allah) may utter a word
which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity,

and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

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For the article written in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah & mp3 of the Ayah, please click here.

Beware Of The Words We Utter

Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:

“A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward);
a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity, and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.”
[Sahih Bukhari]

A person might utter a word that pleases Allah s.w.t. – even though he does not recognize the significance of his word. But a person may also utter a word carelessly that angers Allah – even though he does not recognize the severity of his word.

These “hot gossips of the month” hurt our hasanat bank account BADLY. Chances are, the only thing that these stories ever do to us is make us backbite and/or slander someone. If the Akhirah is our utmost concern, then choose to unfollow and remove them from our radar. Question what benefit clicking on links related to celebrities’ gossips will have on our book of deeds.

A reminder to myself foremost.

To Be Forgotten/Ignored By Your Rabb

And it will be said:
“This Day, We (Allah) will forget you as you forgot the Meeting of this Day of yours.
And your abode is the Fire, and there is none to help you.”
[Al-Jathiyah 45:34]

In Sahih Muslim, it is reported that Allah will ask some of His slaves on the Day of Resurrection:
“Have I not given you a spouse, honored you, and subjected the camels and horses to you?
Have I not allowed you to be a chief and a master?”
The slave will say in answer, “Yes, O Rabb!”
Allah will say, “Did you think that you would ever meet Me?”
He will say, “No.”
Allah the Exalted will say, “Then this Day, I will forget you as you forgot Me.

This because you took the revelations of Allah in mockery,
and the life of the world deceived you.
So this Day, they shall not be taken out from there (Jahannam),
nor shall they be returned to the worldly life (so that they repent to Allah).
[Al-Jathiyah 45:35]

Therefore o sons of Adam, be wise! Do not let the pleasure of this world fool you, for there will come a definite Day when no apology shall be accepted by the Rabb of all worlds. There will come a definite Day when Allah s.w.t. will forget you, as you have chosen to forget Him.
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Reference:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir

[Al-Kahf 18:49] A Striking Lesson

“And the Book (one’s Record) will be placed,
and you will see the Mujrimun fearful of that which is (recorded) therein.
They will say: ‘Woe to us!
What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing,
but has recorded it with numbers!’
And they will find all that they did placed before them,
and your Rabb treats no one with injustice.”
[Al-Kahf 18:49]

Surah Al-Kahf has many powerful ayat, and one of them that really strikes the heart is this. After mentioning how the mujrimun were so frightened and so distressed on the Day of Judgment by the contents of their Record that lists absolutely every single thing that they did, Allah s.w.t. says:

“And your Rabb treats no one with injustice.”

It is not Allah who is being unjust to men.
But it is men themselves who are being unjust to their own souls.
Because it is our own fault when we choose not to pray.
It’s our own fault when we choose to cheat and lie.
It’s our own fault for watching those filthy stuff.
It’s our own fault for backbiting, slandering, and gossiping.

It’s not our job’s / boss’ fault that caused us to abandon our prayers. It’s not the fault of the situation that made us cheat others. It’s not our computer’s fault that started our addiction. It’s not our friends’ / parents’ / celebrities’ / politicians’ faults that made us backbite and slander them.

Even Shaitan will deny his grasp over us on that Day:

And Shaitan will say when the matter has been decided:
“Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth.
And I too promised you, but I betrayed you.
I had no authority over you except that I called you, so you responded to me.
So blame me not, but blame yourselves.
I cannot help you, nor can you help me.
I deny your former act in associating me as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world).
Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimun.”
[Ibrahim 14:22]

There will be no one to blame but our own selves.
We will be held accountable for every single sin that we do.
And we will face the consequences alone.

So Muslims, fortify your hearts. Stop being unjust to your soul.
Come back to Ar-Rahman who is willing to forgive all of our sins, as long as we choose to repent, and choose to abandon our bad habits and traits. Sow the seed of taqwa and piety in everything we do.
Know that your Rabb loves you, and He will not abandon you.
But it is upon each individual to make that decision.
– make that choice before it’s too late.

[Al-Kahf 18:102] Al-Kahf Challenge (12/20)

If you have been following the Al-Kahf Challenge Series,
you should have memorized and learned the first ten ayat of the Surah – alhamdulillah!
From this post onwards, the series will be focusing on the last ten ayat of Surah Al-Kahf.

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 9 | Pg 10
Pg 11Pg 12 | Pg 13 | Pg 14Pg 15 | Pg 16 | Pg 17 | Pg 18 Pg 19Pg 20  | Pg 21

———- 🌺 ———-

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Do then those who disbelieved think
that they can take My slaves as Auliya’ (lords, gods, protectors) besides Me?
Verily, We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbeliever.
[Al-Kahf 18:102]

This Ayah is an attack on shirk – a severe warning to those who take Isa a.s., angels, saints, elders, idols, etc. as their Auliya’ (lords, gods, protectors). In Surah al-Qasas 28:64, Allah s.w.t. says that those who worshiped others besides Him, will be instructed to call upon their so-called-Gods for help, but they will horribly come to know that these “gods” will never answer or respond to them .

And it will be said (to them):
“Call upon your (so-called) partners (of Allah),
and they will call upon them but they will give no answer to them,
and they will see the torment.
(They will then wish) if only they had been guided!
[Al-Qasas 28:64]

How scary is this scene! These people will not only endure physical torment, but also psychological torment!

Here is another scary part of the Ayah:

Verily, We have prepared Hell as an entertainment [nuzul] for the disbeliever.
[Al-Kahf 18:102]

[Nuzul] refers to initial hospitality, like how we would serve tea to our guests before the big meal arrives. This ayah is therefore an irony to these disbelievers: their [nuzul] / initial treat will be Jahannam itself, subhanallah!

May Allah s.w.t. protect us from the Hellfire.

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For the article written in collaboration with The Ideal Muslimah & mp3 of the Ayah, please click here.