Who are the Young Muslims? This coterie of young men is only but a single branch of the large scale network of local youth groups across the United States with the shared mission of building a solid understanding of the principles of Islam amongst its members. Maaz Fitter, this year’s YM coordinator, believes that these weekly gatherings are essential by providing the youth with an Islamic atmosphere where they can form bonds of brotherhood to become comfortable with the teachings of Islam and put its principles into practice.
This week he wished to stress how critical the concentrations of this life reflect on the Hereafter with the seven examples of the categories of people that will be shaded under the throne of Allah (SWT). He began with a short demo that asked his listeners to imagine themselves on a day where the sun is only but a mile above their head and there is no shade, except for that provided by Allah. He went on to say that the people standing on that day that are submerged in sweat up to their waist will begin to think that this is the punishment and so they will go to the prophets to seek intercession. None but Muhammad (PBUH) will agree to go and prostrate in front of Allah and although not sure of what to say, Allah will inspire him (PBUH) to say something.
Fitter provided for the young brothers a hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) to help bring to adherence the gravity of the matter:
“When Allah created Paradise and Hell, He sent Jibreel (Gabriel) to Paradise, saying: 'Go and look at it and the things that I have prepared therein for its inhabitants.' So he went and looked at it and at what Allah had prepared therein for its inhabitants. He then came back and said: 'By Your Glory, whosoever will hear of it will long to enter it.' So He ordered that it be surrounded by forms of hardship, and said to Jibreel: 'Go back and look at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants.' So he went back and found that it was surrounded by forms of hardship. Then he came back and said: 'By Your glory, I fear that no-one will enter it.'
Then He sent him to the Fire of Hell, saying, 'Go and look at it and at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants.' So he looked at it and saw that it was in layers, one above the other. Then he came back and said: 'By Your glory, whoever hears of it will never try to enter it.' So He ordered that it be surrounded by passions and desires, and said: 'Go and see what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants.' So he went and looked at it, then came back and said, 'By Your glory, I fear that no-one will escape from entering it’” (Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawood and Ahmad).
Similarly, Maaz Fitter relates to another hadith of the Prohet (PBUH):
“There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah's sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but he says: 'I fear Allah', a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears” (Narrated by Abu Hurairah).
In this beautiful hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) spoke about small acts of worship which result in such a huge reward: shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade. Fitter agrees that this may not seem like much at first, as we are constantly being reminded of miracles and we take them as ‘just another value.’ Consequently, our speaker chose to focus only on two of the categories: the people who worship Allah in their youth and two men who meet and depart for the sake of Allah.
It can be said that although sacrificing many of the deviations in life is a difficult task to overcome, especially in one’s youth, it accounts for a great honor. The young men and women of this age have so many desires they want to fulfill, that they begin to lose control. Fitter then advises us to study and pursue that knowledge that will lead us to the righteous path and conquer those worldly desires. We will be rewarded for this in the life after.
In addition, the YM coordinator addresses the second category of two men loving each other for the sake of Allah with a famous narration by a great scholar in the history of Islam by the name of Abu Idris al Khawalany:
“I entered the mosque of Damascus and there was a young man with white teeth there with some other people. When they disagreed about something, they referred it to him and followed his opinion. I inquired about him and it was said, 'That is Mu'adh ibn Jabal.' The following day, I went early and I found that he had come earlier than me and I found him praying. I waited for him until he finished his prayer and then I approached him from the front. I greeted him and then said, 'By Allah, I love you for the sake of Allah.' He said, 'By Allah?' I said, 'By Allah.' He said, 'By Allah?' I said, 'By Allah.' He took hold of the upper part of my cloak and pulled me to him. He said, 'Rejoice! I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say,’ Allah Almighty says, 'My love is mandatory for those who love one another in Me and sit together for My sake and who visit one another for My sake and who give generously to one another for My sake'” (Muwatta').
Through these narrations, Maaz Fitter says we can begin to understand the excellence of love for the sake of Allah and it is through this love that we can be in the divine shade in the afterlife.