Heatwaves, wildfires and how to protect yourself from The Fire

Heatwaves, wildfires and how to protect yourself from The Fire

As temperatures soar, breaking records, the parched earth thirsts for water, and wildfires burn, smoke and smoulder in multiple countries around the world, we are reminded of the unrelenting blazing fire of hell. May Allah protect us all from hellfire.

The Prophet (peace be on him) taught the Ummah the recipe for how to protect themselves from hellfire and how to enter the safety and pleasures of paradise.

In this hadith, he said that one can protect themselves from hellfire by giving charity and even if they do not have half a date to give away in charity, by saying a good word.

Charity and a good word

عَنْ عَدِيِّ بْنِ حَاتِمٍ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ اتَّقُوا النَّارَ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ أَعْرَضَ وَأَشَاحَ، ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ اتَّقُوا النَّارَ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ أَعْرَضَ وَأَشَاحَ ثَلاَثًا، حَتَّى ظَنَنَّا أَنَّهُ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهَا، ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ اتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ، فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَبِكَلِمَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ ‏”‏‏.‏ البخاري.

`Adi bin Hatim narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Protect yourself from the Fire.” He then turned his face aside (as if he were looking at it) and said again, “Protect yourself from the Fire,” and then turned his face aside (as if he were looking at it), and he said so for the third time till we thought he was looking at it. He then said, “Protect yourselves from the Fire, even if with one half of a date and he who hasn’t got even this, (should do so) by (saying) a good, pleasant word.’ (Bukhari)

Whether or not it is easy to implement the advice or not depends on how strong you are at resisting temptation and where you are on your faith journey.

So the shortcut to protect yourself from the fire is to avoid any act that displeases Allah and do the obligations with the right belief and intention.

The pillars and being good to your family

In another hadith in the earlier days of Islam, the Prophet (peace be on him) was asked by a Bedouin what action would protect him from hellfire. The Prophet (peace be on him) was so delighted with his question he asked him to repeat it and then replied stating the first three pillars and being good to your family.

عن أبي أَيُّوبَ، أَنَّ أَعْرَابِيًّا، عَرَضَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهُوَ فِي سَفَرٍ ‏.‏ فَأَخَذَ بِخِطَامِ نَاقَتِهِ أَوْ بِزِمَامِهَا ثُمَّ قَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ – أَوْ يَا مُحَمَّدُ – أَخْبِرْنِي بِمَا يُقَرِّبُنِي مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ وَمَا يُبَاعِدُنِي مِنَ النَّارِ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَكَفَّ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ نَظَرَ فِي أَصْحَابِهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ لَقَدْ وُفِّقَ – أَوْ لَقَدْ هُدِيَ – قَالَ كَيْفَ قُلْتَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَأَعَادَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ تَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ لاَ تُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَتُقِيمُ الصَّلاَةَ وَتُؤْتِي الزَّكَاةَ وَتَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ، دَعِ النَّاقَةَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ مسلم.

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari that once during the journey of the Prophet (may peace of Allah be upon him) a Bedouin appeared before him and caught hold of the nose-string of his she-camel and then said, Messenger of Allah (or Muhammad), inform me about that which takes me near to Paradise and draws me away from the Fire (of Hell). He (the narrator) said:

The Prophet (ﷺ) stopped for a while and cast a glance upon his companions and then said: He was afforded a good opportunity (or he had been guided well). He (the Holy Prophet) addressing the Bedouin said: (Repeat) whatever you have uttered. He (the Bedouin) repeated that. Upon this the Apostle (ﷺ) remarked: The deed which can draw you near to Paradise and take you away from Hell is, that you worship Allah and associate none with Him, and you establish prayer and pay zakat, and do good to your kin. After having uttered these words, the Prophet asked the Bedouin to release the nose-string of his she-camel. (Muslim)

5 pillars and praying in the night

In a later narration, when all the 5 pillars had been introduced so the Prophet (peace be on him) added the last two pillars, and waking in the night to pray. It was narrated that Mu’adh bin Jabal said:

عَنْ مُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ، قَالَ كُنْتُ مَعَ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ فِي سَفَرٍ فَأَصْبَحْتُ يَوْمًا قَرِيبًا مِنْهُ وَنَحْنُ نَسِيرُ فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَخْبِرْنِي بِعَمَلٍ يُدْخِلُنِي الْجَنَّةَ وَيُبَاعِدُنِي مِنَ النَّارِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ لَقَدْ سَأَلْتَ عَظِيمًا وَإِنَّهُ لَيَسِيرٌ عَلَى مَنْ يَسَّرَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ تَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ لاَ تُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَتُقِيمُ الصَّلاَةَ وَتُؤْتِي الزَّكَاةَ وَتَصُومُ رَمَضَانَ وَتَحُجُّ الْبَيْتَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَلاَ أُدُلُّكَ عَلَى أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ الصَّوْمُ جُنَّةٌ وَالصَّدَقَةُ تُطْفِئُ الْخَطِيئَةَ كَمَا يُطْفِئُ النَّارَ الْمَاءُ وَصَلاَةُ الرَّجُلِ فِي جَوْفِ اللَّيْلِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَرَأَ ‏{تَتَجَافَى جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ‏}‏ حَتَّى بَلَغَ ‏{جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ}‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَلاَ أُخْبِرُكَ بِرَأْسِ الأَمْرِ وَعَمُودِهِ وَذُرْوَةِ سَنَامِهِ الْجِهَادُ ‏”‏ ‏.

ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَلاَ أُخْبِرُكَ بِمِلاَكِ ذَلِكَ كُلِّهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ بَلَى ‏.‏ فَأَخَذَ بِلِسَانِهِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ تَكُفُّ عَلَيْكَ هَذَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ وَإِنَّا لَمُؤَاخَذُونَ بِمَا نَتَكَلَّمُ بِهِ قَالَ ‏”‏ ثَكِلَتْكَ أُمُّكَ يَا مُعَاذُ وَهَلْ يَكُبُّ النَّاسَ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِمْ فِي النَّارِ إِلاَّ حَصَائِدُ أَلْسِنَتِهِمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏الترمذي وابن ماجه.

وفي رواية قال : بينما نحن نخرج مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في غزوة تبوك وقد أصابنا الحر فتفرق القوم فإذا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أقربهم مني فدنوت منه وقلت

I was with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) on a journey. One morning I drew close to him when we were on the move and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an action that will admit me to Paradise and keep me far away from Hell.’ He said: ‘You have asked for something great, but it is easy for the one for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything in worship with Him, establish prayer, pay Zakat, fast Ramadan, and perform Hajj to the House.’ Then he said: ‘Shall I not tell you of the means of goodness? Fasting is a shield, and charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire, and a man’s prayer in the middle of the night.’ Then he recited: “Their sides forsake their beds” until he reached: “As a reward for what they used to do.” [32:16-17]

Then he said: ‘Shall I not tell you of the head of the matter, and its pillar and pinnacle? (It is) Jihad.’ Then he said: ‘Shall I not tell you of the basis of all that?’ I said: ‘Yes.’ He took hold of his tongue then said: ‘Restrain this.’ I said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, will we be brought to account for what we say?’ He said: ‘May your mother not found you, O Mu’adh! Are people thrown onto their faces in Hell for anything other than the harvest of their tongues?’” (Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

The Prophet (peace be n him) wanted his Ummah to enter Jannah, this was his mission to guide them towards it, but it is not his task to do it on our behalf but it’s our job to obey his commands and follow the straight path.

There are countless acts we can do which accumulate and bring reward. They can even be the smallest act of kindness like helping someone carry their bags, or smiling at someone. Imam Bayhaqi compiled these acts in a book of 8 Volumes called Shu’ab ul Iman (Branches of Faith) which Imam Al Kazwini summarised in 200 pages in a book called Mukhtasar Shu’ab ul Imaan.

The heatwave is a reminder to us of the hellfire and that we should adhere to the pillars of Islam and do more acts of kindness, so we can be the people of Jannah. Ameen.

Khutbah Shaykh Haytham Tamim 13th August 2022

Dua to be read on a hot day

لا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللهُ مَا أَشَدَّ حَرَّ هٰذَا الْيَوْمِ ، اَللَّهُمَّ أَجِرْنِيْ مِنْ حَرِّ جَهَنَّمَ 

La ilaha illallahu, ma ashadda harra hadhal yawm, allahuma ajirni min harri jahannam

There is no deity except Allah. how hot is this day! O Allah, protect me from the heat of Jahnnam

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.