The people of jannah
The People of Jannah
The Prophet (peace be upon him):
‘The people of Jannah will be of three kinds:
1- A just, muwaffaq, successful and charitable ruler,
2- a man who shows mercy to his relatives and Muslims with a soft heart,
3- and a dignified person who has a large family and refrains from begging.’ (Muslim)
Do only these three types get into jannah?
In this hadith the Prophet (peace be on him) is talking about the people of Jannah and scholars have a big discussion on whether all the people of Jannah have to fall into one of these three categories.
If you do not find yourself in these three categories, does it mean you are not a person of jannah?
Is Jannah exclusively for these three types or is the majority in Jannah from these categories?
Imam Nawawi said that the entire ummah will be categorised by these three types. Imam Al-Tybi and other commentators said that the majority of people in Jannah will be from these three categories but not all of them, as there are occasions where the Prophet (peace be on him) used a number figuratively, but did not mean that number literally.
Who is a ruler?
The Prophet (peace be on him) said the first type was the head of the state, who will be a person of Jannah if he is a just ruler. Justice is paramount in Islam. Without this quality, the ruler will not be a person of Jannah. Is this addressing only the rulers of nations? No. Scholars say it refers to anyone in a position of authority – it could be a mother or a father, the boss at work, the king or queen, ministers and so on.
The Prophet (peace be on him) said if you are in authority you need to deliver justice – al muqsit. Allah Almighty talked about justice (al adl) in many verses in the Quran. Justice is a priority for every single one of us, so we have to show justice to our children or students or employees or anyone whom we are responsible for.
Then he mentioned another feature – being charitable. Does this mean giving charity or being forgiving? Both. Remember, that when you are charitable you have to be charitable from your own money, not from public money. Similarly, you can forgive what belongs to you, but you cannot forgive what belongs to others. If somebody has stolen money, you can only forgive him if it was your money.
Having a soft heart
Muwaffaq is the one who has tawfiq. What is tawfiq? Sometimes it is translated as provident. In fact, tawfiq means being supported by Allah Almighty – in other words having a good relationship with Allah Almighty and so Allah Almighty supports him. Someone who is far from Allah Almighty is not muwaffaq. Not in a million years. The bigger the responsibility you have, the more tawfiq you need from Allah; the closer you need to be to Allah Almighty to take the right decisions. You need guidance from Allah Almighty. Whether you are a judge, project manager or else, you must always act with mercy.
Allah is merciful towards those who are merciful to others. (Bukhari)
So we have to be merciful towards our parents, siblings, children and relatives.
Attaining softness requires hard work. Softness does not parachute down on you, it takes work. It starts with continuous dhikr, tasbih, takbeer and taheel and daily adhkar reciting the Quran with khushoo (attentiveness). One of the keys to soften the heart is reciting astaghfirullah. Saying it and meaning it. When you say it and mean it, it gives you a soft heart.
So the one who is muwaffa has this softness, not harshness towards others. By contrast, the description of the disbelievers is like those who are hard-hearted.
So your heart became very hard like the stone. (2:74)
If you realise you have a stony heart, you have to work on softening it.
Poor person with dignity
The last category is the poor person who has dignity and earns his living, rather than living off charity. Although he has many dependants he does not wait for charity. This is what the Prophet (peace be on him) recommended all the time, that it is better to work than beg. Allah Almighty is giving direction to those who are lost in their poverty. Do not rely on charity. Go and work. Establish a business, like the man whom the Prophet (peace be on him) told to go and chop wood rather than take charity.
Be active, not passive. This is what makes us people of Jannah. Passive people are not people of Jannah. Although you have imaan you need to work. Muslims have to give and be of added value to their families and their communities.
We all want to be people of Jannah so lets work harder on our justice, our mercy, our hearts and our productivity. Ameen.
Khutbah delivered at Muslim World League on 27th Sept 2019 by Shaykh Haytham Tamim. Transcribed by Ayesha Khan.
September 22, 2023
September 21, 2023