How to Avoid Destruction


Question: The first question for today’s session is posted by brother DkSadiq and his question is: The forty Hadeeth in An-Nawawi says: “By Allaah, other than Whom there is no god, verily one of you behaves like the people of Paradise until there is but an arm’s length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him and so he behaves like the people of the Hellfire and thus he enters it…”[1] So, how do we avoid such destruction and how do we make sure that we stay and become firm upon the straight path until we die on it?

Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله began by praising Allaah and sending salaah and salaam upon His Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and his family and Companions and all those who follow His Sunnah and are guided until the Day of Judgment. He then proceeded:

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our brother Zahid Rashid, Jazaahullaahu khayran for all that he prepares himself to do for the benefit of the Da’wah, which is the Da’wah of the Prophets and Messengers عليهم السلام. Secondly, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Albaseerah.org for what they do in conveying the message ad-Da’wah as-Salafiyyah to the whole world. Jazakum Allaahu khayran. Then, I would also like to thank all those who participate in these sessions and make themselves available to listen to people that they trust, either the Ulamaa’ like Shaykh Zahid is coordinating with, or the Tullaabul-‘Ilm (Students of Knowledge) or people like myself who are even less (in status) than Tullaabul-‘Ilm – who are just brothers trying to deliver something of what the Ulamaa’ have said in this aspect. May Allaah gather us all again on the Day of Resurrection and with our Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم by his lake and make us from those who drink from it, gain his intercession and accompany him in the Jannah. Aameen.

This first question with which the Shaykh Zahid opened the session with is a very, very important hadeeth that many times made me think of the end of one of us, as this is already written in the Preserved Book – those people of the Jannah and those people of the Fire. From which ones are we going to be? We never lose hope in Allaah تعالى that He would make us from those people of the Jannah and make us avoid the causes of going to the Fire.

This hadeeth, the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله تعالى عنه where the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “By the One, other than Whom there is no god, verily one of you performs the actions of the people of Paradise until there is but an arms length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him, and so he acts with the actions of the people of the Hellfire and thus enters it.”[1] This hadeeth, dear brothers and sisters, prevented many eyes of those pious people from sleep, because how can one sleep if he is like (the one in) this hadeeth – people who behave like the people of Paradise, and end their lives by behaving like those of the Fire. Who then can guarantee his end? Allaahul-musta’aan (Allaah is the Source of Help).

In another narration of this hadeeth the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم clarified this and said “A man may do what seem to the people as the deeds of the dwellers of Paradise but he is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire”[2] Allaahul-musta’aan. It means that this person is upon hypocrisy – he shows the opposite of what he hides in his heart. He shows tawheed but he hides shirk, he shows the Sunnah but he hides bid’ah (innovation in the Religion) like those who Allaah تعالى mentioned in the beginning of Suratul-Baqarah about the Munaafiqoon (hypocrites) where Allaah سبحانه وتعالى says:

وَإِذَا لَقُواْ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ قَالُواْ آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْاْ إِلَى شَيَاطِينِهِمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّا مَعَكْمْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ
{And when they meet those who believe, they say: “We believe,” but when they are alone with their Shayateen (devils – polytheists, hypocrites), they say: “Truly, we are with you; verily, we were but mocking.”} [al-Baqarah 2:14]

When they meet the believers they say “We believe”, look at how much this quality is seen today in the Muslim world. And, when they meet the Kuffaar and the Shayateen they say “We were just mocking them – these Wahaabees, these Salafees” and they start mocking the people of haqq (those upon the truth); but what is seen from them by the people, is that they seem Mashaa’ Allaah to be upon the haqq.

The hadeeth is explained by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم himself in other narrations where he صلى الله عليه وسلم clarifies this by saying: “What the people see is that one acts upon the way of the people of Paradise (the Believers), but in reality he is not from them.”[3] This is like those hypocrites at the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Ubay ibn Salool, the head of the hypocrites at the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to pray behind the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and stand after the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم finished the salaah. He used to stand and give reminders to the Sahaabah, to Abu Bakr and `Umar, Subhaanallaah (Glory be to Allaah; He is free from any imperfection). He said “O people, obey Allaah, obey His Prophet, His Messenger” but with evil inside as he hated Allaah, he hated the Prophet and he hated the Believers; he was a munaafiq (hypocrite). That is why Allaah تعالى never keeps it hidden until the Day of Resurrection, as in the hadeeth – “until there is but an arm’s length”[1]. Look at this, Subhaanallaah, an arm’s length; it is nothing when you consider the distance between you and the grave, not the Fire, the grave, it is nothing; so what about to the Fire? They cannot persist and continue doing what they used to do to be seen of others, they will return to their (Originer? – word unclear) and become hypocrites. I seek refuge with Allaah from becoming Kuffaar.

So the question posed is, how do we avoid such destruction and how do we make sure that we stay and become firm upon the straight path until we die on it? That is simple Akhi (my brother), although it is something big, it is simple. Allaah won’t make it difficult for us. Allaah تعالى says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
{O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).} [at-Tawbah 9:119]

Be honest in what you say, be honest in your belief, be honest in all your relations and dealings. Always look to the Sunnah of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم in your belief, in your way of worship, in your transactions and contracts. Always take Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم as your example for everything in life. Besides that, purify your heart from hatred towards Muslims, from hatred towards worship, from love of the Kuffaar, from love of this life, just as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did and said to all of us. Always try to do as much as you can of the nawaafil (optional acts). Look at the hadeeth Qudsi which can be the remedy of this kind of illness, where Allaah تعالى says: “The most loved deeds to Me with which a servant of mine draws near to Me are those religious duties I have enjoined upon him. And he continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory deeds to the point where I love him.”[4]

So one draws close to Allaah by doing all the obligatory acts of worship, and then gets closer to Allaah by doing the optional acts of worship. What are the optional acts of worship? Fasting which we don’t know except in Ramadaan, sadaqah or charity which we don’t know except after one complete year, prayers that we don’t know except five times a day, supplications which we don’t know except if we are in trouble, things we mention that we never remember except on occasions like ‘Eed or weddings or like that. We don’t remember these optional forms of worship except when we are going into the grave (being buried). We ignore these forms of worship when are optional; we don’t know when they should occur. We know of them when they are obligatory, but we ignore them when they are optional. Take one example: In the hadeeth Qudsi Allaah تعالى says: “O my slave,, I fell ill and you did not visit me.” He will say: “O Lord and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds?” Allaah will say: “Did you not know that my servant so and so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him?”[5]

Subhaanallaah! Subhaanallaah! There are many acts of worship which we can do during the days and at nights. Where are we regarding the dhikr, the remembrance – the tasbeeh (glorifying Allaah) and the istighfaar (seeking forgiveness from Allaah).

أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
{…Verily, in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest.} [ar-Ra’d 13:28]

So, where are we regarding this form of worship? Where are we concerning the advice that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم gave to Sufyaan: “Always keep your tongue moistened with the remembrance of Allaah”?[6] Where are we concerning this, meaning that it may be a protection from falling into the deeds, actions, sayings, beliefs and faults of the hypocrites and the kuffaar. We can only protect ourselves by becoming closer to Allaah, by means which bring us closer to Allaah.

This is my answer to the question which in reality needs a complete lecture to clarify and expand upon it; because I see that most of the people in this time are upon these types of diseases and illnesses. May Allaah تعالى protect us from that, and keep us upon the straight path until we stand before Him سبحانه وتعالى gaining His Pleasure; and Allaah knows best.

Answered by: Shaykh Muhammad al-Maliki

Title of Lecture: Question and Answer Session

Date of the Lecture: November 3rd, 2007

Listen to Lecture: Click Here

Read the Transcribed Lecture: Click Here

[1] Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, The Book of Tawheed (Belief), (كتاب التوحيد), Hadeeth (#7016). Also reported other places in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree and Saheeh Muslim.

[2] Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, The Book of Military Campaigns (كتاب المغازي), Hadeeth (#3966, 3970) as part of a longer hadeeth.

[3] Reported with the following wording in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, The Book of Heart Softening Narrations (كتاب الرقاق), Hadeeth (#6137).

[4] Reported in Saheeh Muslim with the following wording as part of a longer hadeeth in The Book of Righteousness, Joining the Ties of Kinship and Manners, Hadeeth (#2569).

[5] Reported in Jaami` at-Tirmidhee 5/458, Hadeeth (#3375). Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says with a Saheeh isnaad. See also Saheeh al-Jaami` as-Sagheer, Hadeeth (#7700).

[6] Reported in Jaami’ at-Tirmidhee 5/458, Hadeeth (#3375). Shaykh al-Albaanee رحمه الله says with a Saheeh isnaad. See also Saheeh al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer, Hadeeth (#7700).

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One thought on “How to Avoid Destruction

  1. […] Explanation of Hadeeth: "Verily one of you behaves like the people of Paradise…" and How to Avoid Destruction Shaykh Muhammad al-Maliki Question: The first question for today’s session is posted by brother DkSadiq and his question is: The forty Hadeeth in An-Nawawi says: “By Allaah, other than Whom there is no god, verily one of you behaves like the people of Paradise until there is but an arm’s length between him and it, and that which has bee … Read More […]

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