Over the past three weeks the reminder was on ways to enter Paradise. This week the reminder switches to speak of those to whom Paradise will not the final abode.
We need to be over hopeful of the mercy of Allah SWT but also to be fearful that we do not fall into the cursed group of those who have been mentioned in the Quran and the Hadith as those who will not go to Paradise.
The first step to avoiding these groups is to recognize what groups these are. The reminder today highlights these groups so that we can recognize the danger and avoid them.
Firstly, the imam reminded us of the 40th ayat of Sura Al-A’far. This is translated to say:
Surely the gates of Heaven shall not be opened for those who reject Our signs as false and turn away ‘ from them in arrogance; nor shall they enter Paradise until a camel passes through the eye of a needle. Thus do We reward the guilty ones.
Dear brothers and sisters, this ayat informs us that the cursed group is that who rejected the signs from Allah SWT due to their arrogance and died in disbelief. Further on this surah, in the 50th ayat, Allah SWT warns us again by saying:
The people of the Fire will call out to the people of Paradise, “Pour on us some water, or some of what Allah has provided you.” They will say, “Allah has prohibited these for disbelievers,
And so, dear brothers and sisters, the declaration of faith and the requirement to believe in Allah SWT is not only rewarded with Paradise but it’s denial is the destination of Hellfire.
The second group as mentioned in todays reminder is best illustrated by mentioning two hadith of the Prophet SAWS. They are translated to say:
He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise.
“He who has, in his heart, an ant’s weight of arrogance will not enter Jannah.” Someone said: “A man likes to wear beautiful clothes and shoes?” Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah is Beautiful, He loves beauty. Arrogance means ridiculing and rejecting the Truth and despising people.”
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to be mindful that we are not displaying the traits of arrogance or pride. Also, we should put ourselves in the shoes of those around us and make sure that how we conduct ourselves doesn’t come across as arrogant as this is a possible error that could cost us dear. It’s worth that extra level of mindfulness and worth doing from time to time.
The third group are those who associate partners with Allah SWT. Allah SWT warns us of this in Sura Al-Maeda, ayat 72 which is translated to say:
They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord, and your Lord.” Whoever joins other gods with Allah―Allah will forbid him the Garden and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to have respect, reverence and love for all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah SWT, but at the same time, be absolutely clear in the distinction between them and the only one that is worthy of our worship and that is Allah SWT.
Lastly, the group mentioned in today’s reminder is highlighted by the following hadith by the imam. It is translated to say:
Two are the types of the dwellers of Hell whom I did not see: people having flogs like the tails of the ox with them and they would be beating people, and the women who would be dressed but appear to be naked, who would be inclined (to evil) and make their husbands incline towards it. Their heads would be like the humps of the camel inclined to one side. They will not enter Paradise and they would not smell its odour whereas its odour would be smelt from such and such distance.
Dear brothers and sisters, first sub-group here is that those who beat people. It can be argued that this is all types people who oppress and we need to be careful that if we are in positions of power, in both our families and in our workplace, that we are not guilty of oppressing others as this is a dangerous trait to have.
The second sub-group here are women who are dressed inappropriately despite being clothed. Examples could be tight-fitting clothes or clothes that are so thin, they are almost transparent.
We need to understand here that the beauty of a woman is a powerful thing and that the responsibility is on both the woman to dress appropriately but also on the men to encourage their wives with kindness and love. They are the heads of their families and they have the responsibility of teaching the manners and morals of our faith to everyone in their family.
We live in a day and age where the role of the man in the home is often diluted with western concepts of what a man’s role is in the home. However, this hadith outlines that we also hold a responsibility with our wives to teach them but to teach them through love, compassion, kindness and empathy. Remember, our Prophet SAWS was known for his beautiful conduct with his wives and so we should emulate this when we are in our own homes.
Dear brothers and sisters, we should take todays reminder as an opportunity to take stock of our lives and ensure that we do not fall into any of the cursed groups that were mentioned today.