With what the summer heat reminds us?
Bukhari and Muslim reported in their Sahih (books of authentic Hadiths) from the
Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace
be upon him) said: "In very hot weather delay the Zhuhr prayer till it becomes
(a bit) cooler because the severity of heat is from the raging of the Hell-fire.
The Hell-fire of Hell complained to its Lord saying: O Lord! My parts are eating
(destroying) one another. So Allah allowed it to take two breaths, one in the
winter and the other in the summer. The breath in the summer is at the time when
you feel the severest heat and the breath in the winter is at the time when you
feel the severest cold."
There is no doubt that Allah created two residences for His Servants in which He rewards them for their actions without causing them to die. He also created a residence for actions in which there is life and death. He afflicts His Servants therein with His Commands and Prohibitions and commanded them to believe in the Unseen, such as: believing in the retribution and in the two final destinations that were created for. Thereby, He created the Scriptures, sent the messengers, and gave the clear proofs to the Unseen which He commanded us to believe in. He set proofs which refer to the existence of the two final destinations of retribution: one of those two final destinations is created for bliss without any kind of pain, whereas the second is created for torture without any comfort.
This current transient residence is mixed with bliss and pain, therefore, its bliss reminds us with Paradise and its troubles and afflictions remind us with Hell-fire. Allah (Glory be to Him) has created many things in this residence to remind us with the final unseen destinations, some reminds us with Paradise in time and space. As for space, Allah granted some countries different kinds of food, drinks, clothes, and other kinds of bliss which reminds us with the bliss of Paradise. As for times, spring, for example, reminds us with the smell and bliss of Paradise, and the last portion of the night reminds us with the cool weather of Paradise.
Some of these things remind us with Hell-Fire; Allah (Glory be to Him) has created many things in this world to remind us with Hell-Fire, which is prepared for those who disobey Him, and with pains and punishments.
As for space, many countries have excessive heat or cold which reminds us with the cold and heat of Hell-Fire.
Some places remind us with Hell such as bathrooms. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: How good bathrooms are! Believers enter them to remove their filth and seek refuge with Allah from Hell-Fire upon entering them. The Pious Predecessors used to remember Hell-Fire when they entered bathrooms; hence entering bathrooms for them was an act of worship. When some Predecessors wanted to answer the call of nature, they used to say: O Compassionate and Merciful, grant us Your Favor and protect us from the torment of the Fire. Some of them used to pour hot water over their heads and then cried and said: I remembered Allah’s Saying: “Boiling water will be poured down over their heads.”
Everything in this world refers to the Creator, reminds with Him, and shows His Attributes. Things of bliss and comfort refer to the beneficence, bounty, kindness of the Creator. However, things which refer to punishment, severity, and torture refer to His Power, Might, and Revenge. The different conditions of the world: heat, cold, night, daytime, and so on refer to its destruction and termination.
Khalifah Al `Abdy said: If Allah had not worshipped except when people see Him, none would have worshipped Him, but believers contemplated on the advent of the night and how it covered everything including daytime. They contemplated on the night “and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth,” contemplated on “the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind,” and in the advent of winter and summer. By Allah, believers have been thinking about the things which Allah created for them until their hearts truly believed and they have worshipped Allah as if they see Him. The knowledgeable people have not seen anything good in this world but remembered its same kind in the Hereafter.
As for times, heat and cold remind us with the heat and cold of Hell-Fire. The following authentic Hadith indicates that heat is part of the breath of Hell-Fire. Al Hasan said: Every cold and heat which have destroyed something are from the breath of Hell-Fire. It was reported in the authentic Hadith that was narrated by Abu Hurayrah that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "If it is very hot, then pray the Zhuhr prayer when it becomes (a bit) cooler, as the severity of the heat is from the raging of the Hell-fire."[Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].
The gates of Hell are closed and sometimes they are opened at noon, therefore, heat is intensive at that time to remind us with Hell-Fire.
As for the objects which remind us with Hell-Fire, they are many such as the sun when it is very hot. It was reported that it was created of Fire and it goes back to it.
It is not permissible to stay in the heat of sun as an act of worship because of the Hadith which Ibn `Abbas reported: While the Prophet (peace be upon him) was delivering a sermon, he saw a man standing, so he asked about that man. They (the people) said: "It is Abu Israil who has vowed that he will stand and never sit down, and he will never come in the shade, nor speak to anybody, and will fast.' 'The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Order him to speak and let him come in the shade, and make him sit down, but let him complete his fast." [Reported by Al Bukhari].
However, it is permissible for a Muhrim (one who is in state of Hajj or `Umrah) to stay in the heat of sun as Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said to a Muhrim whom he saw taking a shelter: Stay in the heat of Sun for sake of the One whom you wear Ihram (unsown clothes to be worn during the Hajj and `Umrah). It was reported that someone used not to take a shelter when he is in the state of Ihram, it was said to him: there is no harm to take the concessions, thereupon he said:
I sacrificed for Him to seek shelter in His Shade *** When shade becomes so little on the Day of Recompense.
Alas! If your actions are bad *** Alas! If your reward is little.
There are some situation which is desirable to observe patience for the heat of the sun: Going for Jihad in summer as Allah (Glory be to Him) says about the hypocrites: “and they said: "March not forth in the heat." Say: "The Fire of Hell is more intense in heat", if only they could understand!”
Walking to Masjids for Friday Salah, congregational Salah, attending funerals, and other kinds of righteous actions.
And sitting in the heat of sun waiting for righteous actions where there is no shade.
A man from the Righteous Predecessors went out to perform Firday Salah and found that people preceded him to shades, so he stayed in sun. A person who was sitting in the shade called him to sit in the shade, but he refuse to enter for fear of passing over people, then he recited: “and bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily, these are some of the important commandments (ordered by Allâh with no exemption).” Some of them used to remember the departure of people after the reckoning on the Day of Recompense: either to Paradise or to Hell when he comes back from Friday in the heat of noon. The Hour will be established on Friday and the mid day will not end until the inhabitants of Paradise and the inhabitants of Hell go to their final dwellings, as Ibn Mas`ud said then he recited: “The dwellers of Paradise (i.e., those who deserved it through their Islamic Monotheistic Faith and their deeds of righteousness) will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.”
It is obligatory to the one who stays in the heat of sun to remember its heat in the Gathering where sun draws near over the heads of mankind. It is obligatory to those who cannot stand the heat of the sun in the world to avoid the actions which entail admittance of Hell-Fire because there is no might for anyone to stand it. Qatadah said when he remembered the drink of the people of Hell (water mixed with their pus, skin, and flesh): Can you stand this? Obeying Allah is much easier for you, so obey Allah and His Messenger:
You forgot Hell-Fire when you sought your desires *** and you cannot stand the heat of the sun.
It is as if you have not buried a beloved person and did not *** one day attend the scene of death.
Once `Umar ibn `Abdul-`Aziz saw a group of people who left their funeral, ran from the heat of the sun to the shade, and sought shelter from dust, thereupon he cried and said:
He who, when the sun falls on his forelock *** or dust, fears heat and dust
He used to stay in the shade to be bright *** but one day he will be dead forcibly
In a dark and deserted grave *** he will stay for long time under the dust
Prepare yourself with a provision to reach *** O Soul, before death. You were not created out of vain.
Sometimes, unusual accidents take place to remind us with hell, such as: thunderbolts and hot wind which destroy plants. Allah Almighty says: “He sends the thunderbolts, and therewith He strikes whom He wills” It was reported that thunderbolts are parts of Hell-Fire that fly away from the mouth of the angel who move clouds when he is angry. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “then it is struck with a fiery whirlwind, so that it is burnt,” hurricane is the strong wind which contains fire. As-Sirr is a very strong cold. Allah (Glory be to Him) tortured the people of Shu`ayb with Azh-Zhullah which was an intensive heat that took away their breathes and caused them to come out of their homes to deserts. They found a cloud of cold shade, so they gathered there under, thereupon the cloud showered them with fire to burn them all. All these punishments are because of sins which are introductions and samples of the tortures of Hell.
Of the things that refer to Paradise and Hell-Fire is the reward or punishment that Allah gives for the obedient and the disobedient in worldly life. Indeed, Allah gives the obedient in worldly life some of the bliss of Paradise which they find in their hearts until some of them said: Sometimes I feel if the people of Paradise live in the same conditions I live in, they will be in a good standard of living. Abu Sulayman said: the people who worship Allah at night feel more joy than the people who enjoy their lustful desires. Some of them said: Satisfaction is the greatest gate [to Allah], the Paradise of worldly life, and the resting place for worshippers. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “Whoever works righteousness (whether male or female) while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islâmic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision).” Al Hasan said: the meaning is: Allah will grant a person a joy in his heart. Pious people are in bliss wherever they are: in the world, in Al Barzakh (interval between death and Hereafter), or in the Hereafter.
The living is theirs and the kingdom is theirs *** people are either gone to their final destination or almost arrived.
As for those who commit sins and turn away from Allah, Allah gives them samples of tortures in the world by experiencing or tasting the punishment of fire. So, do not ask about their restless hearts and worries. Allah gives them kinds of punishment even after a long time of committing their sins because this is part of the punishments given to them in the world, then they will move to a residence which is severer and narrower. Therefore, the graves of such people become narrower until their bones mix with one another and a door shall be opened for them to Hell-Fire to taste some of its evils. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e., neither believes in this Qur'ân nor acts on its teachings.) Verily, for him is a life of hardship.” It was reported in the Hadith that the meaning of this Ayah is the torture of the grave then they shall go to Hell and its narrowness. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “And when they shall be thrown into a narrow place thereof, chained together, they will exclaim therein for destruction. * Exclaim not today for one destruction, but exclaim for much destruction.”
Another proof to the existence of Hell-Fire is fever which afflicts human beings. It is composed of the torture of Hell-Fire and part of its cold. Imam Ahmad and Ibn Majah reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that fever is the share of a believer of Fire. The meaning is: fever expiates the sins of the believers and purifies him as furnace removes alloy from iron. It was reported in Sahih Muslim from the Hadith of Jabir ibn `Abdullah that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Fever expiates the sins of the children of Adam as furnace removes alloy from iron.” When a believer is free of sins in worldly life, he will not find the heat of Hell when he passes by it on the Day of Recompense because feeling the heat of Hell is according to peoples' actions. So, whoever purifies himself and repents of sins will pass the Sirat (a very fine road on the back of Hell) like a quick lightening and like wind, and he will not feel anything of its heat. Hell will say to the believer: O believer, pass safely because your brightness has put off my fire.
One of the things that remind us with the Hell-Fire is the worldly fire. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “We have made it a Reminder (of the Hell-fire in the Hereafter), and an article of use for the travelers (and all the others, in this world).” That means: Allah has made the fire of the world a reminder for the Hell-Fire. Once Ibn Mas`ud passed by blacksmiths while they were taking iron out of fire, then he stopped looking at them and started to cry. It was reported that he passed by those who blow the furnaces of iron, and when he saw that, he fell. Uways used to stop by blacksmiths to look at them while blowing the furnace of iron and when he heard the sound of fire, he used to cry and fall. Likewise Ar-Rabi` ibn Khaytham and many of the Pious Predecessors who used to stop by blacksmiths to see what they were doing with iron to cry and seek refuge with Allah from Hell. When `Ata’ As-Sulaymy saw a woman lightening a furnace, he fainted. Al Hasan said: `Umar used to light fire and draw his hands near to it then say: O son of `Umar, can you stand the heat of fire. Al Ahnaf ibn Qays used to draw his finger near the lamp and say: feel that then he used to rebuke himself for his sins.
Some of the worshippers lit a fire and rebuked himself until he died.
The fire of the world is one of seventy parts of Hell, then it was washed twice with sea water until it became bright and its heat decreased; except for that, the people of the world would not have used it. Moreover, it asks Allah not to get back to Hell again.
Some of the Predecessors said: if the inhabitants of the Hell were brought out to the fire of the world, they would sleep therein for two thousand years because it is cooler than Hell. `Umar used to say: remember frequently Hell-Fire because its heat is severe, its bottom is deep, and its hooked rods are made of iron. Ibn `Umar and other Predecessors used to cry upon drinking cold water and remembered the wish of the inhabitants of Hell who will desire for cool water of which they were deprived. They would say to the inhabitants of Paradise: “Pour on us some water or anything that Allâh has provided you with. They will say: "Both (water and provision) Allâh has forbidden to the disbelievers." The greatest tragedy is when Hell is closed and its inhabitants despair to come out; that is the greatest fear which the people of Paradise will be secured of: “those for whom the good has preceded from Us.”
If your eyes sighted the people of misery * while they were taken to Hell to be burnt
Their drink will be the melted silver which lies in its bottom * because they disobeyed their messengers and did not believe
The later will say to the former * while they sank in the melted silver
You used to fear its heat * but you were not saved from it
The fire was brought in bad shape * and its flames flying everywhere
It was said to Fire: burn * and the sealers were told to close it
Excerpted from (Lata’if Al Ma`arif) of Ibn Rajab Al Hanbaly in short and with addition.