The Fire

Beyond Words

It is reported that ‘Alī b. Abī Tālib – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Mention what you will of the greatness of Allāh, but Allāh is greater than anything you say. And mention what you will of the Fire, but it is more severe than anything you say. And mention what you will of Paradise, but it is better than anything you say.

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-‘Ilm article 853.

Two Days and Two Nights like no others

It is reported that Anas b. Mālik – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

There are two days and two nights the likes of which no one has ever heard of before: the Day on which you will receive the news about Allāh the Exalted: whether you will receive His punishment or His mercy, the Day you will be given your book (of deeds): either in your right hand or your left, that [first] night you will spend alone in your grave, a night like no other you have spent, and that night on the morning of which will be the Day of Resurrection, after which there will be no more night.

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-‘Ilm article 19.

This life in brief

It is reported that some people asked ‘Alī b. Abī Ṭālib – Allāh be pleased with him –  to describe this worldly life (the dunyā). He said:

Do you want a long description or a brief one? They replied, “a brief one.” He said, “Its permissible things (ḥalāl) [lead to] accounts being taken from you, and its forbidden things (ḥarām) [lead to the] Fire.

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Dham Al-Dunyā article 17.

The Last Drops of this World

Khālid b. ‘Umayr Al-‘Adawī reports, ‘Utbah b. Ghazwān – Allāh be pleased with him – once gave us a sermon. He praised Allāh, then said:

The life of this world has announced its departure and is quickly turning away, and nothing remains of it save the likes of the last drop of water in a vessel as its possessor tries to catch it. You are moving on to an abode that has no end, so move on with the best [deeds] that you have. For it has been said to us that a rock can be dropped from the edge of Hell and fall for seventy years without reaching the bottom. Yet, by Allāh, it will be filled. Do you not then wonder? And it has been said to us that a single entrance to Paradise is as wide as a journey of forty years, yet there will come a day when it will be crowded.

I have seen myself as the seventh of seven [followers of] Allāh’s Messenger – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him; we had no food save the leaves of trees which put sores round our mouths. I once got a cloak which I tore in half to share with Sa’d b. Mālik: I used half as my waist-wrap and he used the other. And yet today, there is not one of us except he has become a governor over some city – and I seek refuge with Allāh that I consider myself great and important when I am small in front of Allāh. Verily there was never prophet-hood except that it gradually changed until it ended up being a kingship, and verily you will see what the governors after us are like.

Sahīh Muslim no. 7624

Dead Hearts and Empty Supplications

It is reported that Ibrāhīm b. Adham (d162H) – Allāh have mercy on him – once passed through the market of Baṣrah. People gathered around him and asked:

O Abū Isḥāq, Allāh the Exalted says in his Book. ‘Call on me, I will answer your prayers’, but we have been calling on Him for a long time and He does not answer our prayers. [Ibrāhīm] replied, “O people of Baṣrah, your hearts have died in respect to ten things: First, you know Allāh but you do not give Him His rights; second, you have read Allāh’s Book but you do not act by it; third, you claim to love Allāh’s Messenger – Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him – yet you abandon his Sunnah; fourth, you claim to be enemies to Shayṭān but you conform to [his ways]; fifth, you say you love Paradise yet you do not work for it; sixth, you say you fear The Fire yet you put yourselves closer to it [by sinning]; seventh, you say death is true but you do not prepare for it; eighth, you busy yourselves with the faults of others and disregard your own; ninth, you consume the favors of your Lord but are not grateful for them; and tenth, you bury your dead but take no lesson from them.”

Abū Nu’aym, Ḥilyah Al-Awliyā’ 8: 15, 16.