037 The key to eternal salvation
Certainly, the most important aim for us is to die with “faith” in our hearts, even if a modicum of it, so that we do not suffer the eternal torment special to the unbelievers. But that which is essentially desired is "a complete faith”. A proper and complete faith freed from hesitations is the key to salvation and happiness in both this mortal world, also in the moment of death and in the afterworld which will last for all eternity. Mature individuals who possess a complete faith live in peace and happiness by welcoming the troubles of this world with patience and resignation, and they also reach the eternal bliss without feeling the troubles of the hereafter. A hadith states:
“Allah (swt) will make any of His servants it likes feel the length of the judgment day as short as an obligatory salah.” [Bayhaqi]
May Allah (swt) destine all of us to migrate to the hereafter with a complete faith.
On the Mahshar day, our Master the Prophet and some special people who have high degrees in the sight of Allah (swt) will intercede for those people who, although they have faith, submitted to their egos and passed to the afterworld with the dirt of their sins having failed to repent. Intercession is real. But it is subject to the consent of Allah. Without His consent, no one will be able to intercede. Allah’s will and consent also determine whether a request for intercession will be accepted. See the following Quranic verses:
“Who is thee can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth?” [Baqarah, 255]
“No intercessor (can plead with Him) except after His leave (hath been obtained).” [Yunus, 3]
“To Allah belongs exclusively (the right to grant) intercession:” [Zumar, 44]
“they offer no intercession except for those with whom He is well pleased, and they stand in awe and reverence of His (Glory).” [Anbiyaa, 28]
Dear readers, as you can see, intercession is only possible with Allah’s consent and therefore the most important thing for a believer is, of course, to win His consent.
The following hadiths relate to intercession:
"I will intercede on the judgment day. I will say, ‘My God, send those who have a mustard seed size of faith in their heart to the Paradise’. They will go to the Paradise. Then I will say to those who have a little in their hearts, ‘Go to the Paradise'." [Bukhari]
“On the judgment day, I will intercede first of all.” [Muslim]
“I will be the one who intercedes for the first time on the judgment day and whose intercession will be accepted.” [Ibn Majah]
“With Allah’s consent, I will intercede for everyone from my community who does not die with sin of polytheism.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
“Every prophet possesses a special prayer which is accepted. I have saved mine for the Judgment Day to intercede for my community.” [Bukhari]
“Intercession is one of the five things which have not been given to any prophet before me. I will intercede for everyone who does not die with a polytheistic belief (but dies with faith).” [Bazzar]
“I will intercede for those who are deceived by their ego” [Daylami]
“I will intercede for those who committed many sins.” [Khatib]
“I will intercede for those members of my community who committed big sins.” [Imam Ahmad, Nasai]
“The number of those for whom I will intercede on the judgment day will be more than the number of sand grains.” [Tabarani]
“On the Judgment Day, I will say, ‘My Lord, send those who have a mustard seed size of faith in their heart to the Paradise!’ All of them will go to the Paradise with my intercession.” [Bukhari]
“Lest no member of my community falls back, I will not sit on my throne although I will enter the Paradise. I will say to Allah (swt),] ‘My community, my community’. My Lord will ask, ‘What do you want me to do with your community?’ And I will answer, ‘My Lord, make their reckoning quickly so that they get rid of agony.’ I will be given the list of those who deserve the Hell. I will intercede for them. In fact, the Guard of the Hell, Malik, will say, ‘You have left no one to be punished'.” [Bayhaqi, Tabarani]
“Those who do not believe in my intercession may not benefit from it.” [Shir’a]
“Those who deserve my intercession the most are those who recite the salawat for me the most.” [Tirmidhi]
Dear readers, in order to benefit from the intercession of our Master the Prophet, we must live in accordance with the path taken by him and say lots of salawat for him.
On the Judgment Day, each prophet will have a pond. See the following hadith:
“Each prophet possesses a pond. Their communities will come there to take water. Each prophet prides on the high number of those who come to their pond to take water. I hope that I will be the one who will have the highest number of people to come for receiving water.” [Tirmidhi]
See the following Quranic verse:
“To thee have We granted the (Fount of) Abundance.” [Kawthar, 1]
Our Master the Prophet explained Kawthar in the following way:
“It is a pond which my community will gather around on the Judgment Day.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud]
“I will have arrived in there before all of you.” [Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah]
And it is stated as relating to the water that entire pond:
“Its water will be whiter than milk, colder than ice and sweeter than honey. The soil on its bottom will smell fragrant. On the edge of the pond, there will be so many jugs and containers as the number of stars in the sky. One who drinks that water for once will never feel thirsty again. One who does not drink it will never satisfy their thirst.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Our Master the Prophet said that his community will come next to the pond, one of the groups will be prevented, an angel will explain that they are the ones who brought heresies after him [Bukhari, Muslim]; and he also stated that those who do not accept the apology of their religious siblings will not be able to drink from that water.
"One who does not accept the apology of his religious sibling cannot drink from the Kawthar pond." [Hakim]
Doubtlessly, the two greatest blessings granted to human beings after the blessing of existence are “reason” and “faith”. A human being is included in the class of humanity with a modicum of "reason" and has a place among other human beings. And with a modicum of "faith", that human being begins to ascend to the position of decency and maturity, and thus possesses a place in the sight of his Rab. That modicum of "reason" is the start of all the values and traits which distinguish a human being from animals. And a modicum of "faith" is the start of all the decent behaviors and maturity which will come from their Rab and which will distinguish them from rude people. In short, "reason" is the start point of being a human while "faith" is the start point of decency.
Therefore our Rab has attached great importance to that modicum of faith. In the words of our Master the Prophet:
“Allah (swt) will place deservers of the paradise to the paradise and deservers of the hell to the hell, and then command, ‘If you find one who has a mustard seed size of faith in their heart, remove them from the hell'.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
Dear readers, just like that modicum of faith is the main reason for all blessings and the salvation of human beings in the mundane life, it is also the main reason for an eternal salvation in the afterworld. Therefore, we should strive to possess a proper and complete faith, protect our faith well and stay away from anything which will damage it.
Certainly, the most important thing which damages the faith of a human being is "to forget their Rab" by obeying to the desires of the nafs (ego). Or, to explain it in a clearer way, it is to engage in those works which are forbidden by Allah (swt) and unlawful and abominable deeds. What causes faith to hold on to one’s heart and grow is "to remember the Glorious Allah much". Quran reading, worshipping, obedience, prayers, contemplation, all of them are a tool for this. Our Master the Prophet said:
“There is a polish for everything; the polish for the heart is to remember Allah.” [Bayhaqi]
“Qur’an and dhikr (mention) feed the faith in the heart just like water feeds grasses.” [Ramuz al-Ahadis]
Our masters the Sahabah (Those who saw Muhammad, believed in him and died as a Muslim) formed dhikr groups after each salah and mentioned Allah (swt) in order to keep their faith completely fresh.
According to Abdullah ibn Abbas (r.a.):
"In the time of the Messenger of Allah, dhikrs were performed aloud after obligatory salats." [Bukhari]
Ali (r.a.) said about the Sahabah:
“When they invoked Allah (swt) in the morning, they used to shake like the branches of trees shaking on a windy day! Their eyes used to water and they used to cry so much as to soak their clothes!” [Ibn Kathir, Abu Nuaim]
Unfortunately, we have abandoned this very important Sunnah (tradition) like many others. Instead of them, we have produced heresies which have nothing to do with religion. And now, global secret powers make us invoke “money”, which is their own god, for 24 hours and 7 days. We are always thinking about it… All the media ceaselessly inject the love of property, money and entertainment into our hearts from morning to night. We are now unable to think anything other than the desires of our egos. We are now like those who Allah (swt) referred to as:
“Then seest thou such a one as takes as his god his own vain desire? Allah has, knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart (and understanding), and put a cover on his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allah (has withdrawn Guidance” [Jathiyah, 23]
Certainly, the way to get rid of this situation is to properly perform salah, which is the most important tool of remembering Allah, and to never abandon it. The Rab of all the Realms ordered that:
“establish regular prayer for My remembrance.” [Ta-ha, 14]
“establish regular prayer: ... remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt.” [Ankabut, 45]
“When ye have performed the prayers, celebrate Allah's praises, standing, sitting down, or lying down on your sides;.” [Nisaa, 103]
Salah is the most important indication of remembering Allah, remembering Allah is also the most important indication of faith. Our Master the Prophet informed:
“Salat means faith. A believer is one who performs salah in accordance with its time and other requirements.” [Ibn Najjar]
“What distinguishes unbelief from faith is to abandon Salah.” [Tirmidhi]
As it can be seen, there is an absolute connection between “remembering Allah” and “faith”. Therefore, if we don't perform salah by lazing around, let us start again immediately. If we already perform them, let us try to perform them in the best and most proper manner with an awake heart.
Dear readers, when Quran commentators comment on the 3rd verse of the surah of Fatiha, they state that Allah, with His attribute the "rahman", shows mercy to everyone without distinguishing unbelievers from believers in the world, but that, in the afterworld, He, with the His attribute the "rahim", will show mercy only to believers.
While we have opportunities in the world, let us try to do everything that we need to do for our hereafter. Let us not forget that our record book will be closed when we die. And everything will be finished then.
Be entrusted to Allah.
Dr. Ismail Ulukus