Comments on the Hadith of the Seven in the Shade of Allah تعالى From The 'Awjaz al-Masalik'

Salam.  A dear friend of mine from the Reunion Islands on his way to study in Tarim about seven years ago stopped by my house.   When we had to finally bid farewell he told me he needed to give me something and asked me to come outside.  As I stood on the road to see him off he took out a large box containing the 16 volume commentary of the Muwatta called ‘Awjaz al-Masalik’ firmly placed the box it into my arms, and then sped off before I could protest.  May Allah تعالى reward him for his kindness and give him immense blessings in his studies.

As a token of thanks to him I compiled the article below a few years back.  I extracted the commentary from the relevant section of the Awjaz, wherein the author comments in great detail on this hadith of which only a very small portion has been mentioned below.  I have in my notes somewhere more detailed notes from the Awjaz regarding this hadith which I have not posted.  This was compiled some years back so please excuse any shortcomings, (and feel free to submit corrections). Likewise please remember in your prayers the brother from the Reunion Islands currently trying to go back to Tarim to continue his studies, may Allah تعالى give him tawfiq and taysir.

Those in the Shade of Allah تعالى
Extracted from ‘Awjaz al-Masalik’ the commentary on the Muwatta of Imam Malik by  Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyyah al-Kandehlawi

· Text of the Hadith

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: ‘There are seven whom Allah will shade in His shade on the day on which there is no shade except His shade: a just imam, a youth who grows up worshipping Allah, a man whose heart is attached to the mosque when he leaves it until he returns to it, two men who love each other in Allah and meet for that and part for that, a man who remembers Allah when he is alone and his eyes overflow with tears, a man who refuses the approaches of a noble, beautiful woman, saying ‘I fear Allah,’ and a man who gives charity (sadaqah) and conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives”.

The Meaning of Shade

{There are seven whom Allah will shade in His shade on the day on which there is no shade except His shade}
It will be on the day of judgement when the sun will be close to all of the creation, until it will be as if it is only be a mile away from them, and people will be in their own sweat/perspiration according to their actions, to the point there will be those who will be overcome by their sweat, this was mentioned in al-Mishkat.

Al-Suyuti said: Ibn Abd al-Barr said: this is the best hadith narrated regarding virtuous actions, it is the most general and most authentic, he said: what is meant by shade in this hadith is the mercy (of Allah)

And it is said what is meant by shade is Allahs generosity and help  and this is the opinion of Isa bin Dinar.

And it is said: (the meaning of shade) is the shade of Allah’s throne, and the evidence for this is in the hadith of Salman reported by Saeed bin Mansur with a Hasan chain that : ‘Seven will be shaded by Allah in the shade of His throne’

· Those in the Shade are Not Limited to Seven
The author of al-Muhalla said: The number is not taken literally (la mafhum lil adad), as it is reported that those with other qualities will also be shaded, Hafidh Ibn Hajar enumerated them up to 28, and Sheikh al-Suyuti up to 70.

I say: he mentioned them in al-Tanwir in a poem form, and he mentioned at the end that: I have collated the established hadith regarding these qualities with their chains of narration in the book named ‘Tamhid al-Farsh fi al-Khisal al-Muidiyah li Dhil al-Arsh’ then I summarized it and called it ‘Bazugh al-Hilal fi al-Khisal al-Mujibah lil Dhilal’

Al-Zabidi said in Sharh al-Ihya: al-Qastallani copied in Sharh al-Bukhari more than 7 from his Shaykh al-Sakhawi, and I will mention them in a summarized form…

· Meaning of a Just Imam
{A Just Imam}
Al-Hafidh said: The best explanation that has been given for just is that he follows the commandments of Allah by placing everything in its correct place without excessiveness or laxity.

And what is meant by it is the possessor of supreme authority, and linked to it is everyone who has authority/charge over anything from the affairs of the muslims and is just.

· The Youth Who Grows Up Worshipping Allah

{A youth who grows up worshipping Allah}

Al-Hafidh said: The youth is specifically mentioned because he/it is the most likely time for the overpowering of the carnal desires, and due to what it contains of the strength of cause to follow desires, as adhering to worship despite this is the strongest proof of predominance of the fear of Allah.

Al-Baji said: What is meant that he has less sins and more good deeds than the one not was not raised in the worship of Allah عز و جل then he worshipped him at the end of his life when he was old

· The Person Whose Heart is Attached to the Masjid
{ a man whose heart is attached to the mosque when he leaves it until he returns to it }
Al-Hafidh said: Its literal is that it is from hanging, as if he is likened to something hanging in the masjid such as a candle for example, indicating to the length of his attachment with his heart, even though his body may be outside from the masjid, this is indicated to in the al-Jawzaqi’s version: As if his heart is hanging in the masjid.

Al-Zarqani said: Ibn Asakir has from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah : ‘Attached to the masjid due to his immense love of it’ and that is because when he is effected by the obedience to Allah and his love overcomes his heart becomes attached to the masjid and does not love/like to be separated from it due to his finding it the spirit of closeness and sweetness of obedience (to Allah)

Two Men Who Love Each Other for The Sake of Allah
{two men who love each other }
Al-Hafidh said:  Each one of them loves the other in reality not just outwardly

{In Allah}
Meaning in seeking his pleasure or because of him, not for a worldly reason

{they meet upon this}

Al-Hafidh said: Meaning they both continue upon the love due to religion and do not break it because of a worldly reason, whether they meet in reality or not, until they are separated by death

{and leave}
Meaning they preserve love when present and absent

· A Man who Remembered Allah When Alone
{ a man who remembers Allah }
Meaning with his heart by means of remembering or with his tongue by means of dhikr as was mentioned in al-Fath

{ when he is alone }
Because he will be at that time furthest from showing off or meaning free from being preoccupied with other than Allah, even if he is in a crowd.

Al-Baji said: the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) specifically mentioned the khali because he is the furthest from showing off and fame, as that which is in the state of solitiude  is purely for the sake of Allah taala and is not blemished by anything

{ and his eyes overflow with tears }

Meaning tears flowed from his eyes.. al-Qurtubi said: The shedding of tears from the eyes is according to the state of the one making dhikr, and according to what is revealed/made apparent to him, for in the state when the attributes of Jalal the weeping will be from the fear of Allah, and in the state when the attributes of  Jamal the weeping will be from longing for him.

· A Man Who Is Invited
{ a man who refuses the approaches of a noble, beautiful woman }
Al­-Hafidh said: She was described with the most perfect characteristics that people are usually attracted to… and what is apparent is that she invited him to commit fornication… One of them said it is possible that she invited him to marry her, but he feared that he would be busied with her and not be able to worship, or feared that he would not be able to fulfil her rights due to his being preoccupied with worship.. and the first opinion is the strongest (azhar).

{ saying I fear Allah }
Al-Hafidh said: What is apparent is that he will say this with his tongue to warn her from committing fornication or to give his reason (for not committing fornication), and it is possible that he said in this in his heart as was stated by Iyad. Al-Qurtubi said: This emanated from him due to his intense fear of Allah Taala, and the strength of his taqwa and haya.

· Hiding Charity

{and a man who gives sadaqa and conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand give }
al-Hafidh said: The meaning of the hadith is the emphasis of concealing charity …
Al-Zabidi said in al-Ittihaf: Ibn Battal said: this hadith is an example given by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in emphasizing the concealment of charity.. Ibn al-Munir said the meaning was that if he was able to conceal it from himself he would, so how can he not conceal it from others, as concealing from oneself is possible…

Al-Shaykh al-Akbar may Allah sanctify his secret said: Know that concealing charity is a condition for reaching a lofty rank that Allah has made specific for the 7 abdal.  It (charity) can be concealed in different ways, from them is that the one given charity does not know of it, and from the charity who is the one who gave it, and to be gentle in the charity reaching them whichever way it is, and from them is to let him know how to take it and that he is taking it from Allah and not from you so that he does not see any kindness from you upon him for what you have given him and so that he does not exhibit any signs of debasement or poverty in front of you.

· This Hadith Also Applies to Women
Al-Hafidh said: The mention of men in this hadith is not taken literally, rather women are included with them in that which has been mentioned except if what is meant by a just ruler is the greater Imamship, and if not then a woman maybe included as she has a family and can be just amongst them, and she is excluded from the quality of being attached to the masjid because the prayer in her home is more superior than the masjid, and they are included with the men in other than this, even in the case of the man who is invited by a woman as it can be conceived as occurring for example in the case of a woman who is invited by a handsome king but she refused due to her fear of Allah Taala despite her need.

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