CHARACTERISTICS OF PEOPLE OF JANNAH
Ayah # 133-136
Lecturer :Nouman Ali Khan
Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous
Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men- for Allah loves those who do good
And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done
For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath,- an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)
Here, Allah SWT describes some characteristics of people of Jannah that can be summarized as follows:
• These are the people who spend when it is easy and when it is difficult; spending when it is easy shows some gratitude. People tend to have this attitude when things are good. But when things are bad, people may get fear that if they spend, they are not going to get it back so inshaAllah when things are good we will give.
But the people who really have taqwa of Allah, they know that Allah mentions whoever has taqwa of Allah, Allah makes a way out for him and provides him from where he could not even imagine. Allah says whatever good you spend it will be refunded to you and you cannot be wrong. Prophet SAWW also promises that money cannot experience loss because of sadaqa. Reminding that promise, the people who give sadaqa will get the bonus in any form and it can be seen in daily practice. So we have to have such confidence in Allah.
So giving for the sake of Allah is actually an opportunity to become more conscious of Allah’s presence.
• People who swallow their anger; what does “swallowing” mean? When somebody is chewing with his mouth closed, the second person still notices that there is something in the mouth, but when somebody swallows what has been eaten it won’t be noticed anymore. So there is one thing that “hold” your temper. You are angry but there is no sign of anger on your face, and people perceive as there is nothing wrong with you .And this should be done immediately and continuously.
• Those who lovingly forgive people; forgiveness can be of two types. You can forgive people by insulting them like “hey you were mean to me that day but I forgive you”. This is a show of arrogance. You may start with another fight for example “what do you mean, you are forgiving me? It is me who forgive you”.
So the true forgiveness happens in private. When you make dua for yourself, make dua for that person lovingly. it is the mercy of ALLAH that Prophet SAWW is lenient towards the sahabah even when some of them make him annoyed
“If you are stern they would have run away from you.” (Al-Quran)
Allah commands “fa’fu anhum was taghfirlakum” means forgive them and ask Allah to forgive them too.
• And Allah loves those who excel in their Deen; In regards to previous points it should be considered that sometimes we say things that we regret. Even if a person is blatantly wrong, how do you know he is still on that? How do you know he did not make tauba? How do you know he did not change his mind? Many scholars we see were once to be very different persons but whatever they used to say or do years back is not being practiced now. A person may be close to Allah and you are bad mouthing him as a result Allah takes away your god deeds and hand over to that person and in this way; you are actually doing favor for that person.
Unfortunately, in Muslim community especially in the acts of ibadah, the Muslim community gets so frustrated that people separate other people from masajid. It is not even a matter of farz, but their anger is so high as if it is a matter of halaal and haraam and the tragedy is that their people are arguing over such petty things while having more grudges at home.
Then Allah says something peculiar that really catches one’s attention. Allah SWT talks about people who earn paradise by saying run towards forgiveness and jannah. Allah says the people who have committed some shameless act; it can be words, sight or any deed or anything which is shameless, done to fulfill one’s lust. Now Allah talks about people of jannah along with mentioning the ones who committed fahisha and then He adds “or they wrong themselves”. Fahisha is something you do when you are overwhelmed by lust and zulm ala nafs is something you do anyway like backbiting, jealousy, lying etc. these are the sins Muslims engage themselves knowing the fact they won’t benefit them anyway, so Allah says those who indulge themselves in such fahisha whether it is on internet, television, down on streets, billboards train, workplace etc, Allah says those people SIMULTANEUSLY remember Allah. This is really tough thing to do. Imagine a student comes late in class. What will he do next? He avoids making eye contact to the teacher and quickly settles down pretending to be a part of the audience out of embarrassment. So there is a thing that when we disappoint someone, we avoid contact with him. At that moment Satan plays his role. When we do anything shameless, who do we disappoint? Allah SWT. So Satan murmurs “hey after all that headiest things you have done, you call yourself a Muslim? Are you going to pray now, you hypocrite?” and all we end up is that yes, since we are hypocrites we should not stand in front of Allah. In this way Satan uses your sin to make you think that you cannot pray to Allah SWT. Then Allah says immediately those people of jannah mention Allah and ask for His forgiveness. Allah adds “who is going to cover their sins except Allah? Where you are going to go?” even a child, when beaten by his mother cries and tries to find shelter or protection from the same lady. And here we are talking about Allah SWT, our ultimate Protector and Sustainer. So where else would we have to go? by this explanation we can infer that even after committing sins, we still have hope and we can ask forgiveness for our sins, but then Allah says “ they don not insist upon what they have done.” This is something important to understand. You have done something wrong and then you made astaghfar and plead that you are not going to do it again, but at the back of your mind, you are telling yourself that probably you may it again in a couple of weeks. If you are such kind of a person who thinks let’s make tauba and sometime later you again repeat that cycle of doing sin and then making tauba then this does not apply on you. But on the other hand there is another type o person who genuinely mentions ALLAH and has a lot of fear, but being a human, sometimes he again indulges in some sin but it does not happen because at the back of his mind he is not prepared of it. It happens just accidentally. Then he should again make astaghfar an should not insist upon his sin. ALLAH speaks in Surah Nisa: “ALLAH has made tauba mandatory on self for people who do any evil thing out of ignorance then they make tauba soon after over and over again.”
Then ALLAH also mentions that tauba will not be accepted from a kafir when he makes it at the time of his death. And such a tauba is equivalent as that of a person who insists on his sin while making tauba.
So when we are seeking for forgiveness we have to be sincere. May ALLAH grant us the ability to make astaghfar. May ALLAH make us from the people of Jannah and make us among those who shall be rewarded. May Allah put us to work for His sake, amen ya rabbul alameen.
Compiled by: Aysha Asif