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The ranks of people in the Hereafter

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The ranks of people in the Hereafter

Post by Ithar Ghada Faied on Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:32 pm



Bismillaah, wal-hamdulilaah, was-salaatu was-salaamu 'alaa rasoolillaah, As Salaamu 'Alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakatuh

There is no doubt that on the Day of Judgement, people will vary in rank according to their status; they shall be classified according to their deeds and standing.

The first six ranks in the Hereafter are:

1. The messengers with strong Will and Determination (i.e., the Ulil-‘Azm)

As for the first and foremost rank, it belongs to the five Messengers of Allah with strong Will and Determination from amongst the Messengers of Allah, may Allah exalt their mention, for they are the most honourable of Allah's creation. They are the dearest to Him and the ones whom He has chosen; they are those upon whom He has sent peace. Allah Says what means: “And peace upon the Messengers.” [Quran 37: 181]

It is sufficient to mention regarding their honor and virtue that Allah has selected them for revelation and entrusted them with His messages. Allah has made them intercessors between Him and His creation. Allah has also favoured them with honourable gifts, such as supernatural occurrences and abilities. Allah has chosen some of them as a Khaleel, or a close, intimate friend; He has directly spoken to some of them, and elevated others to a lofty rank. Indeed Allah has rendered them to be the only means to reach Him; how could mankind reach Allah except through His Messengers? It would have been impossible. Thus, the Messengers are those that have the closest contact with Allah from mankind.

2. The remaining messengers

The second rank consists of the remainder of the three-hundred and sixty-five (365) Messengers, those who were sent by Allah to their people with a new message to deliver. The Messenger of Allah has informed us that the number of Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, was one-hundred and twenty-four thousand (124,000), of which three-hundred and sixty-five (365) were Messengers. This is so that Allah could establish His proof against mankind that they would have no excuse not to worship Him. The seal of all the Prophets and Messengers was Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).

3. Prophets

The third rank consists of the Prophets those who were sent by Allah to their people but had no new message to deliver.

Therefore, this means that Messengers were of different ranks. Some Messengers were favoured by Allah over others, such as the five of strong Will and Determination as was mentioned above, and these were: Muhammad Ibraaheem (Abraham), Moosaa (Moses), 'Eesaa (Jesus) and Nooh (Noah), may Allah exalt their mention. These were the finest five of all the Messengers, and the best and most virtuous of these was Muhammad then Ibraaheem Al-Khaleel, then Moosaa Al-Kaleem (i.e. the one whom Allah spoke to directly), then 'Eesaa and then Nooh, although the people of knowledge differed as to which one of the last two was of a higher calibre. Thus, this makes up the first rank, while the second rank consists of the rest of the three-hundred and sixty-five Messengers, while the third rank consists of the Prophets.

4. Scholars

The fourth rank includes those who inherited the knowledge of the Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, as well as their successors. They are those who apply the message propagated by the Messengers of Allah, may Allah exalt their mention. These are the people who possess knowledge, act upon it, and call others to it. This is the finest class of mankind after the Messengers and Prophets; it is the class of truthfulness, and Allah has paralleled these people to His Messengers. Allah Says what means: "And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favour of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.” [Quran 4: 69]

So, this is the next rank after those of the Messengers and Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention. So who does it include? It includes the scholars who have learnt the Islamic Sharee’ah and taught it to others. This is the rank that follows those of the Prophets and Messengers, may Allah exalt their mention, and they are undoubtedly their inheritors.

People in this category vary in their level of knowledge and their application of it.

The question arises: can the term "witness" be conferred to the scholar? The answer is yes, because the scholar is Allah’s witness over His creation. He will bear witness, through the knowledge that Allah has given him, over Allah’s creation. Thus, the scholar is referred to as a witness from this perspective.

These steadfast affirmers are the ones who are literate regarding the religion, act upon it, teach it to others and are patient with regard to the trials that inflict them due to this; these scholars are of high rank and distinct virtue. There can be nothing better for a person than to be busy with his worldly work during his lifetime, or even be lying in his grave while his limbs have decayed, while having his good deeds increasing.

For such a person, good deeds are being added to his record constantly and good actions are being awarded to him from where he would least expect. All this is due to the fact that when the scholar teaches people religious laws and they apply them, he will receive the same reward as they do due to them applying the knowledge that he has taught them. Hence, even if such a person is dead and in his grave, his books and other writings remain a source of reward for him. He procures rewards from them in his grave, despite being a collection of dismembered body parts.

As a matter of fact, even if such a person is preoccupied with worldly matters in his home, the fact that his sound Islamic judgements and knowledge are being circulated among people means that the rewards for this are being inscribed for him in his record of good deeds.

Some may say: 'These are the scholars, but we common people will never get any portion of such rewards.' We say, No! Rather, whoever learns something about the religion and passes it onto those he knows, such as family, relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues and others, then he is rewarded for this knowledge that he has related. Moreover, he continues to be rewarded for that piece of knowledge he has related for as long as it is passed on.

This demonstrates the great virtue of learning the religion and teaching it to others. It also confirms the necessity of that knowledge being accurate, since if a person relates a fabricated Hadeeth or an erroneous Fatwaa to people, then he continues to receive the sin from it as long as it continues to circulate among others. On the other hand, if he learns and relates sound knowledge, then he will continue to be rewarded for it. It is for this reason that Imaam Ahmad mentioned regarding the people of knowledge:

“All praise is due to Allah, who has rendered in between every time interval of Messengers remainders from the people of knowledge. They call the misguided to guidance and they patiently bear maltreatment from them. They enlighten the religiously-blind by virtue of the light of Allah (i.e., the knowledge that they possess). How many of those whom Satan killed (i.e., killed his soul and spirit), have they brought back to life? How many of the ignorant and misguided have they guided? How excellent is their influence on people, and how repulsive is their people’s effect on themselves. They preserve the Book of Allah from the ignorant who seek to erroneously interpret its hidden meanings; from the distortion of the extremists; and the plagiarism of the fabricators.”

5. Just rulers

The rank in the Hereafter which follows that of the scholars is that of the just leaders and rulers. It is through them that the roads and paths become safe and the world becomes upright. Through them the weak receive support, the oppressors are humiliated, and the frightened become secure. They are the ones who enact the divine penalties and repel corruption. They enjoin the good, forbid the evil, and implement the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger . They extinguish the fires of innovations and misguidance.

'Umar ibn 'Abdul Azeez was one such just ruler. Allah granted him knowledge and commandment. He ruled with sound knowledge. He governed the people for only years; he assumed leadership in 99 A.H. and was assassinated (through poisoning) two years later, in 101 A.H. Some of his people could not stand him and so they poisoned him, which caused him to die . He was, by the consensus of the Muslims, the fifth of the rightly guided caliphs. In just two years, he accomplished much more than any of the Umayyid caliphs did in many years.

Justice was so widespread that even when charity money was being circulated, there was nobody to be found who was in need of it – there was not a single poor person left and thus the alms were sent back to treasury. Moreover, a shepherd in the desert whose goat had been attacked and eaten by a wolf said: “Something has happened to the chief of the believers (i.e., 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-Azeez)” and after he inquired about it, he found that 'Umar had died that very day. So the people asked him: “How did you know?” He replied: “We have come to know of his justice that is so prevalent that even the wolves no longer attack our flock, so when this wolf attacked, we realised that something must have happened to 'Umar bin 'Abdul Azeez.” His justice had even influenced the aggressive animals, who ceased their aggression due to it.

On the other hand, if an oppressive ruler reigns, then even the whales, the scorpions in their burrows, and the other animals curse him, as was mentioned in the prophetic narration where the animals curse the disobedient from the children of Aadam (i.e., people) due to them being the cause of the hindrance of rain. Rainfall ceases from the skies due to the oppression of such governors and rulers.
6. Mujaahideen (i.e., those who fight in the Way of Allah)

The rank that follows the just rulers and governors are those who fight in the way of Allah. They are the soldiers of Allah through whom the religion is established, the enemies repelled, and the influence of Islam and its essence protected. The power of the Muslims and the essence of Islam are protected by whom? By the Mujaahideen – they are the ones who fight the enemies of Allah so that the whole religion becomes solely for Allah, and so that His word is supreme.



Last edited by Ithar Ghada Faied on Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The ranks of people in the Hereafter

Post by Ithar Ghada Faied on Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:42 pm

Those who favour others over themselves:

The seventh rank is that of those who favour others over themselves, spend in charity and benefit people with their wealth and other resources. They are those about whom the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) said, as in the narration of Ibn Mas’ood : “None except two (types of) people may be envied: A man whom Allaah gives wealth and who disposes of it rightfully in a good cause, and a man to whom Allah has given wisdom (i.e., knowledge) by which he judges between people and (with which) he teaches others.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

Note that 'envy' in this narration refers to the Arabic word 'Ghibtah', the equivalent of which does not exist in the English language, and its meaning is to wish to enjoy things that others possess without wishing that they should be deprived of them for one's exclusive benefit. These people are worthy of being looked up to and richly deserve that others wish to have the qualities they do, because they have fine qualities and great deeds, and also provide great benefit to others.

The virtue of spending in the way of Allah:

These people who spend in charity are those about whom Allah Says what means: “Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with remainders [of it] or [other] injury will have their reward with their Lord, and their will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [Quran 2: 262]

Allah described the way they spend saying what means: “Those who spend their wealth [in Allah’s way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly…” [Quran 2: 274]

They do not like people to know what they do, and thus they spend secretly; but when they have to do it openly in order to set a good example for others and encourage them, they do so, such as the example of the Companion who once brought a bag full of dates when the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) had requested people to spend in charity, which encouraged others to do likewise after having seen this, which is a praiseworthy action.

Allah encourages people to spend in charity saying what means: “Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned.” [Quran 2: 245]

When a person asks to borrow money from one while the lender knows he is rich, it would be easier for him to lend, as opposed to the case if he was poor, because one would feel secure that his money would be paid back. Also, if one knows that a man is kind and trustworthy, and that if he lends him money, he would invest it and make it grow in multiples, then the desire for lending will increase. Moreover, if one knows that he will also give one gift in addition to the loan and the return on the investment, then would his desire to lend not be even greater? This is exactly how Allah deals with those who spend in charity.

Note that the verse stated that the 'borrower' is Allah. Certainly, Allah is the All-Rich and He is free of any need to borrow money, but the term is used as a way of honouring those who spend in charity. This type of loan is the type that brings benefit only to the lender, because ultimately he is the only one who will gain from the deal, despite him being the one spending, because Allah is beyond need, but He tests people - and those who spend will be honoured by Him.

Allah informs us that there are two types of lenders: one who spends from good wealth, and the other who spends from ill-gotten money, and it is only the first type for whom Allaah will multiply the wealth. Ill-gotten money is not accepted by Allah; for example, Allah will not accept charity from money obtained through Ribaa (i.e., usury or interest), stolen money and so on.

The type of charity which enables a person to attain righteousness:

Additionally, Allah will not reward those who spend their most inferior type of wealth, like those who give worn-out clothes or old furniture, in the same way he rewards those who spend from their finest type of wealth or from wealth that they themselves are in need of. This is why Allah Says what means: “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love…” [Quran 3: 92]

Since people do not usually like old and worn out things, and like to keep the best of everything for themselves, Allah made reaching the rank of righteousness subject to them spending from the best of their wealth. What is the result of spending from one's dearest wealth? Allah informs in the following verse which means: “The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills…” [Quran 2: 261] This means more than the seven hundred multiples mentioned in the beginning of the verse.

Dispraising those who follow their charity with reminders:

Moreover, Allah does not like that his slaves follow their charity with reminders to those whom they gave the charity to, because some people may very well spend from the best of their wealth, but also have the psychological sickness of continuously reminding those whom they gave charity to; whenever they see them, they will say: “Did I not give you such and such? Do you not remember that I gave you this and that?” Or they will say: “How is such and such thing that I gave you?” This type of people continues to make such statements until they deprive themselves from the reward of what they spent.

‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Ziyaad said: “My father used to tell me, `If you give someone something in charity and you notice that greeting him reminds him of it and embarrasses him, then do not greet him.`” This is said because some people may not remind the person openly, but would greet him in a way which makes the poor person feel that the lender is trying to remind him of his favour.

One of the Salaf (predecessors) said: “When you do others a favour, forget it; but when others do you a favour, never forget it.” One should forget it and keep its reward with Allah, but when one is the person for whom the favour was done, then he should never forget the kindness of the person who did it for him, because noble and good-hearted people never forget the kindness and favours of others.

The conditions of a goodly loan:

Therefore, a goodly loan for which Allah multiplies the reward is that which is firstly spent from the best type of wealth one possesses, and secondly is not followed by reminder or harm to the beneficiary. A third description of it is that it is continuously done day and night; whenever a chance appears in the horizon, one should spend and should try to do so as secretly as possible, unless the need arises for doing it openly.

Ithar Ghada Faied
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Female Posts : 412
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