On the Day of Resurrection, all people that ever lived will be gathered before Allaah to await His judgment for all they have done of said during their lives. During this time, the sun will come very close to the people (as close as one mile according to some narrations).
People will want to get away from the heat of the sun but there will be no Shade or shelter to go to and they will start sweating in proportion to their sins. The more sins a person has the more he or she will sweat.
During this traumatic time, however, the seven groups of people who are mentioned in the following Hadeeth (Prophetic narration) will be completely immune to the sun’s heat and they will be in complete comfort.
These people will be in such comfort because they will be enjoying the only shade available on that day and that is the Shade of Allaah. They will enjoy such an honor because of their piety and obedience to Allaah while they were in this life.
The Prophet said: “There are seven whom Allaah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allaah's sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: 'I fear Allaah'; a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allaah in private and so his eyes shed tears.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
In this beautiful narration, the Prophet spoke about small acts of worship which result in such a huge reward: shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade, i.e., the Shade of His Throne.
This may not seem like much at first but then reflect upon the following narration: “On the Day of Resurrection, the sun would draw so close to the people that there would be left a distance of only one mile. The people will be submerged in perspiration according to their deeds, some up to their ankles, some up to their knees, some up to the waist and some would have the bridle of perspiration (and, while saying this, the Messenger of Allaah put his hand towards his mouth).” [Muslim]
Let us examine now the characteristics and virtues of these seven categories of people who will be worthy of such an exalted position on the Day of Gathering. 1. A Just Ruler: The concept of Justice in Islam is very important and it is something which the Muslim - Ruler and the ruled - must apply in all matters without exception. Justice means to give each the right he deserves: Muslim or non-Muslim, relative or stranger, friend or enemy. Allaah Says (what means): "...And do not let hatred cause you to act unjustly, that is nearer to piety." [Quran 5:8]
Unfortunately, even if we admit this in theory, we quickly forget it in practice. So we find that when we speak about our friends and loved ones, we praise them beyond reason and when we speak about those whom we hold difference with, we can find no good in them and we just capitalize on their bad points.
The Prophet said: “Allaah does not bless a people among whom a weak man is not given his right." [At-Tirmithi]
The concept of justice is most important for the Ruler, since he is in charge of his people and the primary disposer of justice in the land. For this reason, the Ruler is given special mention as one of the seven who will be honored with Allaah's Shade.
2. A youth who grew up in the worship of Allaah:
The great scholar, Imaam Ayyoob As-Sakhtiyaani (d.131H) stated: 'From the success of a youth is that Allaah guides him to a scholar of the Sunnah (to study under and learn from).'
Indeed, it is a great blessing from Allaah for a youth be guided towards worship and be befriended by the righteous, since it is in youth that a person is most vulnerable to the temptations of life and liable to drift away from the Islamic Path. This becomes apparent when we look at society around us and we see that most of the worldly distractions, such as music, games, clubs, fashion etc. are all specifically targeted at the young.
'You're only young once!' they are told, which is why many Muslims nowadays waste their youth thinking that they will pray, wear Hijaab and go on Hajj, etc. when they are old, as if they have a guarantee of longevity from Allaah! How well we would do to heed the Prophet's advice when he said: “Take benefit of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied and your life before your death.” [Al-Haakim]
3. A man whose heart is attached to the mosques:
There is great encouragement in the Sunnah for men to pray in the mosques and the reward associated with it is tremendous. Not only does it make the person eligible for Allaah's Shade on the day of Judgement, but also: “he does not take a step [towards the mosque except that because of it, he is raised by one rank and one sin is removed from him. Then when he prays, the Angels do not cease supplicating for him [for] as long as he remains at his place of Prayer [sayings]: O Allaah send blessings upon him, O Allaah have mercy upon him...” [Al-Bukhaari]
It must be emphasized here however, that all the narrations encouraging the men to be attached to the mosques are not intended to lead one to the conclusion that Islam is a Religion which should be confined to the mosques, as many people imagine. Nonetheless, the mosque should be at the heart of the Muslim community, and the role of those in authority of the mosques is vital here. They are the ones mainly responsible for making the mosque a welcome refuge for the Muslims.
4. Two men who love each other for Allaah's sake, meeting for that and parting upon that:
Allaah Almighty Says (what means): “The believers are nothing else than brothers, so make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allaah, that you may receive mercy." [Quran 49:10]
Having mutual love for the sake of Allaah is one of the great doors leading to the good of the Hereafter and a cause of tasting the sweetness of faith in this world. Loving one another for Allaah's sake means that the Muslim does not love another except for the correctness of his religion. So it does not matter what the person looks like, what he wears, how rich or poor he is, where he comes from, or what the color of his skin is - perhaps you dislike everything about him, but you love him for his belief in Allaah: this is loving for Allaah's sake. 'Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent Says in a Sacred Narration: "Those who have mutual love for the sake of My Glory will have minarets of light and will be envied the Prophets and martyrs." [At-Tirmithi & Ahmad]
Imagine being envied by Allaah's chosen Messengers and those who were slain in His Path! Such is the reward of those who love one another for Allaah's sake.
5. A man who is called (seduced) by a woman of beauty and position but he says: 'I fear Allaah': Allaah Says (what mean): “And come not near to the adultery. Verily, it is a shameful (deed) and an evil way (that leads one to Hell).” [Quran 17:32]
This world is full of temptations that lead to burning in the Fire and amongst them is that which comes from women. Many a man has led his soul into destruction on account of the lure of a woman, which is why the Prophet warned his nation specifically about this. He said: “The world is sweet and green and verily Allaah is going to install you as successors upon it in order to see how you act. So avoid the allurement of women: verily the first trial for the Children of Israa'eel was caused by women.” [Muslim]
The most important provision which we need to protect ourselves from this and all other temptations in life is the fear of Allaah. This fact is alluded to in the following verse (what means): “And as for him who feared standing before his Lord and restrained himself from impure evil desires, verily Paradise will be his abode.” [Quran 79:40]
6. A man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity:
This describes the type of person who goes to great lengths to protect himself from ostentation and showing off in worship. Being ostentations is to do deeds in order to earn the praise and recognition of people. This sin destroys all the benefits that lie in righteous deeds and brings on a serious punishment for the one who commits it. It is particularly dangerous because it is in man's nature to desire and enjoy the praise of others.
Thus, great care has to be taken to ensure that one's intentions begin and remain pure whenever good actions (such as charity) are being done. Allaah warns (what means): “O you who believe! Do not render vain your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men and he does not believe in Allaah nor in the Last Day.” [Quran 2:264]
7. A man who remembered Allaah in private and so his eyes shed tears: Our noble Prophet informed us: “If you knew what I knew, you would laugh little and weep much.” [Al-Bukhaari] Crying is not a sissy thing to do! The Prophet who was the best of all creation, would weep, as would all of his Companions. Tears are a genuine expression of fear of Allaah's Punishment and of our sincere love and awe of Him.
But how often do we remember Allaah in seclusion and are then moved to tears? How much do we laugh and how little do we weep? The Prophet said: "There is nothing more beloved to Allaah than two drops and two marks: A tear shed due to fear of Allaah, and a drop of blood spilled in the path of Allaah. And as for the two marks, then a mark caused in the path of Allaah, and a mark caused by fulfilling one of the duties made obligatory by Allaah." [At-Tirmithi]
Finally, through these seven types of people mentioned in the narration, we have been given clear signposts of the way to attain Allaah's pleasure and satisfaction. So you should devote yourself to being one amongst those seven, for indeed fortunate will be those who are granted Allaah's Shade on the Day when there will be no shade but His.