The seven shaded
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “There are seven whom Allah will shade with His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His: the just ruler; a young man who grows up worshipping his Lord; a man whose heart is attached to the mosque; two men who love one another for the sake of Allah and meet and part on that basis; a man who is called by a woman of rank and beauty and says ‘I fear Allah’; a man who gives in charity and conceals it to such an extent that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives; and a man who remembers Allah when he is alone, and his eyes fill up.”
[Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
On the great Day (the Day of Resurrection) when mankind will be suffering distress and hardship, the sun will be brought near to mankind, until the distance between them is equal to the length of the stick used for applying kohl to the eyes [meel - may also mean a “mile”], and all the people will sweat according to their deeds, except for some of the believers, whom Allah will single out to shade them with His shade, and He will protect them from the sun and from sweating.
The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
“The sun will be brought near to the earth and the people will sweat. For some people, the sweat will come up to their heels; for some it will come halfway up their shins; for some it will come up to their knees; for some it will come up to their backsides; for some it will come up to their hips; for some it will come up to their shoulders; for some it will come up to their necks; for some it will come up to the middle of their mouths; and some of them will be completely covered with their sweat.” [Narrated by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad]
Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy upon him) commented on the hadith (about the seven whom Allah will shade) in his commentary on Sahih Al- Bukhari, Fath al-Baari:
“with His shade”: The fact that the shade is connected to Allah is an expression of honour, for every shade belongs to Him. It was said that this refers to His honour and protection, just as it may be said (in Arabic) that a person is in the shade (or shadow) of the king. And it was said that it refers to the shadow of His Throne, which is more correct.
“the just ruler”: means one who holds the position of khaleefah, and anyone else who is appointed to a position of authority over the Muslims’ affairs, and he fulfils his duties justly.
The best definition of “just” is: one who obeys the commands of Allah and puts everything in its proper place without going to the extreme either of overdoing it or of negligence. The just ruler is mentioned first because his benefits are so far-reaching.
“a young man”: Young men are mentioned in particular because they are more likely to feel desire because of their strong motives for following their desires. The fact that a young man adheres to worship despite that is indicative of the strength of his taqwaa (piety).
“worshipping his Lord”: In the hadith of Salmaan it says that he “spent his youth and his energy in worshipping Allah.”
“attached to the mosque”: The apparent meaning is attachment in the sense of hanging, as if his heart is likened to something that hangs in the mosque – like a lamp, for example – indicating that his heart is so strongly attached to the mosque that even when he leaves the mosque, his heart is still there. Or it could mean attachment in the sense of a deep love.
“love one another”: means, they shared a kind of love whereby each loved the other in a genuine sense, not just to show off.
“and [they] meet and part on that basis”: means, this is an ongoing love based on religion, which they do not cut off for any worldly reason, whether they meet in reality or not, until death comes between them.
“a man who is called by a woman of rank and beauty”: The meaning of “rank” is, of high birth or a high position; this may refer to lineage or to wealth. The woman is described as having all the qualities which people usually seek, power and wealth, along with beauty. It is very rare to find all three in a woman. The apparent meaning is that she called him to commit immoral actions.
“and says ‘I fear Allah’”: The apparent meaning is that he says this out loud, either to rebuke her for her immorality or to refuse her call. It may also be that he says it in his heart.
“to such an extent that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives”: What is meant by this is that he conceals his charitable giving, and goes to such an extreme that his left hand, even though it is so close to his right hand and is always with it that even if we imagined that it could understand, it would not know what the right hand is doing because of this utter secrecy. This is a metaphor.
“and a man who remembers Allah”: either in his heart, or by mentioning Him out loud.
“when he is alone”: because this is furthest away from showing off. What is meant here is that there are no distractions, so he pays attention to nothing except Allah.
“his eyes fill up (lit. flood)”: means, they fill with tears; this is another metaphor.
Although men are mentioned in this hadith, women are also included in what is described here. Although what is meant by a “just leader” is the position of imaam (khaleefah), women may also be included in this, if they have children and treat them justly.
The idea of being attached to the mosque does not apply to women, because a woman’s prayer in her home is better than her prayer in the mosque.
Apart from that, women have a share in all of these things; if a man may be called by a woman, then it can be imagined that a woman could be called by a handsome king, for example, and she refuses because she fears Allah, even though she may have motives to respond.
There are others whom Allah will also shade with His shade – apart from the seven mentioned in the hadith quoted above – who are mentioned in other Hadith, Ibn Hajar listed them in Fath al-Baari as follows:
“Those who fight (for the sake of Allah); those who help the mujaahideen; those who defer payment of debt for debtors who are in difficulty, or let them off all or part of the debt; those who help people who are heavily in debt; those who help slaves who have drawn up contracts of manumission; those who have a good attitude; those who walk to the mosque; sincere and honest traders; those who take what is due to them and no more; those who spend for the sake of Allah; those who sponsor orphans.”
We ask Allah to shade us with His shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His.
And Allah knows best!