بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The most common topic in every household today is the gift of load shedding. All we talk about is how the Pakistani government (KESC) cannot solve such a simple problem, how the UPS or the generator broke and simply how terrible life is in Pakistan because of all of this.
Let’s face this reality collectively; we all know it is hot! But when we say it out loud or discuss it at never-ending lengths, does it make it any cooler? We complain to others and feel better, although nothing has drastically changed in terms of the weather. We don’t realize that this activity is to no avail. We waste each others’ time on a discussion that takes us away from the remembrance of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى). At the same time, we actually stop thinking about the comforts that we actually have and become ungrateful for these blessings.
Not so long ago, UPS or generators were unheard of. The most common form of light was merely a candle. All meals took place under that one candle which was then later used for children to study under. This is still a common scene in many households today throughout Pakistan. So those of us who are living in the luxury of ACs and UPS that turn on automatically the moment the electricity goes, have absolutely no reason to complain about the electricity situation.
As Muslims, we are to present all our problems to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) in the form of a du’a (supplication). We are supposed to invoke Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) to make the weather easy for us to bear. The Sahabas did not go around chit chatting about how there was no water. They collectively did the Salat-ul-Istisqaa.
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Zaid: The Prophet (صلي اللهُ عليهِ وسلم) went towards the Musalla and invoked Allah for rain. He faced the Qibla and wore his cloak inside out, and offered two Rakat. (Sahih Bukhari)
Additionally, to Believers, this heat should give a complete enlightening perspective of what it would be like to even go near the Hellfire. It should be a way to connect ourselves to the condition of the Akhira as presented in the Qur’an. In the duniya, we love to talk about the heat; we do not stop to even think of what it would be like to be in the Hellfire.
Today, when we are hot, we crave for water. We can easily fill our glasses up with iced cold water, gulp it down and feel comforted. In the Qur’an, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says:
وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَمَن شَاء فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاء فَلْيَكْفُرْ إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُوا يُغَاثُوا بِمَاء كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَاءتْ مُرْتَفَقًا
And say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.
[Al-Qur’an: Surah Al-Kahf:29]
Can anyone drink oil when water is needed? Most definitely NOT.
Where Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) mentions the punishments, the contrast is also given. Hence, the drink of Jannah is described as:
يُطَافُ عَلَيْهِم بِكَأْسٍ مِن مَّعِينٍ45
بَيْضَاء لَذَّةٍ لِّلشَّارِبِينَ46
There will be circulated among them a cup [of wine] from a flowing spring. White and delicious to the drinkers.
Al-Qur’an:Surah As-Saffat (Those Lined Up):45-46]
The Fluctuation Problem
As this heat wave continues, we all have witnessed the fluctuation of the light. One second there is light and the next there is pitch darkness so much so that you cannot see your hand right in front of you. Let’s use this analogy to imagine crossing over the burning Hellfire on a beamlike Bridge of Siraat where the heat can be felt. The Bridge Siraat is a bridge that all have to cross no matter who they are.
Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri: Then the bridge will be laid across Hell.” We, the companions of the Prophet said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is the bridge?’ He said, “It is a slippery (bridge) on which there are clamps and (Hooks like) a thorny seed that is wide at one side and narrow at the other and has thorns with bent ends. Such a thorny seed is found in Najd and is called As-Sa’dan. Some of the believers will cross the bridge as quickly as the wink of an eye, some others as quick as lightning, a strong wind, fast horses or she-camels. So some will be safe without any harm; some will be safe after receiving some scratches, and some will fall down into Hell (Fire). The last person will cross by being dragged (over the bridge).” (Translation of Sahih Bukhari: Extract from Hadith of Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532s
Our deeds will determine how much light we have on the Bridge and how quickly we are able to cross it.
For a Believer: The light will be like 1000 watts bulb, like in a cricket stadium. Each feature of the Bridge would be highlighted and visible,. The path would be crystal clear and the crossing the Bridge would be a simple exercise.
For a Disbeliever: There would be no light.
For a Hypocrite: The light would be like the current day light scenario where the light plays hide-and-seek. It will come, but it will soon go for long periods. For some there would be like only a phase coming. Yet for others, it would be light but a dull light like when today when we turn on the bulb in our houses, but there is dim light and we say, “It is not coming to its full strength.”
Thanks to the current electricity scenario, we all have experienced what it is like to have the light suddenly taken away from us. We stop in our tracks. We suddenly feet intense heat. We panic. We worry about our next step. Imagine, if the next step that we take will determine whether we end up in the Hellfire or not.
Keeping this thought in mind, can we still complain about light in the duniya? So next we think about how hot it is in Pakistan, let’s also think about what it would be like to be in Eternal heat. That is where the season will not change. It will be a place where there will be no cold water and not even mango shake as we go through the hot summer here. Let’s think about how blessed each one of us is to have means like fans and ACs that relieve us of our heat. Let’s also think about the fact we can expect the light to go during the times of days so we can prepare for it. Let’s prepare for the Akhira also like we prepare for the light to go today ,because load shedding maybe occur on an expected time during our day, but our death will not. Let’s also remember this dua and recite it often:
رَبَّنَا أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا إِنَّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Our Lord! Perfect for us our light and forgive us; surely You are Potent over everything.
[Al-Qur’an: Surah At-Tahrim – (The Prohibition):8]