The Sun today has an average distance of about 93,000,000 miles relative to planet Earth, and yet heat waves which we experience from time to time can be quite unbearable whilst other hot climates of the world are almost uninhabitable. With that in mind, reflect over the following words of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam),
“The sun will be brought close to mankind on the Day of Resurrection until its distance from them will be one mile”. Then the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said “Because of this, people will become submerged in sweat, the severity of which will depend on their deeds. Some will be submerged up to their ankles, others up to their knees, others up to their waists whilst others will be submerged to their jaws.” The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) then pointed to his mouth.
Amidst these harrowing scenes of abnormality, the unfathomable happenings that successively unfold one after the other from all around you and the unprecedented levels of heat, discomfort and stress, a select group of blessed Muslims will be escorted to enjoy a shade which Allāh has provided for them on this long Day.
‘Surely such people are the Prophets and Messengers’ I hear you say. Yes, but, alḥamdulillāh, it is not exclusive to them. There are spaces available for reservation should you wish for a place for yourself. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“There are seven types of people whom Allāh will give protection with His Shade on a Day when there will be no shade except His Shade. (1) A just ruler; (2) a young person who grew up with the worship of Allāh; (3) a person whose heart is attached to the mosque; (4) two persons who love, meet and depart from each other for the sake of Allāh; (5) a man whom a beautiful and high ranking woman seduces, but he rejects this offer by saying: ‘I fear Allāh’; (6) a person who gives a charity and conceals it to such an extent that the left hand might not know what the right has given; (7) and a person who remembers Allāh in privacy and his eyes weep.”
This ‘shade’ is to be understood literally, a real shade. But how can such shade be provided whilst no mountains, buildings, trees or objects will be present? The following narration answers such a question in a way which only increases one’s desire to be amongst the shaded ones. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“Allāh will shade them within the shade of His Throne.”
How blessed we are that such a Hadith has been narrated to us and such opportunities have been provided, for, as Imām Ibn ʿAbdilBarr said:
“This Ḥadīth is the best, most general and most authentic Ḥadīth that has been narrated in regards to virtuous actions of worship. The virtue of this Ḥadīth should be sufficient for you, for it is well known that whoever is beneath the shade of Allāh on the Day of Judgement will not be harmed by the horrors of this Day.” 
A Ḥadīth which holds such a status is most worthy of a closer look.
The first of the seven – “A just ruler”
Such a position is not confined to the rulers of countries. It extends to every type of authority which one exercises justice in. Imām Ibn Hajar said
“This includes every individual who assumes a position of authority over Muslims and deals justly.”
This opinion gives hope to teachers, parents, employees and their likes that the shade of Allāh is within reach for those who fulfil its condition. Such people never accepted bribes, nor would they unfairly take sides, nor would they deprive their daughters or sisters from their Islamic rights of inheritance, nor would they delay the giving of payments to their employees or overwork them under the guise of ‘efficiency’.
These are special people to Allāh, thus the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) would say,
“The people of justice will be given pulpits made from light. They are those who do justice in their rulings, amidst their families and in all that which they have authority over.” 
The second of the seven – “A young person who grew up in the worship of Allāh.”
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) singles out the ‘young person’ in mention as opposed to a child or elder as the age of adolescence is a time when passion, desires and urges are at their peak. The pull towards sin reaches an all-time high but, if despite the power of such a force a youth manages to keep himself within the limits of Allāh it is clear evidence that the Taqwa of such an individual is exceptional, as was reported in other narrations:
“A man who’d used up all of his youth and activism in the worship of Allāh.”
The same way this youth had guarded himself from the heat of prohibitions during his prime in display of gratitude and appreciation, Allāh will guard such an individual from the heat of the Day of Judgement via His Shade. Though such an individual may slip from time to time the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:
“Every human being is a sinner, but the best of the sinners are those who repent.”
What made such a youth so different is that he exerted the vast majority of his time and effort in the pursuit of Allāh’s pleasure, however when he would fall into sin, he would not delay, but would immediately fall broken-hearted before Allāh at the doorstep of repentance, confessing his mistake, weeping in regret and promising never to return to it again.
Certain opportunities in life do not present themselves twice and this second category of shaded believers pertains to ‘youth’ who repent. Is it not time to make changes?
This ḤadĪth urges parents to provide for their children the Islamic upbringing necessary to help them reserve a place beneath Allāh’s shade. This includes urging them to pray in congregation, nurturing them to love the Islamic dress code from a young age, directing them to the circles of knowledge and guiding them to the greatest of companions to take as friends. Truly, it is incredible to see a parent willing to do almost anything to shade their children from the heat of Dunya and yet lacking in the effort of shading them from the scorching heat of the Last Day.
The third of the seven – “A person whose heart is hung to the mosques”
This is in reference to an individual who harbours intense love for the Mosques, to a level where when he leaves it, he feels that he had left his heart behind. In the wake of every possible opportunity, he makes his way to the Masjid to perform the Salāh in congregation. When time permits, he remains in the Masjid to recite Qur’ān, to engage in Dhikr, to attend the classes of knowledge, or to be at the service of the Masjid.
Thus, Imām Ibn Hajar comments on the expression of ‘hung’, when the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said “A person whose heart is hung to the mosques”:
“It is as if he has compared his heart to something that is hung within the mosque, like a lantern, to indicate just how long his heart remains there, even if his body isn’t there.” 
By the grace of Allāh, in order to earn this virtue, one is not required to leave work or other permissible worldly commitments to become a full time occupant of the Mosque. Rather, his body is at times absent from the Masjid as he attends to the necessities of work, trade and study, however his heart remains clinging to its walls, craving a return, longing to make another prayer as soon as the next opportunity arises.
It is not too late to amend your relationship with the Masjid and to vow to make every prayer that you can within your local one. It may begin with ʿIshā and Fajr, seeing that they do not usually conflict with working hours, and I tell you this:
Should you be courageous enough to amend that relationship, know very well that Allāh will greet your return with much happiness and warmth.
The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“There is not a person who visits the Masjid frequently but then becomes occupied with a matter or illness, but then returns back to his frequent visits of the Masjid, Allāh will receive him with happiness as people receive their close ones who return from travel.” 
The fourth of the seven – “Two persons who love, meet and depart from each other for the sake of Allāh”
These two individuals genuinely loved one another for Allāh’s sake alone. It was not necessarily trade that they had in common, neither was it their shared ethnicity, culture or love for sport, but what drew them towards one another was the true longing for Allāh and the Home of the Hereafter that they sensed in each other. They will therefore be over the moon when they hear Allāh’s announcement being made on the Day of Judgement, as He calls:
“Where are those who loved one another for Me? Today I shall shade them with my shade, on the Day when there is no shade by mine.” 
Identify those individuals whom you believe that your love towards is purely for Allāh’s sake and tell them that you do. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“If a person loves his brother, then let him inform him that he loves him.” 
The fifth of the seven – “A man whom a beautiful and high ranking woman seduces, but he rejects this offer by saying: ‘I fear Allāh’”
An individual who is able to reject an offer from an inviter of these traits is truly an individual who has taken his consciousness of Allāh to tremendous heights.
Imām al-Qurtubi said,
“His rejection of such an offer is an evidence of his tremendous recognition of Allāh, his intense fear of His punishment, his solid Taqwa and shyness of Allāh. This is the ‘Yusufic’ station [in reference to the same offer which Prophet Yusuf rejected].” 
The slogan in the life of such a person was an Āyah from the Qur’ān which s/he would keep at the forefront of their vision every moment of the day, the Āyah which reads,
“Say, “I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous Day.” 
It could have been a very short-lived moment where he had suppressed his desire and walked away fearing nothing and nobody but Allāh, but little had this blessed individual realised that Allāh had now reserved for Him a place beneath His Shade on a Day when others will be drowning in their sweat.
The sixth of the seven – “A person who gives a charity and conceals it to such an extent that the left hand might not know what the right has given”
Despite the closeness of one’s left and right hand, and despite their collaboration in doing things together, such a person’s charity was so secretive that his left hand is not aware of the doings of the right hand. Of course, this is merely a metaphor to illustrate to the reader of the sincerity of such a person.
“If you disclose your acts of charity, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your sin. And Allāh is fully Acquainted with what you do.” 
However, there may be certain exceptional circumstances where giving charity in public is better, where, for example, an individual of influence discloses his charity knowing that this will encourage others to copy him. However, if he knows that pride and showing off will get the better of him, this is to be avoided, and each one of us is aware of his personal situation.
The seventh of the seven – “A person who remembers Allāh in privacy and his eyes weep.”
The key word in this description is not “weep”, but is “privacy”. One may doubt his self when the tears that he sheds are in public, but when one is alone, away from every single influence other than that of Allāh’s remembrance, the indications of sincerity are far more telling.
It is common knowledge that the deeper a peg is thrust into soil the stronger that peg will stand. Winds will not move it even if that peg happens to be thin, because the majority of that peg is in darkness, underground and cannot be seen. However, if you were to dump a huge peg on the surface of the ground without pushing any of it underground, a child could push it over, despite its size, because all of it is out in the open. It has no secrets and none of it is in darkness.
Why do I mention this? Because worship in secret follows the same rule. The more you train yourself to worship in secret, the deeper you thrust your peg within the soils of īmān and the greater the proof is of your īmān.
For this reason, a man once asked Hudhaifa Ibn al-Yamān, a companion who was informed by the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) of the names of the hypocrites of Madīna:
“Am I from the hypocrites?” He responded,
“Do you pray when you are alone, and do you repent when you commit a sin?”
The man said, “I do” Hudhaifa responded,
“Walk on, for Allāh has not made you from the hypocrites.” 
Fast in secret, pray in secret, reflect over Allāh’s Majesty and weep in secret. Rather than utilising those times of seclusion to sin, view them as a golden opportunity to thrust your peg of īmān so deep, an opportunity to reserve for yourself a place beneath the Shade of Allāh on the Day of Judgement.
Let us all reflect on this profound hadīth, teach it to our children, reflect upon it with our families, and recall it whenever we see the Sun burn bright in the sky. Otherwise, if we are heedless we will regret it on the Day that same scorching celestial body is brought close.
 Narrated by Muslim, on the authority of Al-Miqdad
 Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of Abu Huraira
 Narrated by Sa’eed Ibn Mansoor in his ‘Sunan’, on the authority of Salman
 Fathul Baari
 Narrated by Muslim, on the authority of Ibn ‘Amr
 Narrated by Sa’eed Ibn Mansoor in his ‘Sunan’
 Narrated by At-Tirmidhi, on the authority of Anas
 Fathul Baari
 Saheeh Ibn Khuzayma, on the authority of Abu Huraira
 Narrated by Muslim, on the authority of Abu Huraira
 Narrated by At-Tirmidhi and Abi Daawood, on the authority of Al-Miqdad Ibn Ma’di Yakrib
 Al-Qur’an, Surah 39, Ayah 13
 Al-Qur’an, Surah 2, Ayah 271
 Tārīkh Ibn ‘Asākir