The Obligation of Protecting Oneself and Family from Hellfire

24 05 2009
In the Name of Allãh the Most Gracious the Most Merciful and May peace and blessings, be upon the Messenger of Allãh SAW
To proceed:  
Allãh the Almighty says in His Glorious Qur’ân,   
 “Oh! You who believe Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allãh, but do that which they are commanded.” [1]
Allãh, Whom is free from all imperfections, commands His believing slaves to save themselves and their families from the punishment of Allãh.  By fearing Allãh and calling ones family to it. Thus, salvation from the Hell fire is by the fear of Allãh and being upright in His Religion. As well, it is upon you to call those in your family to fearing Allãh and being upright in His Religion, for instance your parents, children, brothers and the rest of your relatives. This is by advising one another with the truth, working together upon good, piety, and admonishing one another by commanding the good and forbidding the evil. This is the manner of the believer with his family, his brothers and others. In calling to Allãh, one rushes to save himself and others from the punishment of Allãh. This matter needs patience, sincerity, trust and being constant in it. The most deserving people with your good and generosity is your family and close relatives. The Messenger of Allãh r said, 
 “Each of you is a guardian and each of you shall be questioned on what he is responsible for.  The leader is a guardian and will be responsible for what he is guarding.  A man is a guardian over his family and he will be responsible for what he is guarding.”[2] 
 The greatest responsibility is aiding in that which relates to their salvation from the punishment of Allãh, by advising them with the commands of Allãh and warning them against transgressing His limits and being consistent with it until you meet your Lord.  As Allãh the Almighty says in His Glorious Book,    
“And worship Allãh and join none with Him in worship”[3]
He U Who is free from all imperfections says,  
“And do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masâkîn (the poor),”[4] 
Hence Allãh, Glory be to Him, commanded after demanding His right of being singled out in worship and abstaining from associating partners with Him, commanded us to be dutiful to our parents and kin, and they are the people in your homes.   Therefore, it is an obligation upon every Muslim to show concern with this matter and to be eager in being a reason for their success on the Day of Judgment, because of his advice to them and forbidding them from evil.  Likewise, it is obligatory upon the Muslim to be with his Muslim brothers.  He must advise them enlighten them and direct them to all good hoping for the reward of Allãh the Almighty, and fearing His  punishment.  Allãh the Almighty says: 
 “The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islâm has forbidden”[5]
This is the manner of the believers within themselves and with their families.  They carry out the responsibilities with their families and their Muslim brothers hoping for the reward of Allãh and fearing His U punishment.  Allãh told His Messenger r ,  
“And enjoin As-Salât (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them (i.e. the Salât (prayers))” [6]
Indeed Allãh the Almighty has mentioned about His Prophet and Messenger Ismâ’il u, that he used to keep his promise, and he was a Messenger and a Prophet. He used to enjoin prayers and charity on his family and his Lord was pleased with him.  Allãh says in Surah Maryam, “And mention Ismâ’il in the Book. 
Verily he was true to what he promised and he was a Messenger and a Prophet.  
 “And mention in the Book (the Qur’ân) Ismâ’il (Ishmael). Verily! He was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet. And he used to enjoin on his family and his people As-Salât (the prayers) and the Zakât, and his Lord was pleased with him.”[7]
 Therefore, your family, children and relatives are the most deserving people with your good and generosity, and with your strive in saving them from the Hell fire. 
 
This is the greatest favor towards them.  Implementing the previous verse which is the saying of Allãh the Most High, 
 “Oh! You who believe Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell)”[8]
This great matter is more important than giving them what they need of this world [i.e. dirhams, dinars etc…]. Therefore, striving in saving them from the punishment of Allãh and protecting them from His U wrath on the Day of Judgment is very important.  Being generous to them with charity and expenses is from the general good which you were giving by His U command with, but what is more important is to advise them with obedience to Allãh. In addition, to enjoin them with what Allãh the Almighty made compulsory on them to the best of your capability, also to prevent them from what Allãh the Almighty made unlawful on them. You should be upright in what you command them with and set a good example for them in all good. Thus, you begin with yourself so that they can take an example from you in all good.  For example, you are rushing to the prayers and preserving it in the congregation. The preservation of your tongue from what is not befitting and the respect you show to your relatives and neighbors.  You are commanding of the good and forbiddance of the evil and calling to Allãh and all other good things. By doing this you will become an excellent example for your family, companions, friends and neighbors.  This important position is one, which needs patience, sincerity and truthfulness with Allãh. It is a position of calling to guidance and admonition.  It is a position of striving in order to save yourself and your family from the fire of hell. This is when one talks about implementing the saying of Allãh the Glorified, 
Oh! You who believe Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones,[9]
Allãh the Almighty addressed them with the attribute of faith, because faith commands them to doing these deeds and calls them towards it, even though the matter is obligatory on all. Therefore, it is obligatory upon every responsible person to fear Allãh and to strive hard in saving themselves, their families and all of mankind in general from the punishments of Allãh. This command is to every responsible man in general and to the believers in particular. Their obligation is greater because they believe in Allãh and know what is obligatory on them, so the responsibility is greater on them.  That is why Allãh the Glorified addressed them with His U saying,   
“Oh! You who believe Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones,”[10]
So take precaution from being its fuel.  He I Who is free from all imperfections says,  
“Over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allãh, but do that which they are commanded”.[11]
This means they execute what Allãh has commanded them to do.  They are not like people of this world whom deceive and accept bribes. Rather they are angels, so it is impossible for them to leave off the command of their Lord.  Rather, they implement what Allãh has commanded them to do by dipping you and whoever else disobey [Him] into the Hellfire. So make sure you do not meet your Lord in a condition which will make Allãh angry with you and which will justify your entering into the Hellfire.  You must have a perpetual concern with this matter, as well as being truthful and sincere with Allãh and ask him to help you and grant you success with this. You must be a good example for your family so that they will see how much you haste and compete in doing good deeds so that they will begin to imitate you in doing these good deeds.  You must also let them see you abstaining from sins so that they can take example from you in abstaining from evil.  This life is a life of striving, patience and helping one another with good and piety and recommending one another with good and being patient on it.  As for the life of the hereafter, it is the life of recompense regarding good and evil.  The life I mean is the life of this world is a place of action and the place of preparation.  This is why Allãh the Almighty says,  
By Al-‘Asr (the time).Verily, man is in loss, Except those who believe (in Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma’ruf) which Allâh has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar which Allâh has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allâh’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islâmic Monotheism or Jihâd).[12]
He U  Who is far from any imperfections says,  
 “And Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression”[13]
The Prophet r  said,”Religion is advice, religion is advice, and religion is advice.” They said, “To whom?” He said, “To Allãh, His Book, And His Messengers and to the leaders of the Muslims and the common people.” [14]
 
 
Thereupon, it is necessary on us to recommend one another with the truth, to admonish one another, to be honest with one another and to be patient with one another until you meet your Lord in a state of being patient, forbearing and striving in His U way.  This is why Allãh the Almighty says,  
 “As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allãh’s Religion – Islâmic Monotheism). And verily, Allãh is with the Muhsinûn (good doers).”[15]
The one who strives in the way of Allãh with sincerity, Allãh will guide him, help him and rectify him.  His saying Glory be to Him,
 “Those who strive in our cause.” 
This means that they strive in their own selves and strive against the enemies of Allãh, and strive against the devils and strive against the desire. This is the reason why Allãh the Almighty generalized the word “Jihad” to include all kinds of Jihad.  Then He U said,
And those who strive hard in Us [i.e. in Allãh] We will surely guide them to our paths and Allãh is with good doers.” [16] 
 We ask Allãh to make all us of the Muslims among the strivers in His cause, and we ask Him to make us among the callers of guidance and helpers of truth and to grant us success to compete in all good and abstain from all evil.  Verily He is the All Hearing.  May peace and blessings of Allãh be upon our Messenger Muhammad and his family and his companions. 
Translated By: Nuhu Abdullah
 
 Footnotes:

[1]At-Tahrim: 6 
[2]Collected by Bukhãri & Muslim 
[3]An-Nisaa: 36  
[4]An-Nisaa: 36   
[5]At-Tauba: 71 
[6]Ta-Ha: 132  
[7]Maryam: 54-55   
[8]At-Tahrim :6 
[9]At-Tahrim: 6    
[10]At-Tahrim: 6  
[11]At-Tahrim: 6 
[12]Al-‘Asr:1-3   
[13]Al-Maidah: 2 
[14]Collected by at-Timirthi     
[15]Al-’Ankabut: 69 
[16]Al-’Ankabut: 69 
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