Do you not see that Allah drives the clouds, then gathers them together and piles them up until you see rain pour from their midst? He sends hail down from mountains in the sky, pouring it on whoever He wishes and diverting it from whoever He wishes. (24: 43)
These seem to be the days that Allah Ta’ala permitted Jahannam to take two deep breaths to prevent its parts from destroying itself. We are experiencing the severest cold blast, a chilly contrast from its scorching heat blast in summer.
My shivers are given flight back to the times of our Beloved SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. To the Battle of Khandaq, the Trench, which challenged the resolve of the Believers during the month of January 627 Gregorian.
Allah Ta’ala sent
a violent wind….there the believers were sorely tested and shaken with a mighty shock. (33:10-11)
Narrated Anas RadhiAllahu anhu: Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam went towards the Khandaq and saw the Muhajjirin and the Ansar digging in a very cold morning as they did not have slaves to do that for them. When he noticed their fatigue and hunger and the freezing conditions he said, "O Allah! The real life is that of the Here-after, so please forgive the Ansar and the Muhajjirin." In reply they said, "We are those who have given a pledge of allegiance to Muhammad that we will carry on Jihad as long as we live."
During this wintry snap our Beloved Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam requested one of his companions to spy on the enemy. Hudhaifa RadhiAllahu relays the incident: I was with the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam on the night of the Battle of Khandaq and we were gripped by a violent wind and severe cold. The Messenger of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam said: Hark, the man who goes reconnoitering and brings me the news of the enemy shall be ranked with me on the Day of Judgement by Allah the Glorious and Exalted. We all kept quiet and none of us responded as we were struck with being too cold. Again he said: Hark, a man who goes reconnoitering and brings me the news of the enemy shall be ranked with me on the Day of Judgment by Allah the Glorious and Exalted. We kept quiet and none of us responded to him. He again said: Hark, a man who goes reconnoitering and brings me the news of the enemy shall be ranked with me on the Day of Judgement by Allah the Glorious and Exalted.
Then he said: Get up Hudhaifa, bring me the news of the enemy. When he called me by name I had no alternative but to get up. He said: Go and bring me information about the enemy, and do nothing that may provoke them against me.
When I left him, I felt warm as if I were walking in a heated bath until I reached them. I saw Abu Sufyan warming his back against a fire. I put an arrow in the middle of my bow intending to shoot at him, but I recalled the words of the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam: “Do not provoke them against me." Had I shot at him, I would have hit him. But I returned and felt warm as if I were walking in a heated bath. Presenting myself before him, I gave him information about the enemy. When I had done so, I began to feel cold, so the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam wrapped me in a blanket that he had in excess to his own requirement and with which he used to cover himself while saying his prayers. So I continued to sleep until it was morning. When it was morning he said: Get up, O heavy sleeper.
Numerous Ahadith inform us of the coldness of the touch of our Blessed Rasulullah SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. Once he SallAllahu alaihi wasallam visited Ali and his honoured daughter, Lady Fatimah RadhiAllahu anhum, when they had already gone to bed. They wanted to get up but our Blessed Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam bade them to stay where they were and he then sat between them. Ali RadhiAllahu anhu recalls in the Hadith how he felt the coolness of his mubarak feet on his body. This visit was on the evening after our esteemed Lady Fatimah’s had requested a servant, and when she was given the Du’a for retiring and told it was better than a servant: ‘Subhan Allah’ thirty-three times, ‘Alhamdulillah’ thirty three times, and Allahu Akbar’ thirty four times.
‘Aishah the mother of the faithful believers RadhiAllahu anha narrates she saw the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam being inspired Divinely on a very cold day with sweat dropping from his forehead like pearls, even though it was winter, and that was because of the heaviness of the Statement which was revealed to him.
Sa’d RadhiAllahu anhu was extremely ill in Makkah when the Prophet SallAllahu alaihi wasallam visited. He placed his mubarak hand on Sa’d’s forehead and passed it over his face and abdomen and said, "O Allah! Cure Sa’d and complete his emigration." Sa’d would say that he could feel the coldness of his mubarak hand on his liver ever since.
Abu Juhaifa RadhiAllahu anhu narrates: Once Allah’s Apostle SallAllahu alaihi wasallam went to Al-Batha’ at noon, performed the ablution and offered prayer while a spearheaded stick was planted before him as sutra. After the prayer, the people got up and held the hands of the Prophet and passed them on their faces. I also took his hand and kept it on my face and noticed that it was colder than ice, and its smell was nicer than musk.
Anas ibn Malik RadhiAllahu anhu reported that when Allah’s Messenger SallAllahu alaihi wasallam had completed his dawn prayer, the servants of Medinah came to him with utensils containing water, and no utensil was brought in which he did not dip his hand; and sometimes they came in the cold dawn but he never felt reluctant in acceding to their request even in the cold weather, always dipping his hands in the chilly water.
SubhanAllah, how such accounts immediately remove the chill from the air.
And now, even though houses here are not designed for the cold, having no insulation or heating, compared to the conditions at the time of our Blessed Al-Mustafa SallAllahu alaihi wasallam and his esteemed Sahabah RadhiAllahu anhum our living is luxurious. Then, no running water, no bathrooms, no electricity, no convenient shopping facilities, no enclosed transport…on and on we could keep adding to the list. But what they had is what we do not have; their Deen was in their heart and Dunya in their hand, whereas we have flipped this over. So much focus on the external appearances and comforts to the detrimental neglect of the internal spiritual state of our soul. We seem to be not only feeling the cold physically, but have allowed a stone- like winter bitterness erode our Iman. May we work at transforming this to be an inner glow that warms from within and radiates to all around us, as do the examples bequeathed to us from the giants of our glorious past.
Istisqa was prayed last week in Masjid Nabawi, but Allah Ta’ala decreed for His Mercy to descend in torrents on Makkah (2) and snow in the north instead. Insha’Allah this Enlightened City will be blessed with its share soon. Please make Du’a for rain here. Meanwhile the Kingdom is in the throws of that breath from Jahannam. Madinah’s mornings have dropped to 6 degrees centigrade. Read fellow Madanian Sister Suhaa’s entry on her reflections.
And regardless of the conditions wherever we may be and however they may be manifest, may we maintain our focus on the Creator of the conditions, Subahanhu wa Ta’ala, forever striving and rejoicing in all the bounties bestowed upon us. Ameen.
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.