Lecture by Shakiel Humayun | Hosted by Br. Abdullah Syed | Transcribed by Zara T.[The transcript includes slight modifications for the sake of readability and clarity.]
Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah. This universe that we live in was created to serve a very important principle, a very important action, and that is the worship of Allāh wahdahu laa shareekallah. The heavens were created to serve just that purpose. The Prophet [saws] said, The heavens groaned because there isn't a space of four fingers except that there is an angel making sujood to Allāh wahdahu laa shareekallah. Allahu Akbar. The heavens are huge. There isn't a space of four fingers except there is an angel in sujood worshipping Allāh. Due to this weight, the heavens groan. It's filled with malaaikah. It's filled with the angels. But the universe was created to serve this principle of worship.
And whenever this principle of worship, of tawheed, is threatened or about to be compromised, the universe as a whole is about to be compromised. Allāh said The universe is about to rupture, the heavens are about to explode, the earth is about to split open, the mountains are about to crumble, because this principle is being compromised. That they have claimed that Allāh has a son. But Allāh is so merciful, all the heavens do is groan. They don't rupture. The mountains don't crumble. The earth doesn't split open. Allāh keeps it in tact. But this won't last. The universe as we know it won't remain. It will change. There will be drastic changes. The Prophet [saws] said, “The end of the world, the last hour, will not come about until no one on the face of the earth says 'Allāh'” (the minimum statement of recognition of tawheed, of Allāh ). forget about La illaha illala. Forget about Surah Fatihah. Forget about the Qurʾān. They won't even say Allāh. There is no reason for the earth to exist anymore. Then the hour will come. Because this world, this universe, was created to serve that purpose and that principle.
There is no one on the face of the earth who are working more hard to save the planet than Muslims. There is no one more green on the face of this earth than the Muslims themselves. The Prophet [saws] said if you see the hour coming to be established and you're planting a crop, go ahead and plant a crop. Can you imagine that? The hour is about to be established. Farmers, if they're about to plant crops and it's lunchtime, they'll drop the crops and go to lunch. Imagine the hour is about to be established, don't drop the crop, plant it. There's no nation more green than the Muslims.
The world will cease to exist, the universe will change. the moon will lose its light. The sun and the moon will be joined and brought together. Every year, the moon in its orbit moves closer and closer to the sun.
Allāh aza wajjal said the day will come where the earth will be replaced by another land. And as well as the heavens will be replaced. It will all change. Everything will change. Even Einstein, being raised on the Day Of Judgment will be confused, the universe has changed, the laws of physics don't apply anymore. This change will happen. Because the universe is not relevant anymore. What's relevant now is three things:
1) Jannah – paradise
2) Jahannum – the hellfire.
All focus is now on this. The moon and sun lost its light. The universe changed. Allāh will wrap up the universe in His hands. What matters now in the whole universe is paradise is there, hellfire is there. And the third matter, a bridge will be brought over Jahannam, called as-siraat. A bridge will be brought over the hellfire.
Underneath the bridge is the hellfire. Across the bridge is paradise, what we want. Allāh said, “There is not a single one of you except that you will cross that bridge, you will arrive at that bridge. It's an established matter. Its been decreed by Allāh. No matter how pious you are, no matter how sinful you are, you will arrive at that bridge. Allāh is so merciful that He doesn't make us cross the bridge without training. Before the physical siraat is brought and placed over the hellfire, Allāh gives us training on how to walk on this bridge. And that happens every single day when we say ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem. Guide us to the siraat, the path that is straight.
This path which is Islam, which is the Qurʾān, the sunnah of Muḥammad [saws]. This path is a spiritual path in this world. But this path materializes. It becomes physical. It becomes tangible. It becomes visible in the hereafter, over Jahannam. Over the hellfire. how we tread our siratal mustaqeem will dictate how we will cross this bridge over Jahannam, over the hellfire, to get into paradise. Ibnul Qayyim [rah], stressing this point, said, “For one, Allāh wahda, be one, on one. (Be one in your intention for what you do. there is ikhlaas, it's for Allāh. Be one in your purpose, be one in your worship, its all for Allāh wahdahu laa shareekallah) on one (on one path, the bridge to jannah is one. All other bridges are bridges that lead to nowhere. There's only one bridge to Jannah. There is only one spiritual bridge in this life, al islam) be one on this one path. Then he said, I mean the path of the truth and the path of īmān.
You're at the bridge. You have to pass. You're standing. You see the hellfire. The bridge is across.
Abu Saeed al Khudri said, “the bridge is thinner than hair, sharper than a sword.” This thin bridge is not the golden gate bridge. Its this thin bridge thinner than the hair, sharper than the sword, you're looking at it, it's your turn to cross. But you see there are hooks on every side. What are these hooks doing? They're grabbing people, they're injuring some, they're taking others and throwing them in the hellfire. you hear screams, you see people falling, you see people slipping. And this is the bridge you're looking at. This is the bridge you have to cross. People that fall, people that slip off this bridge will fall for 70 years until they reach the bottom of the hellfire.
People will fall and there will be people who will pass the bridge. There will be people who will pass the bridge with the speed of lightening. Others will pass it like wind. Others will pass it like a bird. They'll get to the other side.
The second category of people will be people who will be injured, who will be wounded on the bridge, but eventually they'll pass.
The third category of people will be people who will be stuck on the bridge, they cannot move. They want to move, they see Jahannam below them, they see paradise across, so close, but they cannot move, they're stuck, they're frozen, they're out of gas. Fuel on that day on that bridge are your deeds. A person out of deeds is stuck. Being stuck is a problem because the hooks constantly are grabbing and injuring people. The prophet [saws] said Whoever accuses a Muslim intending to defame him, to put him down, Allāh will cause him to be still on the bridge over hell. Stuck. He defamed a Muslim, she defamed a sister, the person is now stuck on the bridge. The Prophet [saws] said, until he leaves from what he said.
So there will be people stuck, people falling off, people getting injured. Those falling off will be screaming and falling into the hellfire. They'll be falling off in many different ways. There will be people whose arms will be connected to their legs and they'll slip right off the bridge. How are you going to cross the bridge if your arms and legs are connected? There will be people who fall off the bridge head first diving in to the hellfire feet in the air. there will be people who will be pushed off the bridge and they'll fall on bodies that are stacked in hellfire on the floor. This is the scenario. It's your turn. Cross the bridge. You can't turn back.
Imagine the value of eyesight on this day. Imagine if you can't see and you're told to cross the bridge. Allāh said whoever turns away from My dhikr, (“I don't have time to read the Qurʾān, I don't have time when I'm waiting for the bus to say subhanallahil azheem, I don't have time when im driving to work to say laa ilaha illalahu wahdah laa shareekallahu lahul mulku wala hul hamdu wa hua 'ala kulli shayin qadeer 100 times) whoever turns away from My remembrance, I will give him a narrow life, his life becomes narrow, and then he thinks he doesn't have time for the deen of Allāh, so he abandons more of the dhikr and his life becomes even more narrow and he lives in that terrible torturous cycle of life. And then Allāh mentions the result of the akhirah. And then on the Day Of Judgment, we will raise him blind. Allahu Akbar. Can you imagine? Billions of people rising on the Day Of Judgment, horrified, terrified, and you're blind. Just imagine Hajj, put a blind person out there in hajj, in tawaf, when its tawaful ifaada, just put a blind person out there. What do you think will happen to him? Imagine yawmal qiyaama when no one is caring about anyone, a person becomes blind, he can't see, and there are billions of people pushing, trampling one another, running all around, having no idea where to go what to do. Then all of a sudden, he has to cross the bridge blind. A bridge sharp as a sword, thinner than the hair. Eyesight is so valuable. Reading the Qurʾān with your eyesight retains your eyesight in the akhirah.
Not only is eyesight valuable, the sun and the moon when brought together, they will lose their light. The moon will lose its light. All of a sudden, at the bridge, there is absolute darkness. There is pitch dark. No light at all. Allāh will envelope what's left of the universe there in darkness. Then, in this situation, in this condition, it will be said “Cross the bridge!” the bridge will have to then be crossed. There's two things you need on that day to cross this bridge.
You need light, because you need to see that thin bridge. You need to see those clamps, those hooks, that are injuring people. And you need speed, you need to cross the bridge fast. If you love fast cars, get into learning how to cross a bridge fast. Ain't no Ferrari gonna take you across. It's going to be your deeds. Two things, light so you can see, speed so you can go fast, both are connected to your deeds.
The amount of good deeds you have, the greater the amount of light there will be. Some people will have light in front of them the size of a mountain. Some people will have it the size of a tree. Some people will have light the size of their toe, just their toe. And some people's deeds were weak, so the light on their toe will flicker. The light goes on, you have speed. The light goes off, you stop. And stopping is a problem on the bridge. This flicker, if it goes off, it can cause someone to be injured. Light and speed, noor, is what is needed.
Amass as much as light as you can in this world because there will be no opportunity to amass it in the next life. The Prophet Muḥammad [saws] said, “Whoever recites Suraht'l-Kahf every Jumu'ah, every Friday, it will be for him a light from his distance to Mecca.” Allahu Akbar. How long does it take to recite Suraht'l-Kahf? 10 minutes, 15 minutes, put that in your schedule. Even the littlest of things, listening to the Prophet [saws], things we may consider insignificant, will amass noor and light for us. The Prophet [saws] said, Don't pluck your grey hairs because it'll be noor, light for you on the day of judgment.” For every grey hair, a good deed will be written for you. An evil deed will be removed, because carrying those evil deeds on the bridge is a burden, it will slow you down. And it he'll be raised by it (because of that grey hair) a degree. Just a grey hair! What a hadith! some of the scholars talk about the wisdom behind this. It's because when you see your grey hair, you remember death more. You remember time is almost up. You don't hide death. We live in a culture where death is hidden. As Muslims, the dead is just shrouded, it's reality, we see the grave, it's not hidden. You have grey hair. Embrace reality, don't run away from reality.
The Prophet [saws] said, “ṣalāh is light, sadaqah is light, and sabr is light.” The Prophet [saws] called them light, light, and light but used three different words for light. Ṣalāh is noor , it's light. Allāh called the light of the moon to be noor because it's cool. Ṣalāh cools you down.
Sadaqah is light, but it's burhan. Burhan means the light of the rays of the sun. There's heat to it…because who likes to give money away? It requires some friction, some struggles. You do ṣalāh for yourself. But when you give charity, those rays extend and benefit others.
And patience is light. But its diyaa, Allāh described the sun to be diyaa. It's light but it has this burning sensation. For you to be someone who is saabir, or saabirah, to be patient, there is that burning sensation, there is that difficulty, there is that challenge you have to overcome.
But it's all good that will be light for you on the siraat. You're at the bridge, it's your turn to cross. The first one to cross, if they just opened the food lines, we know how many people would love to be the first ones in line. Everyone will want to be the first to cross the bridge and get it over with. The first one to cross is Muḥammad [saws]. And the first nation to cross the bridge is the ummah of Muḥammad [saws]. The rest will have to wait. So right now if you're in the audience and you're not a Muslim and you don't belong to the ummah of Muḥammad [saws], I extend the membership to you. Join us in being the first nation to cross the bridge.
The Prophet [saws] will get to the other side, Muad ibn Jabal said the fear will not subside of an individual, in the hereafter, until he crosses the bridge. Once you cross the bridge, the fear can subside. The Prophet [saws] is on the other side, the first one to cross. It's your turn. The Prophet [saws] will not cross the bridge and then walk towards the gates of Jannah. The Prophet [saws] will cross the bridge, then turn around and look out for his ummah, Allahu Akbar. He will stand right there for you and me and he will make duaa, Allahuma sallim, Allahuma sallim (Oh Allāh protect them, Oh Allāh protect them). He will stand and wait for the people of his ummah to cross, Allahu Akbar. You see Muḥammad [saws] at the end of the bridge. You're walking towards him. He's making duaa for you. But in this life, all he asked you was: Don't thread your eyebrows. How will you look at the prophet [saws] on that day? “But all the ladies do it.” all he asked you was to wear hijab. “I do, I got a scarf. Skirt's okay. I'm covering my hair.” That's not hijab, that's hijibberish. All the Prophet asked you was to make the prayers. The Prophet [saws] said “Never will this person enter the fire, the one who prays before sunrise and the one who prays before sunset (Fajr and ‘aṣr prayers) “ All the Prophet said to you was “My ummah will make music halal.” But you said “The scholars differed.” So you got down and partied. But the Prophet [saws] is still there for you. Do we not have some shame about his love for us? He could have walked straight to the gates of paradise, but he's staying there for you and me. Let's obey the Prophet [saws].
We're walking to go across the bridge and all of a sudden one side of the bridge, al amaanah comes. On the other side of the bridge, the kinship comes. Imām Nawawi says, Al amanah and kinship, they both start demanding from you. Oh what timing. You have to deal with the bridge, the hellfire, the clamps, the hooks, the injuries, now amanah comes, trust comes, you've been entrusted with health. I demand from you my rights. What did you do with your health? You were given abilities, what did you do? You were given health to pray, to make ṣalāh, did you make ṣalāh? I demand my rights right now. You were given wealth, what did you do with that wealth? You were given free time, did you enjoy waking up at 12 pm? What did you do with this amanah? Did you use it to further the deen of Allāh ? Did you use it to increase your knowledge? Did you use it to benefit your community? Did you use it to help your neighbor? Amanah will demand and demand. You had a mother, you abandoned her because she became senile and you couldn't take it anymore. But she never abandoned you when you didn't even know how to say “I need to go to the bathroom.” You have a father who's been abandoned, you have a brother who's been abandoned, you never called your sister for years. The rahm will say I demand my rights right here on this bridge. You're not moving forward until I get my rights.
My dear brothers and sisters, the bridge is real. Lets amass light and speed. The Prophet [saws] said, “Whoever supports his Muslim brother for a need that he has, until that need becomes established for him, Allāh will make his feet established on the bridge on a day when the feet will slip.” Look out to those who are needy in your community. Stay with them, work with them, help them, support them until their needs are fulfilled. Your feet will be firm on the bridge, they won't slip. My dear brothers and sisters, these are times where we wont remember anyone else. On the bridge, when our deeds are being weighed
The Prophet said, there are 360 joints in the body. Every day, on each joint, there is sadaqah (charity) due. Will we be demanded from that? 360 joints, the Prophet said “Whoever prays 2 rakat of the Duha prayer, it will fulfill all the 360 joins of charity that's due.” Duha is 15-20 minutes after fajr…make intention right now to pray Duha prayer every day so your 360 joins of charity that's due every day will be knocked out. Amass. Focus. The Prophet [saws] said “Strive for that which will benefit you.” There are very few people that try to live up to their potential. There are a lot of people that have a lot of abilities, but they don't develop them. the Prophet [saws] told Zayd bin Thabit, “Learn the language of the Jews, because I need to communicate with them.” Zayd bin Thabit learned the language in 15 days. How long have you been Muslim and you have not learned the Arabic language? How long have you been Muslim and you still can't read the Qurʾān? Strive for that which will benefit you. Strive to amass as much as light you can, as much as noor in this life. It'll be of benefit in the next life. You're able to do it only because Allāh said “Come to Me a hand's length, I will come an arm's length to you. Come to Me walking, I will come running to you.” Allāh will give you immense light that you will use on the Day Of Judgment.
The Prophet [saws] said Don't give up, and continue to seek the help of Allāh . I ask Allāh to make us amongst those who cross the bridge and follow the Prophet [saws] quickly, the speed of a lightening, with a lot of light, and that we cross it safely into paradise. I ask Allāh sub hana to make this Ramadan a Ramadan where He forgives all of our sins and enters us into Jannah, into paradise without any accountability or punishment. It's been great here at ramdanprep.com speaking to all of you about the bridge, paradise, and Ramadan, and inshā'Allāh we will be broadcasting our lectures from our center. During the taraweeh prayers, you can watch us on HD, live at Ramadan.foundationforknowledge.com