How Big is Your Light

By Asma bint Shameem

You’re sitting comfortably in your room when all of a sudden, the electricity goes off. It becomes completely dark. Pitch BLACK. You can’t see a thing. Although it is your own house, life comes to an inconvenient, complete halt.
That’s because you can’t see a thing! You dare not move, in the fear that you may knock something over or worse still, you may stumble and hurt yourself. Uncomfortable and unnerving, isn’t it?

Now fast forward to an unknown time in the future……when it will be dark like this and even worse…..
when you…. and I…… and all of mankind…..will be gathered in the dark, in front of a bridge…..
a bridge that is sharper than a sword and thinner than a hair…..
a bridge called as-Siraat…….the bridge over Hellfire.

When the companions asked about the bridge, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

“It is a slippery (bridge) on which there are clamps and (hooks like) thorns which are wide at one side and narrow at the other and have bent ends… 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, or 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 Hellfire. The last person will cross by being dragged (over the bridge).” Bukhaari

It will be ordered that we all pass over this bridge. And we will have no choice but to comply to the order of our Master and Owner, the Lord of the Worlds. But it will be dark, darker than any darkness one can ever imagine…..
And on this horrific Day, mankind will be desperate… desperate to do anything, anything, to have some kind of light that will help them see the way and guide them to cross over the Siraat.
And then….. there will be light.

But, you know what? This light will only be according to the light of Imaan that you had in your heart during this Dunya.
If your Imaan was strong, so will be this light….strong and bright and illuminating. And if your Imaan was weak, this light will be weak too, dim and faltering and feeble.

Ibn Kathir reported in his Tafseer:
“They will pass over the Siraat according to their deeds. Some of them will have a light as large as a mountain, some as a date tree, some as big as a man in the standing position. The least among them has a light as big as his index finger, it is lit at times and extinguished at other times.” (Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir).

Ibn al-Qayyim says:
“For one person, it (the light) will be like the sun, for another like the moon, the stars or a lamp. For yet another, this light will be only at the tips of his toes; it will shine, then go out [then shine, then go out]. For just as his light had been in this world, so he shall be given when crossing the Bridge. In fact, it is the same light that had appeared to him before. However, just as the hypocrite has no real light in this world, or has only an outward light but none within, so shall he be given [on that Day] an outward light which will vanish in the darkness and be lost.”

They remembered the day of resurrection!

Al-Qasim bin Mohammed said:
We used to travel with Ibn Al-Mubarak and I would often think and say to myself: “What is it that makes this man more preferred than us from which he has attained this recognition between the people? If he prays, then we pray as well, if he fasts, we fast as well, if he fights, we fight as well, and if he goes to hajj, then we go to hajj as well.
So on our way to Al-Sham, we stopped by a house to have dinner, and then (suddenly) the light of the lantern went off. Some of us attended to the lantern. He however left shortly and when he came back under the lantern, I looked at the face of Ibn Al-Mubarak and (saw) his beard was filled with tears. I said to myself: with humility (fear of God), “This man has been preferred over us, and perhaps when the lantern went off, and he was left in the darkness, he remembered the Day of Resurrection!”

A Light so Bright

If you lived a life of righteousness and Taqwa, a life according to Islaam, submitting to your Master, Allaah and repenting to Him, obeying His commandments, hoping for His Mercy yet fearing His Wrath, taking care not to disobey Him to the best of your ability, then good news for you, O Muslim. Allaah will illuminate your path over the Siraat just like He illuminated your heart in this Dunya with guidance and righteousness.

“The Day (will surely come) when you shall see believing men and women with their light running before them and on their right hands, (it will be said to them): ‘Glad tidings for you this Day. You shall live for ever in Gardens underneath which rivers flow! That is indeed the mighty triumph. (Surah Hadeed: 12)

If you dared to disobey the Lord of the Worlds, following your whims and desires, earning haraam, lying, cheating and backbiting, involved in all sorts of sins and forgetting the Aakhirah, then dim and feeble will be your light in accordance with the deeds that YOU chose to commit.

Imagine the desperation, despair and hopelessness of a person in such a situation!
Complete, utter darkness….. and a bridge, that he has to cross….a bridge so sharp and so slippery and so thin, with hooks….stretching over Hellfire….and he can’t see a thing! May Allaah save us.
Wouldn’t he give anything, anything to have a light that is strong and bright…..
A light that can illuminate his way across the Siraat….
A light that can take him to Jannah??!!
Alas…for him, it will be too late…..

BUT, it’s not too late for YOU. You still have time. You still have a chance to make your light big and strong. All you have to do is to submit to Allaah and repent sincerely. Obey whatever He commands you to and stay away from whatever He forbids you from. Have Taqwa of Allaah in all that you say and do and Wallaahi, He will brighten your heart with Imaan, lighten your life in this Dunya and illuminate your way over the Siraat on to Jannah.
It’s what He promised:

“O you who believe! Turn to Allaah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow. The Day that Allaah will not disgrace the Prophet (Muhammad ) and those who believe with him, their Light will run forward before them and with (their Records Books of deeds) in their right hands they will say: “Our Lord! Keep perfect our Light for us [and do not put it off till we cross over the Siraat safely] and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things .(Surah Tahreem: 8)

Oh Allaah, make us among those whose light is bigger than the mountain and brighter than the sun. Ameen.