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An Amazing Hadith about Summer – Part 2

Jan 18, 2022

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ إِذَا اشْتَدَّ الْحَرُّ فَأَبْرِدُوا بِالصَّلاَةِ، فَإِنَّ شِدَّةَ الْحَرِّ مِنْ فَيْحِ جَهَنَّمَ وَاشْتَكَتِ النَّارُ إِلَى رَبِّهَا فَقَالَتْ يَا رَبِّ أَكَلَ بَعْضِي بَعْضًا‏.‏ فَأَذِنَ لَهَا بِنَفَسَيْنِ نَفَسٍ فِي الشِّتَاءِ، وَنَفَسٍ فِي الصَّيْفِ، فَهُوَ أَشَدُّ مَا تَجِدُونَ مِنَ الْحَرِّ، وَأَشَدُّ مَا تَجِدُونَ مِنَ الزَّمْهَرِيرِ ‏‏‏

Narrated Abu Huraira RA:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “In very hot weather delay the Zuhr prayer till it becomes (a bit) cooler because the severity of heat is from the raging of the Hell-fire. The Hell-fire complained to its Lord saying: O Lord! My parts are eating (destroying) one another. So Allah allowed it to take two breaths, one in the winter and the other in the summer. The breath in the summer is at the time when you feel the severest heat and the breath in the winter is at the time when you feel the severest cold.”
[Bukhari 536]

Now let us take a look at some interesting points in this Hadith.

‘In very hot weather delay the Zuhr prayer till it becomes (a bit) cooler’

The reason for this directive is so that there could be more people attending the Zuhr salaah, if it is offered in the cooler period, in comparison to if it was offered in the extreme heat. Many Fuqaha (jurists) have understood an overriding principle from the above Hadith (and its likes) that the time for the congregational Salaah will be adjusted within its permissible timings to suite a larger congregation.

‘The fire of Hell complained to its Lord saying: O Lord! My parts are eating (destroying) one another.’
The ‘complaint’ of Jahannam; was it a verbal one or an understood one?

Several Muhadditheen (Hadith Masters) have written that since nothing is out of the Power of Allah, this can be understood as a verbal complaint for which Almighty Allah would have given Jahannam the ability.

‘So Allah allowed it two breaths, one in the winter and the other in the summer.’

These two breaths that Allah Ta’ala allows Jahannam to exhale. One being in summer, and through this exhaling the heat of the world is obviously dramatically affected, and as a result, the heat within Jahannam is lowered.

The breath in the winter is understood in two ways;

One group of classical Hadith commentators have accepted this on its apparent meaning. That is: that when Jahannam exhales in winter, it exhales from a cold region within Jahannam. Therefore this cold that emerges therefrom, affects the climate in the world proportionately.

(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 537 and ‘Umdatul Qari, Hadith: 537)

Another group of Hadith commentators state that this breath in winter is actually an inhaling rather than exhaling. They state that Jahannam actually inhales air from our atmosphere during our winter, thereby draining it from its heat, and leaving us in the cold. (Fathul Mulhim, vol.4 pg.328, Hadith: 1408)

What we need to understand from this is that summer and winter are from the power and might of Allah and we should be grateful for both of them.

Another very interesting point which we can also learn from this Hadith is that we should regularly seek protection of Allah from Jahannum and do actions which will keep us away from it, because if this extreme heat and cold which we experience on earth is just a breath of Jahannum, than can we even start to imagine how severe Jahannum must itself be.
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