The believers by all measures are the most successful people, both in this life and in the eternal hereafter. Allah (swt) has described their qualities and characteristics throughout the Quran. As we rush after titles like ‘habits of successful people’ and ‘characteristics of successful leaders’ which are written by people like you and me, why not go through the characteristics of the highly successful people described in the Quran by none other than Allah; the Judge and Benefactor of success.
One of these qualities, mentioned in Surah Qaf, is ‘Hafeez’. Allah swt has promised Paradise for every person who is a Hafeez. Allah (swt) says:
“And Paradise will be brought near to the righteous, not far, [It will be said], “This is what you were promised – for every awwab (returner [to Allah]) and Hafeez (keeper [of His covenant]).” (Surah Qaf 50: 31-32)
Who is a Hafeez?
Hafeez is a comprehensive term. It means ‘the one who keeps, protects or guards’. It implies the person “who keeps his covenant with Allah and His creation, preserves the Salah and keeps within the boundaries set by Allah”. It implies the person “who takes care of the bounds and duties enjoined by Allah, who guards the trusts imposed by Allah and avoids the things forbidden by Him, who keeps watch over his time, energies and activities to see that none of these is being misemployed or misused, who examines himself over and over again to see that he is not disobeying his Lord anywhere in word or deed.”
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How can I be a Hafeez?
Keep your covenants:
Our foremost covenant is the one we did with Allah even before we were born. It was the covenant that Allah (swt) took from each and every soul. It was a covenant of worshipping Him alone as described in Surah A’raf: “And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.” (Surah A’raf, 7: 172)
The kalimah shahada ‘La ilaha illallah, Muhammad ur Rasulullah’ further solidifies this contract with Allah. We promise to obey only Him and His Messenger.
Moreover, we must also observe the covenants and promises that we make with each other. Allah swt has praised the believers for this quality in Surah Ra’d, verse 20: “Those who fulfil the covenant of Allah and do not break the contract.”
Guard your Salah:
The tafseer of a verse in Quran can usually be found in other verses. Allah (swt) has used the term ‘hafizoon’ (guardians) for those who guard their Salah. In order to reach the status of ‘hafeez’ we should be vigilant about our Salah. Guarding Salah is not confined to merely praying. Rather it means praying in the proper manner and at the right time. Allah swt says:
“Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.” (Surah Baqarah, 2: 238)
“And they who carefully maintain their prayers. Those are the inheritors. Who will inherit al-Firdaus. They will abide therein eternally.” (Surah Mu’minoon, 23: 9-11)
Observe the limits set by Allah:
Allah (swt) has given freedom to human beings. But He has set certain limits that must not be trespassed. To become a hafeez one must stay within these boundaries and not stray near them, lest we cross them. We must abide by the commands that He has given and refrain from what He has prohibited. Allah (swt) says in praise of such people:
“[Such believers are] the repentant, the worshippers, the praisers [of Allah], the travelers [for His cause], those who bow and prostrate [in prayer], those who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and those who observe the limits [set by] Allah. And give good tidings to the believers.” (Surah Tawbah, 9: 112)
Guard your body parts:
A hafeez is a person who is watchful about every blessing and does not use them in a way disliked by Allah (swt). He is aware of the fact that he is answerable to Allah for everything including his body parts. He cannot use his eyes, ears, hands and feet to disobey Allah. Allah swt says in the Quran,
“Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – [one] will be questioned about all those.” (Surah Isra, 17: 36)
In the present era of media, movies and pictures it is difficult for a person to maintain their Haya. Nonetheless, a hafeez is careful about his modesty and guards his private parts. Allah swt has commanded the believing men and women regarding this:
“Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private part.” (Surah Nur, 24: 30-31)
Be careful about time
A hafeez does not spend time in activities that are useless and futile. He is watchful over the time Allah has blessed him with and uses it for meaningful activities that lead to the pleasure of Allah.
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A Wonderful Reward
Besides the wondrous gardens of Paradise, there is a special reward for the hafeez in this life too. It is portrayed in the following hadith which should serve as our motto:
احْفَظْ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْك، احْفَظْ اللَّهَ تَجِدْهُ تُجَاهَك
“Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you.” (Tirmidhi – Hasan)
When we become a hafeez Allah (swt) shields us from harm and evil. When we are protective of His boundaries, He is protective of us. Who is more truthful in word than Allah and what can be better than His protection? Isn’t it what we seek? He then protects us from the filthiness of this world, from losing hope and from anxiety and depression. The only thing we need to do is be mindful of Him and His commands and He will be mindful of us!
Moreover, if we become of the hafeez, we find Allah’s support. We find Him in front of us whenever we need Him. We find that when we spend time in His way, our days become full of Barakah. When we struggle in His path with our resources, health and wealth, we find that He gives us only more. When we try to become a hafeez we find Allah’s help coming from avenues we least expect.
Task of the week: Brainstorm and list all the ways through which you can incorporate this quality in your life. Try and bring at least two of these ways in practice this week.