During the time of Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), the Banu Israaeel once suffered a severe drought. They approached Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) and beseeched, “O Kaleemullah (the one whom Allah Ta‘ala has blessed with the ability of speaking to Him directly)! Make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala, on our behalf, for rain!”
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) thus went to the desert with the Banu Israaeel who were seventy thousand or more in number. Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) then began to make du‘aa saying, “O my Rabb! Send us Your rain! Envelop us in Your mercy! Take pity on us for the sake of the breastfeeding children, the grazing animals and the old people among us whose backs are bent!” However, despite making this du‘aa, the sky remained clear of clouds and the rays of the sun continued to beat down relentlessly.
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) then made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala saying, “O Allah! If I do not have that level of honour in Your sight, then accept my du‘aa through the honour of the unlettered Nabi, Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), who You will send as a Nabi before the end of the world.” Allah Ta‘ala replied to Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), “It is not that you do not have high honour in My sight! Rather, you are esteemed in My sight! However, one of my servants is among you who has been at war with me by committing sins and violating my commands for forty years. Announce to the people that this person should leave, as it is because of him that I have withheld the rain from you.”
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) submitted, “O Allah! O my Master! I am a weak servant, and my voice is weak! How will my announcement reach all the people, whereas they are more than seventy thousand in number?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “You will make the announcement, and I will ensure that they hear it.”
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) thus stood and called out, “O sinful servant who has been at war with Allah Ta‘ala for forty years! Leave us, for it is due to you that we are deprived of rain!” When he heard the announcement, the sinful servant began to stand, but then noticed that nobody else had stood. This made him realize that he was the guilty person who Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was referring to. It then occurred to him that if he stood and left, he would be disgraced and humiliated before the entire Banu Israaeel. However, if he did not stand and leave, all the people would continue suffering from the drought.
In this state, he remained seated, but lowered his head in genuine, sincere remorse and repented for his sins saying, “O my Rabb and Master! I disobeyed You for forty years, yet you granted me respite. Now that I have come to you in obedience, accept me.” He had barely completed his words of repentance when rain began to fall in torrents.
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was surprised and asked Allah Ta‘ala, “O my Rabb and Master! How is it that You have sent us rain, whereas nobody awoke and left our gathering?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I sent rain to you on account of the repentance of the same person who caused Me to withhold the rain.”
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) submitted, “O Allah! Show me who this obedient servant is!” Allah Ta‘ala responded, “O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I did not expose him and humiliate him when he was disobedient to me, so how can I expose him when he is obedient to me? O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I do not like those who carry tales, so how can I do the same (by causing him to be exposed)?”
(Kitaabut Tawwaabeen – Ibnu Qudaamah pg. 65)
1. Sometimes, things in life just don’t seem to be working out for us. No matter what we try, we still seem to fail. Sometimes, we suffer a robbery, or a bad injury, or such humiliation and embarrassment that we don’t know where to hide our faces. Often, these difficulties are a direct result of our evil deeds. In some cases, our sins even bring difficulties to those around us. So, whenever we see difficulties, we must think that it is because of OUR sins. We must then repent to Allah Ta‘ala and beg His forgiveness.
2. Many a time, you get two people who were friends for twenty years. Then, one of them betrayed or offended the other so badly that they never spoke to each other again until they died. In comparison to that, we have Allah Ta‘ala, who is so forgiving that after betraying Him and disobeying him for forty years, all the person had to do was repent and Allah Ta‘ala accepted him. There is no such thing as a person who is beyond redemption, even if one is involved in the worst of sins, as Allah Ta‘ala is ready to accept anyone – provided their hearts are sincere.
3. Allah Ta‘ala loves the person who makes sincere repentance so much that it was due to the repentant person’s du‘aa that everyone was blessed with rain. Thus, when we repent, we don’t only come out of the ‘bad books’, but rather go straight into the ‘good books’. Then, from being a cause of difficulty for everyone, Allah Ta‘ala will make us a means of mercy and happiness for all.
4. Allah Ta‘ala is so kind to us that even when we sin, He does not immediately cause our sins to be exposed to people, making us suffer humiliation and embarrassment. Rather, He gives us chance after chance to make amends. However, when we reject this kindness of Allah Ta‘ala by going out of our way to display our sins (on Instagram, Facebook, etc.,) then Allah Ta‘ala becomes very displeased. Hence, if we fall into sin, we should at least avoid advertising and displaying it.
Qaadhi Abu Bakr Muhammad bin ‘Abdil Baaqi Al-Ansaari (rahimahullah) (d. 535 A.H.) mentioned the following story of his life:
I was a student in Makkah Mukarramah. One day, I was hungry and could not find anything to eat. On my way home, I found a small velvet pouch tied with a string of silk. I picked it up and took it home with me. When I reached home and opened the pouch, I found a pearl necklace which was more beautiful than anything that I had ever seen before.
I later went out and saw an old man who was holding a cloth containing five hundred dinaars. He was shouting, “This money is a reward for whoever returns to me a pouch which I lost containing a pearl necklace!” I thought to myself, “I am in need and extremely hungry. Let me return the purse to the old man and collect the reward so that I can use the money for my needs!” I went up to him and said, “Come with me”, and then led him to my home. When we reached my home, I asked him to describe the pouch so that I could confirm that he was the owner. After he correctly described it, I took it out and handed it to him. He then presented me with the reward of five hundred dinars.
I at that moment, I had a change of heart. I refused to accept the reward and said, “It was my duty to return the pouch to you, so there is no need for you to give me any reward.” The man continued to insist that I take the reward, but as much as he insisted, I continued to refuse and did not accept it.
After some time, I left Makkah Mukarramah and boarded a ship to travel to a certain place. During the journey, the ship was wrecked and all the passengers drowned. Only I survived and managed to hold onto a piece of the ship that was floating. In this way, I continued to float in the ocean, not knowing where I was going to.
Eventually, I drifted to an island on which Muslims were living. I went to one of their musjids and began to recite the Quraan Majeed from memory. When the people of the island heard me recite, they all came to me and asked me to teach them to recite the Quraan Majeed correctly. I began to teach them and was well rewarded for my services.
One day, I noticed a few pages of a Quraan Majeed in the musjid and picked them up to recite. When the people saw me holding the pages, they asked me whether I was able to read and write. When I said yes, they asked me to teach them how to read and write as well. Soon, many of them brought their children along as well. Through teaching the people, I earned a livelihood and became completely independent.
Later on, they asked me to marry a wealthy orphan girl in the community. I initially refused, but when they insisted, I agreed. After the nikaah was performed, the girl was brought to me. On seeing her, I was absolutely dumbstruck! Around her neck was a necklace – the very same necklace that I had found many years ago! I was so shocked that I could not tear my eyes away from it and continued to stare, until the people said to me, “O Shaikh! You will break your bride’s heart by staring at her necklace instead of looking at her!”
I then told them the story of the necklace, and they all began to shout, “Allahu Akbar! Alhamdulillah!” I asked them why they were so excited, and they replied, “The man who had taken the necklace from you was the father of this girl. He used to say regarding you, ‘I never met a more truthful Muslim. May Allah Ta‘ala bring him to us so that I may marry him to my daughter.’ This du‘aa of his has now been fulfilled.”
I lived with my wife and was blessed with two sons from her. She finally passed away and I, together with my two sons, inherited her necklace. Later, my two sons also passed away and I became the sole owner of the necklace. I eventually sold it for one hundred thousand dinars.
(Az-Zail ‘Alaa Tabaqaatil Hanaabilah, vol. 1 pg. 443)
1. If a person does something to please someone, that person will certainly express appreciation. Similarly, when we do something to please Allah Ta‘ala, such as abstaining from sin, He definitely appreciates our effort and sacrifice. Apart from rewarding us in the Hereafter, Allah Ta‘ala will bless us with the same thing in a halaal manner – or something which is even better. Despite being desperate, Qaadhi Abu Bakr (rahimahullah) did not take the pearl necklace or even the reward for handing it to the owner. Since Allah Ta‘ala intended to reward him for this, Allah Ta‘ala caused him to board the ship, caused the ship to sink, and caused him to float to the island where Allah Ta‘ala blessed him with far more than he had sacrificed.
2. Today, almost everyone is chasing after a six-figure salary, an exotic supercar, a multi-story mansion, a ‘trophy’ wife and luxury lifestyle. To acquire the money needed to live this lifestyle, they slog and toil, from morning until evening. However, we become so immersed in money that we completely forget about earning for Jannah. Qaadhi Abu Bakr (rahimahullah), although in difficulty, declined to take the reward from the person because he wanted to receive his complete reward from Allah Ta‘ala. He had seen beyond the glitter and glamour of the world and was striving for Jannah.
3. When parents make du‘aa for their child, it is readily accepted. The girl’s father made du‘aa for her to marry the boy in Makkah and Allah Ta‘ala accepted it. We must always try to keep our parents happy and continue to win their du‘aas.
There was once a youth who travelled far away from his homeland and eventually settled down in a small village. He made such an impression on the people of the village, that before long the entire town was buzzing with the news of the newcomer who had “impeccable manners”. The acts of service he was ever-ready to render for one-and-all and his praiseworthy character were soon the talk of the town.
Now it so happened that in that very town there was a young teenage girl of exceptional beauty. With the entire town now fixated on only one topic – the pious youth, she found herself hearing so much about him that she was slowly attracted to the idea of this youngster and before long was yearning to see what he looked like. She therefore made it a point to stealthily glimpse at him whenever she got the chance. These glances, however fleeting they may have been, soon penetrated to the depths of her heart and she was now longing to meet him and speak to him. How she wished she could profess to him that the seed of his undying love had been planted in her heart and was growing day by day! The poor girl was so overcome by her infatuation that she began plotting ways to lure her beloved into a circumstance of her design whereby she’d finally get her wish.
The youth was one day walking along the street when he heard someone call out to him from one of the homes. When he turned and saw the beautiful girl – he immediately lowered his gaze and refused to even look at her. “Will you please help us?” she asked, “We need to move some things in the home but they are too heavy for us.” The boy was always willing to lend a helping hand and so agreed but also instructed, “Tell all in the home that I’m about to enter. Please conceal yourselves until I leave.” Thus saying he entered, carried their things, and left as quickly as he’d come.
This was not at all what she’d wanted or imagined. Things had not gone according to plan. He was supposed to at least speak to her! She was now left even more frustrated and the scant words she exchanged with him served to only further fuel the fire of love now ignited within her. She had no choice but to go back to the drawing board and think of another plot…
One night the youngster was seated in his home studying by candle light. It was raining in torrents and the rain had brought with it a biting cold. While paging through his book, he suddenly heard desperate knocking on his door! “Who could it be?” he wondered, “Who would come out to visit me in this weather?” He got up and went to the door and as soon as he opened it, the teenage girl dramatically collapsed at his feet. The girl pleaded, “I came to your home to take warmth from the cold and shelter from the rain.” The youngster’s heart was pounding in his chest and he was short for breath. There was a stunning, young damsel in distress literally lying at his feet! But the tug of imaan within him was too great, he dared not stretch his hand to her. But what could he then do?! The temptation was burning away at him! He suddenly turned to the lit-candle and plunged his fingers into the flame, apparently numb to the pain and unable to perceive the smell of his own roasting flesh. The girl stared in horror, utterly transfixed by the scene. The youth then seemed to suddenly snap back to his senses and as he did, he screamed and yanked his hand out of the flame and fled from his home. When most of the night had passed he came back home and entered and to his relief the girl was gone. He praised Allah Ta‘ala for saving him from falling into sin and repeated to himself, “If I am unable to bear the heat of a small candle, how will I bear the raging inferno of Jahannum which will be fuelled by people and stones? I will never be able to do so!”
The girl, in the meantime, was deep in thought at her own home. The spectacle of taqwa (Allah consciousness) she’d witnessed first-hand, instead of deterring her, further entrenched his love in her heart. She now wanted him more than ever. “But how?” she pondered. She went on thinking until she realized that this class of youngster would never stoop to haraam. If she wanted him, she’d have to marry him. With this realization she went up to her father and asked him if he’d marry her to the youngster. Her father happily agreed and when he approached the youngster, he too was happy to marry her. At that moment the youth realized how very true it is that if a person leaves out something haraam to make Allah Ta‘ala happy, Allah Ta‘ala will give him (the very same thing or) better, but in a halaal manner.
(Suwarun Mushriqatun minath Thabaati ‘alal Imaan pg. 144)
1. When we are tempted to sin, we should think of the Hereafter and more specifically, Jahannum. The youth fought the fire of his temptation by reminding himself of the fire of Jahannum. Let us too fight fire with fire.
2. If we abandon haraam for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, He will grant us the same thing we desired – if not better – in a permissible manner with happiness, honour and no guilt of sin.
3. When a person adorns himself with taqwa, the entire creation becomes attracted to him as taqwa is the “jewellery of the soul” which is seen by the eyes of the soul.
4. We should never allow ourselves to be in seclusion with a member of the opposite gender who is a non-mahram.
Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) had a neighbour who was living a life of sin, evil and shameless deeds. One day, he came to the gathering of Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) and made salaam to him. To his disappointment, Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) replied to his salaam, but he did not show him attention and make him feel very welcome. Instead, Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) seemed to feel uncomfortable to be near this man (as his sins and evil ways were well known to all).
As soon as the man noticed that Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) was uncomfortable to be near him, he said, “O Abu ‘Abdillah (rahimahullah)! Why are you uncomfortable in my presence? I saw a certain dream, and through this dream, I have completely changed my life and I am no longer the sinful person that you knew me to be.” Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) asked, “What dream did you see?”
The man replied, “I saw Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in my dream. In the dream, it appeared as though he was on an elevated area with many people seated below him. One by one, the people were standing and asking Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to make du‘aa for them. As they would stand and make their request, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) would make du‘aa for them, until I was the only person left. I also wanted to stand and ask Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to make du‘aa for me, but I felt embarrassed and ashamed because of my evil actions and ways.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then asked me, “O so-and-so! Why do you not stand and ask me to make du‘aa for you?” I replied, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Due to my sins, I feel ashamed and embarrassed to ask you to make du‘aa for me.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “If it is because of shame and embarrassment, then stand and ask me for du‘aa. I will still make du‘aa for you, as you do not speak ill of my Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum).” I stood and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made du‘aa for me. When I woke up afterwards, I found that Allah Ta‘ala had blessed me by placing in my heart complete hatred and disgust for all the sins that I was involved in.”
When Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) heard this man’s story, he said, “Share this incident with people and do not forget it, as it is beneficial and inspiring.”
(Kitaabut Tawwaabeen – Ibnu Qudaamah pg. 275)
1. We are all weak and can all fall into sin. However, even if we are stuck in the worst of sins, we need to do one thing – always remember that what we are doing is sin and try to feel ashamed of ourselves, because we have displeased Allah Ta‘ala. As long as we are ashamed and know that what we are doing is wrong, the door of repenting and reforming will remain open. If we begin to think that the sin is ‘nothing major’, and it’s ‘not a train smash’, then very soon we won’t regard it to be a sin at all. At that point, it becomes almost impossible for a person to leave the sin and repent.
2. If anyone speaks ill of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), he is actually attacking those people who were the ‘main men’ and closest of people to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Naturally, this is a severe sin and causes hurt to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). On the contrary, if we respect them and show love for them, we will gain the love of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
3. Only Allah Ta‘ala can inspire a person to change his life and can place hatred and disgust for vice and evil in his heart. We should continuously make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to bless us with the love of good deeds and the hatred of sins.
4. Stories of people changing their lives and the incidents of the pious are filled with many lessons and are very inspiring. We should all participate in the ta‘leem in our homes and in the musjid, as well as attend deeni programmes as often as we can so that these stories may inspire us all.
Ibnul Jowzi (rahimahullah) narrates that a pious person once mentioned the following story:
I once came to Egypt and saw an amazing sight. I saw a blacksmith who would take the glowing iron out of his furnace using his bare hands! He would even place the iron on his anvil and turn it with his hands, not feeling any pain from the heat of the glowing iron!
When I saw this extraordinary sight, I thought to myself, “This must be a very pious man! After all, the fire is unable to burn him!” I then went up to him and greeted him with salaam. I thereafter said, “O my master! I ask you in the name of that Being who blessed you with this miracle to please make du‘aa for me!” Hearing my request, the blacksmith began to cry and exclaimed, “My brother! By Allah! I am not the pious person that you think I am!” I replied, “O my brother! This miracle which I saw you perform is something that only pious people are able to do.” The blacksmith answered, “There is a strange incident behind this miracle.” The blacksmith thereafter narrated the following incident:
I was once busy in my business when I suddenly realized that there was a woman in front of me. When I looked up, I saw that her face was the most beautiful face that I had ever seen before. The woman began to beg me saying, “O my brother! Do you have anything to give us for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala?” I was captivated by her sight and infatuated by her beauty. I replied, “Why don’t you come to my home? There I will give you something and see to your needs.” On hearing my suggestion, she looked at me in silence for some time. Eventually, she turned and left. After some time, however, she returned and said, “Desperation has forced me to accept your offer,” so I locked my business and took her home.
When we reached my home, she begged me saying, “I have children that I left in starvation. Please give me something and allow me to go and feed them! I will return after they have eaten.” After making her promise that she would return, I gave her some silver coins and watched as she left to feed her children. When she returned, I led her into my home and turned to lock the door. “Why are you locking the door?” she asked. “I fear the people.” I replied. “And why do you not fear the Lord of all the people?” she asked. “He is Forgiving and Merciful.” I said. I then made advances towards her and found that tears were streaming down her cheeks and she was trembling, just as palm leaves tremble in the wind. “Why are you trembling and crying?” I asked. “Out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala.” she answered.
The woman then turned to me and begged, “If you leave me for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, I will stand guarantee that Allah Ta‘ala will not punish you with fire in this world and in the next.” When I heard her say this, I was shaken. I immediately stood and gave her all my wealth saying, “I have left you because I fear Allah Ta‘ala!”
After some time, I fell asleep and had a dream. In the dream, I saw a woman wearing a crown of red rubies. She had the most beautiful face that I had ever seen. She said to me, “May Allah Ta‘ala give you a good reward on our behalf.” “Who are you?” I asked. “I am the mother of the girl whom you left out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala. May Alah Ta‘ala never punish you with fire, neither in this world nor the next.” I next said to her, “Please tell me who she is and which family she is from.” The woman replied, “She is from the family of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).”
When I awoke from my sleep, I found that the fire of this world could not harm me. I have hope that the fire of the Hereafter will not harm me as well. (Al-Mawaa‘iz wal Majaalis libnil Jowzi pg. 219)
- The secret to extinguishing the fire of Jahannum is for us to extinguish the fire of our evil passions and desires.
- Never consider committing sin thinking, “Allah is Forgiving”. The forgiveness of Allah Ta‘ala is for those who sincerely want to change their lives, not those who want to sin.
- When the fear of Allah Ta‘ala and the awareness that “Allah Ta‘ala is watching” settles in our hearts, it will become extremely easy for us to give up sins and vice.