True Stories

A True Story about Repentance 

    عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه قال: سمِعتُ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يَقُولُ: « وَاللَّهِ إِنِّي لأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ وَأَتُوبُ إِليْهِ في اليَوْمِ أَكثرَ مِنْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً» .  رواه البخاري .

    Narrated Abu Hurairah -may Allah be pleased with him- said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah -prayer and peace be upon him- say: ‘By Allah, I seek forgiveness and repent (make istighfar and tobeh) to Allah more than seventy times a day.’ ” Related by Al-Bukhari.

     ‘The Man with a Loaf of Bread’

Abu Burdeh narrated that when Abu Musa -Al-Ash’eri may Allah pleased with him- was on deathbed, he called his children to his bedside and said to them: “My dear children! Hark, listen and remember the story of ‘The Man with a Loaf of Bread.’”

Abu Musa said: “There lived a man who for seventy years had dedicated his entire existence to worshiping Allah in a hermitage, and he only left his house one day a week to acquire his basic needs.

One day, while in the market, Satan (Sheitan) made an attractive woman seduce him, and the man was lured to stay with her for seven days and nights (committed zina).  On the seventh day, the veil of darkness and evil that clouded his mind was lifted, and the man left the woman’s house repenting to Allah.  With every step the man took, he prayed and prostrated himself to Allah, ashamed of himself, and asking Allah for forgiveness.

By nightfall, his steps led him to a shop, near which sat twelve destitute men.  He was exhausted and so sat between two men of them.

In that town, there lived a monk who used to send these twelve poor men a loaf of bread each daily.  That night he carried the twelve loaves of bread and brought them to distribute.  In the dark, he gave each needy person a loaf of bread.  When he reached the extra man who sat in their midst, he thought him to be one of the poor, and handed him a loaf of bread, so the last man remained without a loaf of bread.  The last man asked: ‘Why have you not given me my usual loaf of bread?  Were you in need of it!’  The monk became upset, and replied: ‘Do you think I have kept anything away from you, or do you think that I kept it for myself? Ask around you, did I give any one sitting here two loaves of bread instead of one?’  They replied ‘No!’  He said: ‘Are you accusing me of keeping it for myself!  I swear by Allah that I will not give you anything for tonight.’

So the repenting man handed his loaf of bread over to the person who did not get his share for that night, and stayed without food.

By morning, the repenting man died.  When the angels came and weighed his deeds, the seventy years of worship he offered did not measure up to the weight of his sins during the last seven nights of his life, but when the angels weighed the sin of the last seven nights and his last offering of a single loaf of bread he gave to the needy man, his charity weighed heavier.  Thus he was saved from eternal damnation.”

Abu Musa, may Allah be pleased with him, then added: “My dear children, remember well this story of ‘The Man with a Loaf of Bread.’ ” Related by Abu-Na’eem.

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    ‘Has not the time yet come for Repentance: Al-Fudail Ibn Iyadh’

It is related that while Al-Fudail Ibn Iyad (who used to be a robber) was climbing the walls of a house one night, he heard someone reciting the verse: {Has not the time yet come for the believers that their hearts should become humbly submissive for the remembrance of Allah} (Surah 57, verse 16).  Al-Fudail was struck by the verse and retreated exclaiming: “Yes, by Allah the time has come.”  He took shelter at night in an abandoned place where few other travelers were staying too.  He heard them saying to each other: “Beware of Al-Fudail who robs the travelers.”  Al-Fudail felt remorse and exclaimed: “Oh, do I keep disobeying Allah at night too. A group of Muslims feel afraid of me!  O Allah, I declare my repentance to You, and make my penance living in the neighborhood of Your Sacred Mosque (in Makkah).”

Al-Fudail then went to Makkah and devoted his life to worshiping Allah and serving his deen.  He used to advice people and even advised Haroon Al-Rashid.

    There are two moral lessons in the above stories:

First, The Muslim should never belittle any sin, but rather should consider the enormity of disobeying the Lord and then hasten with repentance and asking forgiveness of Allah.  As a righteous scholar said:

    .(عن بلال بن سعد، قال: ( لا تَنْظُرْ إلى صِغَرِ الخطيئةِ ولكنِ انْظُرْ إلى مَنْ عَصَيْتَ

  Bilal Ibn Sa’d said: “Do not look at how small the sin is, but consider Whom you have disobeyed.”

   And how wise and meaningful is the statement of the scholar Al-Fudail Ibn Iyadh who said:

    .(وعن الفضيل بن عياض، قال: ( بقدر ما يصغر الذنب عندك كذا يعظم عند الله، وبقدر ما يعظم عندك كذا يصغر عند الله

   Al-Fidail Ibn Iyadh said: “The smaller the regard and enormity you have for the sin, the greater the sin would be in the site of Allah.  And the greater the regard and enormity (and regret) you have for the sin, the smaller the sin would be in the site of Allah-the Exalted.”

Thus, the Muslim should strive to avoid sins, and in case he slips should always repent to Allah and ask His forgiveness.  The Muslim should get in the habit of making istighfar often during the day and night.  The Muslim should ponder upon his sins at a specific time every day, and then should resolve to abandon those sins and seek reward from Allah.

And second: The Muslim should strive to do good deeds out of sincerity and devotion to Allah (إخلاص).  The Muslim should do good deeds for the sake of Allah only, and seek reward from Him.

Sometimes one good deed done with the utmost degree of sincerity can wipe out all sins.  Like the story of the sinful woman who gave a drink of water to a thirsty dog.  Allah forgave her all sins.  Or like the story above, the sinful man was forgiven because of one deed (a sincere act of charity done in the darkness of night when nobody could see him, and a righteous act in which he chose to stay hungry but feed the hungry poor man beside him).  And how wise and enlightening is the statement of Ali Ibn Talib who said:

    وعن علي بن أبي طالب رضي اللَّه عنه، قال: ( لا خير في الدنيا إلا لأحد رجلين؛ رجل أذنب ذنباً فهو تدارك ذلك بتوبة، أو رجل يسارع في الخيرات. ولا يقل عمل في تقوى، وكيف يقل ما يُتقبل

   Ali Ibn Talib -may Allah be pleased with him- said: “There is no true goodness in the world except for two types of people: Someone who commits a sin but atones for it and follows it up with repentance.  And someone who strives to do good deeds.  But no sincere pious deed is ever considered little, for how can the reward of a good deed accepted by Allah ever be little?”

Thus, the Muslim should always takes every opportunity to do good, whether in his own worship or in good acts extended to others, and devote such deeds for Allah alone, and seek reward from Him.  May Allah make us learn from and follow the righteous people before us.  And Allah knows best.

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Dec 24, 2016:

The Three Righteous Men

 

            عن عبد الله بن عمر ‏رضي الله عنهما ‏قال: سمعتُ رسولَ اللهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم ‏يقول: « انْطَلَقَ ثَلَاثَةُ رَهْطٍ مِمَّنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ، حَتَّى أَوَوْا المَبِيتَ إِلَى غَارٍ فَدَخَلُوهُ فَانْحَدَرَتْ صَخْرَةٌ مِنَ الجَبَلِ فَسَدَّتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الغَارَ. فَقَالُوا: إِنَّهُ لا يُنْجِيكُمْ مِنْ هَذِهِ الصَّخْرَةِ إِلَّا أَنْ تَدْعُوا اللَّهَ بِصَالِحِ أَعْمَالِكُمْ. فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ مِنْهُمْ: اللَّهُمَّ كَانَ لِي أَبَوَانِ شَيْخَانِ كَبِيرَانِ وَكُنْتُ لا أَغْبِقُ ‏ ‏قَبْلَهُمَا أَهْلًا وَلا مَالًا، ‏فَنَأَى ‏بِي فِي طَلَبِ شَيْءٍ يَوْمًا فَلَمْ أُرِحْ عَلَيْهِمَا حَتَّى نَامَا فَحَلَبْتُ لَهُمَا ‏غَبُوقَهُمَا ‏فَوَجَدْتُهُمَا نَائِمَيْنِ، وَكَرِهْتُ أَنْ أَغْبِقَ ‏ ‏قَبْلَهُمَا أَهْلًا أَوْ مَالًا، فَلَبِثْتُ وَالْقَدَحُ عَلَى يَدَيَّ أَنْتَظِرُ اسْتِيقَاظَهُمَا حَتَّى بَرَقَ الْفَجْرُ فَاسْتَيْقَظَا فَشَرِبَا ‏غَبُوقَهُمَا، ‏اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتُ فَعَلْتُ ذَلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِكَ فَفَرِّجْ عَنَّا مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ مِنْ هَذِهِ الصَّخْرَةِ، فَانْفَرَجَتْ شَيْئًا لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ الْخُرُوجَ.

 قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: ‏وَقَالَ الْآخَرُ: اللَّهُمَّ كَانَتْ لِي بِنْتُ عَمٍّ كَانَتْ أَحَبَّ النَّاسِ إِلَيَّ فَأَرَدْتُهَا عَنْ نَفْسِهَا فَامْتَنَعَتْ مِنِّي، حَتَّى أَلَمَّتْ بِهَا سَنَةٌ مِنَ السِّنِينَ فَجَاءَتْنِي فَأَعْطَيْتُهَا عِشْرِينَ وَمِائَةَ دِينَارٍ عَلَى أَنْ تُخَلِّيَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ نَفْسِهَا فَفَعَلَتْ، حَتَّى إِذَا قَدَرْتُ عَلَيْهَا قَالَتْ: لا أُحِلُّ لَكَ أَنْ تَفُضَّ الْخَاتَمَ إِلَّا بِحَقِّهِ، فَتَحَرَّجْتُ مِنَ الوُقُوعِ عَلَيْهَا فَانْصَرَفْتُ عَنْهَا وَهِيَ أَحَبُّ النَّاسِ إِلَيَّ وَتَرَكْتُ الذَّهَبَ الَّذِي أَعْطَيْتُهَا، اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتُ فَعَلْتُ ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِكَ فَافْرُجْ عَنَّا مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ، فَانْفَرَجَتِ الصَّخْرَةُ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُمْ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ الْخُرُوجَ مِنْهَا.

 قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: ‏وَقَالَ الثَّالِثُ: اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي اسْتَأْجَرْتُ أُجَرَاءَ فَأَعْطَيْتُهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ غَيْرَ رَجُلٍ وَاحِدٍ تَرَكَ الَّذِي لَهُ وَذَهَبَ، فَثَمَّرْتُ أَجْرَهُ حَتَّى كَثُرَتْ مِنْهُ الْأَمْوَالُ فَجَاءَنِي بَعْدَ حِينٍ فَقَالَ: يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ أَدِّ إِلَيَّ أَجْرِي، فَقُلْتُ لَهُ: كُلُّ مَا تَرَى مِنْ أَجْرِكَ مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَالبَقَرِ وَالغَنَمِ ‏وَالرَّقِيقِ، ‏فَقَالَ: يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ لا تَسْتَهْزِئُ بِي! فَقُلْتُ: إِنِّي لَا أَسْتَهْزِئُ بِكَ، فَأَخَذَهُ كُلَّهُ فَاسْتَاقَهُ فَلَمْ يَتْرُكْ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا، اللَّهُمَّ فَإِنْ كُنْتُ فَعَلْتُ ذَلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِكَ فَافْرُجْ عَنَّا مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ، فَانْفَرَجَتِ الصَّخْرَةُ فَخَرَجُوا يَمْشُونَ» .  متفقٌ عليه.

Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar -may Allah be pleased with them- that he heard Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- say: “Three men from among those before you, set out together till they reached a cave at night and entered it to sleep.  A big rock rolled down the mountain and closed the mouth of the cave.  They said (to each other): ‘Nothing could save you from this rock but to invoke God with your righteous deeds.’

The first man said: ‘O God, I had old parents and I never gave my family milk before them. One day, I went far seeking something and I did not return until they had slept.  I milked the sheep for them and took the milk to them, but I found them sleeping. I disliked to give the milk to my family or anyone else before them.                                                I waited for my parents with the bowl of milk in my hand, and kept on waiting for them to wake up till the morning dawned. Then they got up and drank the milk.              O God, if I did that for Your Sake only, please relieve us from our situation caused by this rock.’  So the rock shifted a little, but they could not get out.

The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- continued: “The second man said:

‘O God, I had a cousin who was the dearest of all people to me and I wanted to have sexual relations with her but she refused. Later she had a hard time in a famine year and she came to me, so I gave her one-hundred-and-twenty Dinars on the condition that she would not resist my desire, and she agreed.                                                                                When I was about to fulfill my desire, she said: ‘Do not violate my chastity except by legitimate marriage.’  So I refrained from having sexual intercourse with her and left her though she was the dearest of all the people to me, and I also left the gold I had given her.                                                                                                                                                                  O God, if I did that for Your Sake only, please relieve us from the present calamity.’ So, the rock shifted a little more, but still they could not get out.

The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- continued: “Then the third man said:

‘O God, I employed few laborers and I paid them their wages with the exception of one man who did not take his wages and went away.                                                                                        So I invested his wages until it yielded a lot money.  He came to me after some time and said: ‘O slave of God, pay me my wages.’  I said to him: ‘All what you see of the camels, cows, sheep and slaves are yours.’  He said: ‘O slave of God, don’t mock at me.’  I said: ‘I am not mocking at you.’  So he took all the herd and drove them away and left nothing.                                                                                                                                                             O God, if I did that for Your Sake only, please relieve us from the present calamity.’ So that rock shifted away completely and they got out walking.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Indeed, through righteous and Piety (Taqwa), Allah turns troubles and calamities away from the Muslim. Through Piety (Taqwa), Allah finds solutions for the Muslim who has a problem.

قال الله عز وجل: { وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا * وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ} سورة الطلاق 2-3.

Allah -the Exalted- says: { And whoever fears Allah (by doing obligatory things and avoiding sins), He will make for him a way out (of difficulty).  And He will provide for him from where he does not expect} (Surah 65, verses 2-3).

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