Stories of Repentance #8
Everything that is going to happen is near at hand
The following is one of the famous sayings of Hazrat Hasan (R.A)
"Before Allah Ta’ala created us, Allah knew that we would sin and disobey Him, yet He still made us Muslims. O sinners, hurry to repent before the pangs of death overcome you, before the time of utter regret is upon you. Work, for death is coming, and everything that is coming is near at hand. Death hovers over you day and night; it will not come late, not even for one who has lost track of time."
Death may come upon us at any time, and it is our last deed that counts most. Put together, these two realities make it clear that we must continually repent for our sins and that it is utter foolishness to put off repentance for another day.
There is an interesting story related about two brothers. One of them, who lived on the top floor of a house they shared together, was a pious worshipper; the other, who lived on the ground floor, was a prolific doer of evil deeds. The former was confident- in fact, a little too confident and self-complacent for his own good. He actually desired that Shaytaan should try to tempt him, so that he could resist temptation and soar to higher levels of righteousness.
One day, Iblees did appear before him, perhaps in the form of a man. Shaytaan said, "So very sad that you have spent 40 years inhibiting the satisfaction of your desires and tiring your body in worship. You have 40 more years left to live, why don't you enjoy yourself and follow your lusts for a while. Then you can always repent and return to worship later on. After all, Allah is Most-Forgiving, Most-Merciful."The worshipper thought to himself, "I will go down to my brother on the first floor, and I will join him in the pursuit of pleasure for 20 years. Then, in the last 20 years of my life, I will repent to Allah Ta’ala and worship Him." He then began to descend the stairs to the first floor.Meanwhile, his brother was going through a transformation of his own. He thought to himself, "I wasted away my entire life in sin. My brother, the worshipper, will enter Paradise, while I will enter the Hell-fire. By Allah, I will indeed repent, go up to my brother and join him for as long as I live, in the worship of Allah. Perhaps Allah will then forgive me."
He ascended the stairs, with the intention of repenting to Allah Ta’ala, while his brother was descending with the intention of leading a life of sin. The latter slipped on one of the stairs, tumbled down, and knocked down his brother. Both of them passed away.It is, of course, the last deed that counts most.
Stories of Repentance #7
It was reported on the authority of Hassan Al Basri رحمة لله علیھ .
There was a prostitute who had a third of the beauty of Adam عليه السلام . She would not allow anyone to have relations with her unless she was paid 100 dinars. There was a slave man who saw her one day and her beauty amazed him so much that he went and worked and toiled with his hands until he collected 100 dinars.
So he went to her and said: “Your beauty amazed me so much that I went and worked and toiled with my own two hands and immediately collected 100 dinars!” She said to him: “Enter!” So he entered and to his amazement she had a bed made of gold.
He said: “So I sat on her bed and she said to me: “Come on!”
So when he sat between her legs he remembered his standing in front of Allah! His heart began to tremble and quiver and he said to her: “Let me leave and you can keep the money!” She said to him: “What is wrong with you?! You were the one who said that you saw me and my beauty amazed you so you worked and toiled hard and quickly with your bare hands until you collected 100 dinars and now that you have the ability to take what is rightfully yours this is what you do?”
He said: “I am afraid of Allah and my standing in front of Him! I was once the most hated person to you (because he was a poor slave) and now you are the most hated person to me!” (because he now realizes the sin she is allowing him to commit) She said: “If you are honest in what you say, then you are the only husband for me!” He said: “Let me leave!” She replied: “No! Not until you marry me!” He said: “No! Not until you allow me to leave!” So she said: “If you leave and I go out in search of you, do you promise that if I find you, you will marry me?” “Perhaps!” was the reply.
So she let his garment go, and he left and returned to his city. She set out in search of him remorseful and repentant for what she had done until she found the city where he resided. She asked around town about his whereabouts and she was directed towards where he lived.
Someone said to him in passing: “The queen has come!” (He said this because her clothing was like that of a queen). When he saw her he began crying profusely and began to gasp for air (as he never expected to see her again and now to his amazement, believed that she was a queen!) and he died while falling into her arms!
She said: “As for him, I have lost this one! Does he have any relatives?”
It was said to her: “He has a brother but he is poor!”
So she said with sincerity: “Thus I will marry him because of my love for his brother, who changed my life!” And so she married the brother.
Stories of Repentance #6
One day, as Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه and Hussainرضي الله عنه were walking together, they heard a man supplicating to Allah. The man was begging Allah to forgive him for his evil crimes. His sincere tone and words aroused the interest of Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه , who turned to his son and said, “Do you not hear the man who is so remorseful because of his sins? Go and catch up with him and call him.”
When Hazrat Hussain رضي الله عنه caught up with the man, he saw that he was clean-looking, clean-smelling, with nice clothes and altogether handsome- except that he seemed to be paralyzed on the right side of his body. Hazrat Hussain رضي الله عنه said, “Answer the summons of the Leader of the believers, Hazrat Ali bin Abu Taalib.”
Dragging his right side, the man followed Hazrat Hussain رضي الله عنه back to where Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه was waiting for them.
“Who are you and what is your story?” asked Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه .
“My story is that of a man who did not fulfill the rights of others and is now being punished for that.” said the man.
“And what is your name?” asked Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه .
“Munaazil bin Laahiq,” said the man.
“And what is your story?” asked Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه .
“I was famous among the Arabs for my evil and sins. Merciful and kind, my father would constantly admonish me and advise me to mend my ways. He would remind me of Allah’s punishment, saying, ‘My son, do not go against He who punishes with the Hell-fire!’ When he would persist in advising me, I felt his voice grating on my nerves. I would get so frustrated that I would beat him harshly. In response to my beating, he one day said, ‘By Allah, I will fast without breaking my fast and I will pray without stopping to sleep.’ He fasted for an entire week, but on seeing no change in my behaviour, he climbed a camel and set off to perform Hajj. His parting words were, ‘I am going to the House of Allah, and there I will seek help from Allah Ta’ala against you.’ When he reached Makkah, he embraced the khilaaf of the Kaa’ba and supplicated against me, asking Allah Ta’ala to make me paralyzed on one side of my body. By the One Who raised the sky and sends down the rain, no sooner did my father finish his supplication than I became paralyzed on my right side, which became like a piece of wood. Anyone that would then pass by me would point to me and say, ‘Allah Ta’ala answered his father’s supplication against him.”
“What did your father do then?” asked Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه .
“O Leader of the Believers, after he became pleased with me, I asked him to go back and invoke Allah Ta’ala on my behalf. He agreed to do so. I walked alongside him as he rode on his camel, until we reached a place called the Valley of Arak. When we reached there, a group of birds flew away from a tree & their sudden movement frightened the camel. As the camel raced off in a state of fright, my father fell off and passed away.”
It was certainly late for the man, but not too late, and so Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه advised him to continue to supplicate and to repent for his past misdeeds.
Stories of Repentance #5
The following story is narrated by ‘Abdul-Waaḥid ibn Zaidرحمة لله علیھ : "We were on a sea vessel once, when the wind suddenly became stormy, and we were forced to leave the high seas and seek refuge on an island. We were surprised to see that we were not alone on the island; standing there before us was a man who was busy worshipping. We said to him 'What are you worshipping?' upon which he pointed to an idol. We said, 'We don't have a person on our ship that does as you are doing'
The man asked, 'Then who is it that you worship?'
We said, 'We worship Allah.'
He asked, 'And who is Allah?"
'We said, 'He Whose Throne is in the Heavens and Whose dominion is in the heavens, the earth, and all that exists."
''And how did you come to know that?" asked the man.
'He sent a messenger to us with clear proofs and miracles, and it was that messenger who informed us about Him."
''And what has happened to your messenger?"
''When he finished conveying the message, Allah caused him to die,' we answered.
'Has he left you no sign?' the man asked.
We said, 'He has left among us Allah's Book.'
'Show it to me,' requested the man.
When we showed him a copy of the Qur'an, he said, 'I cannot read it,' and so we read a part of it for him. He then cried and said, 'The One Whose speech this is must not be disobeyed.' Not only did the man then accept Islam, he also diligently learned its teachings and then put what he learned into practice. When the weather calmed down and we were ready to leave the island, he asked us if he could be a passenger on our ship. We of course agreed to have him join us, and it was a good thing that he came with us, for it gave us the opportunity to teach him a number of chapters of the Qur'an. At the end of the first evening of travel, all of us crewmen got ready to go to sleep. Our new passenger said, 'O people, the Lord that you guided me to, does He sleep?' We said,
هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ۚ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ
'...He is the Ever Living, the One who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him...' [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:255]