You Have Guided Me To A Path That You Know Not Yourselves
The following story is narrated by Abdul-Wahid bin Zaid:
"We were on a sea vessel once, when the wind suddenly became tempestuous, 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; there standing before us was a man who was busy worshipping an idol. We introduced ourselves and then said, 'We do not have anyone 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.
'He has left among us Allah's Book,' we said.
'Show it to me,' requested the man.
When we showed him a copy of the Quran, 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 assiduously 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 Quran. 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, 'He is the Ever Living, the One who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him.'
He looked at us and said, 'It is indeed bad manners for a slave to sleep in the presence of his master.' With a great deal of energy and vigor, he then jumped up and began to pray; and his crying voice could be heard until the morning.
When we reached a place caled 'Abaadaan [a place situated in present-day Iran], I said to my companions, 'This man is a stranger here, moreover, he is a new Muslim. We would do well to gather some money for him in order to help him out.' We gathered what we could, but when we tried to give him the money, he exclaimed, 'What is this!'
We said, 'Money that you can spend on yourself.'
He said, 'How perfect Allah is! You have guided me to a way that you do not know yourselves. When I was living on a barren desert in the middle of the ocean, I worshipped other than Him, yet He did not allow me to go without; then how is it possible that He will make me be needy, when it is Him alone that I now worship? Indeed He is the Creator and the Provider.' He then left us and went on his way.
A number of days passed before we heard any news of his whereabouts. We were told he was in such and such place and that he was extremely sick. When we reached him, we saw that he was on the verge of dying. After extending greetings of peace to him, I said, 'Do you need anything?'
He said, 'The One Who brought you to the island when I did not know Him has provided me with all that I need,' he said.
I sat down beside him, thinking that I could stay for a while and comfort him. I soon fell asleep, howver, and saw a dream. In the graveyard of Abaadaan I saw the most beautiful girl that I have ever seen. She was saying, 'Hasten his burial, for it is a long time now that I have been yearning for him.' I woke up with a start and found that he had just died. I washed his body and enshrouded him. That night, after the burial had taken place, I saw another dream. In it, he was looking very handsome, and the same girl was sitting on the bed. Sitting beside her, he continued to repeat the verse:
سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ
Salaamun Alaykum for that you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home! "
[Quran:al-Ra'ad : 24]
[al-Mawaa'idh wal-Majaalis: 40-42]
If You Really Want To Disobey Allah...
It is reported that a man once went to Ibrahim bin Adham and said, "Oh Abu Ishaaq, I continually wrong my own self, and I turn away from everything that invites me to improve my way of life."
Ibrahim said, "If you can fulfill five conditions, then sinning will never harm you, and you can fulfill your desires as much as you want."
"Tell me those conditions," exclaimed the man.
"As for the first, if you want to disobey Allah, then do not eat from His sustenence," said Ibrahim.
"What then will I eat, for everything on the earth is from His sustenence?" said the man.
"Listen," said Ibrahim. "Are you being sensible when you eat from His sustenence while you are disobedient to Him?"
"No," said the man. "What is the second condition?"
"If you want to disobey Allah, then do not live in any of His lands," said Ibrahim.
"This is even worse than the first. All that is in the East and West belong to Him. So where then will I live?"
"Listen," said Ibrahim. "If you insist on disobeying Him while you eat from His sustenence and live in His lands, then at least look for some spot where He cannot see you, and disobey Him there."
"O Ibrahim!" exclaimed the man. "How can I do that, when He even knows the deepest secrets that are in the breasts of men? What is the fourth condition?" he asked despondently.
"When the angel of death comes to take your soul, then say to him, 'Give me some respite, so that I can repent sincerely and perform good deeds.'"
"When the time comes, the angel will not accept that plea from me," said the man.
"Listen," said Ibrahim. "If you cannot put off death in order to repent, then how do you expect to be saved?"
"Tell me the fifth condition," said the man.
"When the guardians of Hell-fire come to take you away on the Day of Resurrection, don't go with them."
"They won't let me go!" exclaimed the man.
"Then how do you expect to be saved?" asked Ibrahim.
"Stop, stop! That is enough for me," said the man. "I ask Allah to forgive me and I indeed repent to Him."
The man then dedicated his life to the worship of Allah from that day.
Extracted from "Stories of Repentance" by Muhammad Abduh Mughawiri
The Mulberry Tree
I used to have a mulberry tree that grew on the side of the pathway to my house. Whenever, Sheikh Ibrahim Mia rahmatullah alayhi visited he used to enjoy the mulberries. Sometimes, we used to send mulberries to him as well.
Unfortunately, this tree used to bear so much that the pathway often becomes messed with dropped fruit. We thus cut down the tree. When Sheikh rahmatullah alayhi visited us thereafter, he told us that fruit trees are sadaqah jaariyah (they are means of earning perpertual reward) and we should not cut them down. When we moved to our new home, Sheikh rahmatullah alayhi used to take walks in the garden and identify various plants. If he saw a fruit tree he would remind us about earning sadaqah jaariyah through that tree.
Virtues of Planting Trees
Jabir Radiyallahu 'anhu narrates that Rasullullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam said: Any Muslim who plants a tree, then whatever is eaten from it, is Sadaqah for him; what is stolen from it is Sadaqah for him; what beasts eat is Sadaqah for him; what birds eat is Sadaqah for him; whosoever takes anything from the tree (fruits etc) is Sadaqah (for the planter). (Muslim)
Jabir Radiyallahu 'anhu narrates that Rasullullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam said: He who cultivates a barren land, has a reward thereby. ( ibn Hibban)
Qasim Rahimahullah 'narrates that a man passed by Abu Darda' Radiyallahu 'anhu when he was planting a tree in Damascus and said to Abu Darda' Radiyallahu 'anhu: Are you doing this work, though you are a Sahabi of Rasullullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam? He said: Do not hasten to blame me; I heard Rasullullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam saying: Anyone who plants a sapling, then a man or any of the creations of Allah 'Azza wa Jail, eats from it, it becomes a Sadaqah for him. (Muslim)
Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari Radiyallahu 'anhu narrates that Rasullullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam said: Any man who plants a tree Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala rewards him for the entire yield of this tree (i,e the reward of all the fruit that this tree will bear in its life time).