Stories of Repentance #25
During the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar bin al-Khattabرضي الله عنه, Hazrat Sa'eed bin 'Amirرضي الله عنه was the governor of Hims, a city in Shaam. When Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه visited Hims to see how things were going there, he was met by a large group of people who began to complain to him about Hazrat Sa'eed رضي الله عنه.
They found fault with him in four matters. First, they said, he would not come out to them until mid-morning. Second, he would refuse to answer any caller during the night. Third, once a month, he would stay away from the people. And fourth, once in a while, Sa'eed رضي الله عنه would faint and lose consciousness for no apparent reason.
Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه asked Hazrat Sa'eed رضي الله عنه to respond to their complaints.
In regard to the first complaint, Hazrat Sa'eed رضي الله عنه explained that he had no servant and that, every morning, he had to crush his own wheat in order to make bread. As soon as he would finish making his bread, he said, he would then go out to serve the people.
As for not answering any callers during the night, he said that he dedicated his days to serving the people and his nights to worshipping Allah.
As for not going out to the people once a month, he explained that he had only one garment and that he washed it once a month and had to then wait until it dried.
As for passing out every so often, he gave this explanation:
"When I was a mushrik, I witnessed the brutal execution of Hazrat Habib al-Ansaari رضي الله عنه in Makkah. I saw how Quraish cut up his flesh little by little. They said to Habib رضي الله عنه , 'Do you now want Muhammad to take your place?' He said, 'By Allah, I would not want to be safe with myself, my family and my children if Muhammadﷺ were even to be pricked by a thorn.' Every time I remember that day and how I refrained from helping Hazrat Habib رضي الله عنه, for I was a mushrik and did not believe in Allah, the All-Mighty- I begin to think that Allah Ta’ala, the Possessor of Might and Majesty, will never forgive me. It is then that I faint, O Leader of the Believers."
Stories of Repentance #24
THE GRAVE OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN
Hazrat Ibrahim bin Bashaarرحمة لله علیھ narrates this story:
"While I was walking towards Kufah with Hazrat Ibrahim bin Adham رحمة لله علیھ, he stopped beside a grave and invoked Allah to have mercy on its dweller. "Whose grave is this,' I asked.
'It is the grave of Humaid bin Jaabirرحمة لله علیھ,' said Hazrat Ibrahimرحمة لله علیھ 'He was once the leader of all the townships that are in this area.'
'What was so special about him?' I asked. Hazrat Ibrahimرحمة لله علیھ told me that he was a very rich leader who would spend his nights enjoying foolish games and entertainment.
'One night he fell asleep and saw a dream in which a man was standing over his head,' said Hazrat Ibrahimرحمة لله علیھ. 'The man had a book in his hand, which Humaid grabbed and tore open. The words inside were written with gold [ink]. They ran as follows:
Do not prefer my Fire over my Light, and do not be deceived by what you own in this world, for what you own is preventing you from getting what is saved for you in the afterlife. True, what you have might have been called a kingdom, had it not been for the fact that it will all soon perish. And your life might have been called a life of happiness and joy, had it not been for the fact that it will be followed by anxiety and misery. So beware of falling under the spell of these worldly ornaments, or you will join the ranks of the destroyed ones
وَ سَارِعُوۡۤا اِلٰی مَغۡفِرَۃٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ وَ جَنَّۃٍ عَرۡضُہَا السَّمٰوٰتُ وَ الۡاَرۡضُ ۙ اُعِدَّتۡ لِلۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ
And march forth in the way [which leads to] forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, it has been prepared for the Allah fearing.
[Aal-Imraan : 133]
Humaid then woke up in a terrified state,' continued Hazrat Ibrahimرحمة لله علیھ.
'Resigning from his post as leader, Humaid betook himself to this mountain, where he led a simple life, doing menial work to maintain his physical upkeep, but dedicating most of his time to the worship of Allah. I came here once and met him. By keeping company with him, I found him to be a noble man. I would thereafter continue to visit him until he passed away.' "
Coming to Terms with the Reality of Life
Stories of Repentance #23
It is reported that there was once a king who, at a certain moment during his rule, came to the realization that no matter how rich he was, his pleasures were of the fleeting kind and his end was going to be death. These thoughts lingered in his mind, until one day he secretly left his castle and made his way towards the seaside. There, he spent his days earning his keep by working with bricks, and his nights worshipping Allah. Although he had travelled far away from his homeland, he could not remain unrecognized for long, and soon news of his story reached the king of the land that he was in. That king summoned him, but he refused to go; and when he was summoned for a second time, he made it clear that he didn’t want to meet the king.
The king of the land was too curious about the former king’s story to let the matter rest there. And so he went to him in person, but when the former king saw him approaching, he began to run away. The king of the land chased him as he called out, “O slave of Allah, fear not,” but the former king continued to flee from him. This continued until the king of the land was able to convince him that he just wanted to talk to him for a few moments. When the two were face to face, the king of the land asked the former king, “What made you come to this land?”
He said, “I found that my heart desired separation from the children of Adam.”
The king of the land asked, “How can you bear living a life of loneliness?”
He said, “Whoever finds comfort with Allah finds unwholesome the company of anyone else.”
The king of the land asked, “And why did you leave your kingdom?”
He answered, “I thought about my outcome, my final destination on this earth, and I realized that my end here was near at hand. And so I decided to turn away from that which is temporary and to instead turn towards that which will abide forever. Turning to my Lord, I then fled from my sins.”
The king of the land said “You do not have more reason to fear Allah than I do.”
The king of that land then abdicated his throne, after which he followed his new companion on the path of simplicity, repentance, and worship.
Stories of Repentance #22
During one of his journeys, Hazrat Sirri as-Saqati رحمة لله علیھ passed by a cave, from which he heard continuous sobbing. Aroused by curiosity, he entered the cave and saw a young man whose body seemed to be wasted away by grief and sadness. Having immediately perceived that the man was a righteous worshipper, Hazrat Sirri رحمة لله علیھ humbly asked, “O young man, how is safety achieved?”
He said, “By performing all prescribed acts of worship, by not wronging others, and by repenting to Allah.”
Sirrri رحمة لله علیھ asked, “Can you please deliver a sermon to me?”
The young man said, “The best sermon you can receive is by looking into your own self. But I will say this: be obedient to Allah when you are alone, for doing so will atone for your sins, and Allah will then display you to the inhabitants of the heavens.”