Stories of Repentance

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.”

A man once went to Raabi'ah bint Isma'il al-'Adawiyyah, who was known by the titles, 'Mother of Goodness,' and, 'The Famous Worshipper.' He said, 'Indeed, I have perpetrated a great number of sins. If I repent, do you think that Allah will accept my repentence?" 

She said, "Woe unto you! Do you not see that He invites those who turn away from Him; then why wouldn't He accept the repentance of those who turn towards Him?"

One year, when al-Asma'i who was an Arab scholar was on his way to perform hajj, a bedouin carrying a large sword and a long spear confronted him. It was quite obvious that he was a highway robber. He came near al-Asma'i and instead of fleeing or attempting to escape, al-Asma'i drew nearer to him. He extended greetings of peace to the robber. The latter responded and then asked, "Where are you from?"

"I am a poor man on a journey" was al-Asma'i's reply.

"Do you have anything with you?" asked the robber. 

"Yes, I have with me the Quran," answered al-Asma'i.

"And what is the Quran?" asked the robber.

"It is the speech of Allah Ta’ala," said al-Asma'i.

"And does Allah Ta’ala have speech?"

"Yes," replied al-Asma'i.

"Then let me hear some of His speech," said the robber.

Al-Asma'i recited the following verse:


وَ فِی السَّمَآءِ رِزۡقُکُمۡ وَ مَا تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ


“And in the heavens, there is your sustenance and all that you have been promised.” [adh-Dhaariyaat : 22]

When the robber heard these words, he began to cry, and threw down his sword and spear, and said, "Perish the highway robber, who seeks sustenance on the Earth, when it is really in the heavens!"

Al-Asma'i was very much pleased to see the quick transformation of the robber. On the following year, when al-Asma'i went to perform Hajj again, he saw the former robber- whose face now had the signs of faith written on it- clinging to the curtain of the Kaa'ba. It was late in the night and he was saying, "O my Lord, the eyes are sleeping and every loved one is with his beloved. The gates of all kings are now closed, but Your gate is open to those who ask of You. Would that I knew whether You accepted this night of worship from me..." 

Rashid, a first century ruler, once said to Hazrat Fudayl bin Iyaadرحمة لله علیھ, "Admonish me."

"O Leader of the believers!" said Hazrat Fudaylرحمة لله علیھ. "Indeed your grandfather, Hazrat Abbaasرضي الله عنه, the uncle of Nabi, once went to the Nabi and said, 'O Messenger of Allah, appoint me to be a leader.' Nabiﷺ  said, 'My uncle, indeed, being a leader leads to sorrow, and regret on the Day of Resurrection. If you are able to go without ever being a leader, then do so!'"

Moved to tears, Rashid said, "Give me more."

Hazrat  Fudaylرحمة لله علیھ looked at Rashid and said, "O One who has a handsome face, if you are able to protect that face from the Hell-fire then do so. And beware of ever cheating or betraying your people."

Being much moved by Hazrat Fudayl'رحمة لله علیھs words, Rashid wanted to reward him. 

"Do you have any debts?" he asked.

"To my Lord, yes, and He will hold me accountable for them," said Hazrat Fudaylرحمة لله علیھ.

"I am of course referring to debts to other human beings," said Rashid.

After Hazrat Fudaylرحمة لله علیھ answered in the negative, Rashid said to one of his assistants, "Give him 1000 dinars, which he can use to help his family."

Hazrat Fudaylرحمة لله علیھ was greatly offended by these words and said, "How perfect Allah is! I am guiding you to safety and you want to reward me with this worldly sum!"
He then left, having refused to take anything.

A TONGUE THAT REMAINS MOIST WITH THE REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH TA’ALA


When passing through a mountain pass, a Bedouin once came across an old man who was blind and who seemed to be afflicted with various ailments all over his body. It was clear that he was wasting away. He was even paralyzed and was constantly forced to remain in a seated position. The Bedouin could clearly hear him say, "All praise is for Allah, Who has kept me safe from ailments with which He has tested many among His creation; and He has indeed preferred me over many amongst those that He created."

"My brother!" exclaimed the Bedouin. "What have you been saved from? By Allah, I think that you have been afflicted with every single kind of ailment!"

"Go away from me," said the old man, as he raised his head. "Do I not still have a tongue with which I can pronounce His Oneness, and with which I can remember Him every single moment? And do I not still have a heart with which I can know Him?"

These words of the old man were enough for the Bedouin to repent to Allah Ta’ala for his sins and ask Him for forgiveness.

Wanting to advise his son Hasanرضي الله عنه, Hazrat Aliرضي الله عنه said, "My son: Beware of three, be in harmony with three, be modest before three, race to three, flee from three, be in disagreement with three, fear three, and hope of three."

"O my father, please explain," said Hazrat Hasanرضي الله عنه

"Beware of pride, anger, and the base kind of ambition. Live in harmony with Allah's Book, His Messenger's sunnah, and the lives of His righteous slaves. Hurry away from sinning, race to repentance and sprint forward in the pursuit of knowledge. My son, flee from lying, treachery and transgression. Be in disagreement with evil and its people, hypocrisy and its people, and foolishness and its people. Fear Allah, fear the company of those who do not fear Allah, and fear the evil speech of your tongue. Hope for Allah to forgive your sins, to accept your deeds, and to accept the intercession of your Nabi." 

The Ever Living Never Sleeps

A young man and a young lady lived in a small town that was populated by only tens or hundreds of people. He was in love with her, and so when he saw her walking alone one night, he followed her until he had her cornered. When he came near to her, he said, "Woman, I crave for you."

She said, "First go and see if all the people are asleep."

Very pleased at her response, he walked around the town and returned. "Everyone is asleep," he said.

"What about Allah Ta’ala?" she asked. "Is He sleeping at this hour?"

"Woman, what are you saying?" he exclaimed. "Indeed, Allah does not sleep: neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him."

"The One Who hasn't slept and doesn't sleep sees us, even if people don't see us," she said. "Do you not fear He Who neither sleeps nor is heedless of anything that happens?"

The man left her alone with tears flowing from his eyes, having nothing in mind except the desire to repent to the One Who neither sleeps nor is heedless of anything that happens.

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