Hazrat Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad رحمة لله علیھ was famous for his piety and worship, but he was not always a practising Muslim. In his early years, Hazrat Fudayl رحمة لله علیھ was a highway robber; he would prowl in the night for victims on the road. Alongside the cities that he used to rob was a small village in which lived a girl that Hazrat Fudayl رحمة لله علیھ was in love with. One night, out of desperation to be with her, Hazrat Fudayl رحمة لله علیھ climbed the wall of her home. As he was climbing over it, he heard a voice recite:
أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْ تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ
"Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah..." (Surah Al-Hadeed 57, Ayah 16.)
At that moment, Hazrat Fudayl رحمة لله علیھ answered, "O my Lord, the time has indeed come." He returned from where he came and sought refuge near a travelling party on the main road. They were busy engaging in a serious discussion. Hazrat Fudayl رحمة لله علیھ heard one of them say, "Let us continue our journey now." Another answered, "No, not until the morning, for Fudayl is lurking on the road somewhere out there, just waiting to rob us."Having heard the entire conversation, Hazrat Fudayl رحمة لله علیھ thought to himself,
"I go around in the night to sin, while a group of Muslims remain here because they fear me. Indeed I feel that Allah has brought me here to them only so that I can reform my character. O Allah, I indeed repent to you!"