During the time of Nabi Moosa عليه السلام, the Banu Israaeel once suffered a severe drought. They approached Nabi Moosaعليه السلام and beseeched, “O Kaleemullah (The one whom Allah Ta‘ala has blessed with the ability of speaking to Him directly)! Make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala, on our behalf, for rain!”
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام thus went to the desert with the Banu Israaeel who were seventy thousand or more in number. Nabi Moosa عليه السلام then began to make du‘aa saying, “O my Rabb! Send us Your rain! Envelop us in Your mercy! Take pity on us for the sake of the breastfeeding children, the grazing animals and the old people among us whose backs are bent!” However, despite making this du‘aa, the sky remained clear of clouds and the rays of the sun continued to beat down relentlessly.
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام then made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala saying, “O Allah! If I do not have that level of honour in Your sight, then accept my du‘aa through the honour of the unlettered Nabi, Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, who You will send as a Nabi before the end of the world.” Allah Ta‘ala replied to Nabi Moosa عليه السلام, “It is not that you do not have high honour in My sight! Rather, you are esteemed in My sight! However, one of my servants is among you who has been at war with me by committing sins and violating my commands for forty years. Announce to the people that this person should leave, as it is because of him that I have withheld the rain from you.”
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام submitted, “O Allah! O my Master! I am a weak servant, and my voice is weak! How will my announcement reach all the people, whereas they are more than seventy thousand in number?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “You will make the announcement, and I will ensure that they hear it.”
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام thus stood and called out, “O sinful servant who has been at war with Allah Ta‘ala for forty years! Leave us, for it is due to you that we are deprived of rain!” When he heard the announcement, the sinful servant began to stand, but then noticed that nobody else had stood. This made him realize that he was the guilty person who Nabi Moosa عليه السلام was referring to. It then occurred to him that if he stood and left, he would be disgraced and humiliated before the entire Banu Israaeel. However, if he did not stand and leave, all the people would continue suffering from the drought.
In this state, he remained seated, but lowered his head in genuine, sincere remorse and repented for his sins saying, “O my Rabb and Master! I disobeyed You for forty years, yet you granted me respite. Now that I have come to you in obedience, accept me.” He had barely completed his words of repentance when rain began to fall in torrents.
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام was surprised and asked Allah Ta‘ala, “O my Rabb and Master! How is it that You have sent us rain, whereas nobody awoke and left our gathering?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “O Moosa عليه السلام! I sent rain to you on account of the repentance of the same person who caused Me to withhold the rain.”
Nabi Moosa عليه السلام submitted, “O Allah! Show me who this obedient servant is!” Allah Ta‘ala responded, “O Moosaعليه السلام! I did not expose him and humiliate him when he was disobedient to me, so how can I expose him when he is obedient to me? O Moosa عليه السلام! I do not like those who carry tales, so how can I do the same (by causing him to be exposed)?”