Story of an Idolator

Abdul Wahid b. Zaid (mercy be upon him) who belonged to a lineage of saints said, “We were once sailing in a boat. A gush of wind blew away our boat to an island where we saw a man busy adoring an idol. We asked him what he was worshipping. He pointed towards the idol. We said to him that this idol was made with his own hands. How could he worship it? The God whom we worship creates all such things Himself, and so deserves to be worshipped, alone.”

He then asked us, who do you worship? We told him, “We worship the Great God (Allah) who lives in the highest heaven. He alone controls the heavens and the earth. All other creatures whether human or animal depend on Him for their sustenance.” He further asked how we came to know about this Glorious God. We replied, “He sent His final Messenger (Peace be Upon him) to the whole of mankind to teach them about His Greatness.” He proceeded to enquire “Let me know of the place where this Prophet of God is?” We replied, “After the Prophet had completed his mission by conveying the message of God he died and returned to his Lord”.

He continued to ask, “Did this Messenger of God leave behind a thing for your guidance?” We explained, “Yes, he left behind a Book (the Qur’an), which was revealed by God. He asked to see the book. We offered him the Holy Qur’an. He told us he was unable to read and so we recited a few verses for him instead. During the course of its recital he repeatedly wept until we stopped. He finally asserted, “This can only be from Allah, the Most High”, and immediately confirmed his Faith in Allah and His Messenger.

We informed him about the duties of Islam and also explained some verses of the Holy Qur’an. After the late night prayer we went to bed and the man continued to ask questions. “Does Allah sleep at night? he wondered aloud as we lay comfortably in our beds. “Our Exalted God is Everliving and Everlasting. He does not sleep or rest!” we exclaimed. On hearing this he cried, “What disobedient slaves you are! Your Lord keeps awake, whereas you sleep!” We were dumbstruck by his remark. When we were about to return from this island, he begged us to take him with us to allow him to learn more. We agreed.

On reaching the city of ‘Aabadan, says Abdul Wahid, I said to my companions, “This man is our brother, therefore we should provide him with some livelihood”. Some dirhams were offered to him but he refused to accept them and exclaimed, “What is this?” We replied, “These are some dirhams for your expenditure.” He said, “It is enough have shown me the right path. I was upon error and Allah guided me. I did not even worship him yet He neither destroyed nor killed me. I am so grateful to Him and you.

After a few days, we were told that he was about to breathe his last. We went to see him and asked him if there was any need of his to be satisfied. He said no and that he was happy with all that he had gained from Allah. Abdul Wahid said, ” I was all of asudden, overcome by sleep and hence slept there.

While sleeping, I saw a very fertile grden wherein was avery fine vault; a throne occupied by a very beautiful girl, a beauty that I had never seen before. She said to me , ‘By Allah, I returned him to His Lord quickly’, By seeing her in such a state I became very anxious. He addeded, ”When I woke up , the man had passed away. We managed to bury him immediately.”

Again at night, said Abdul Wahid; ”I witnessed the same garden, the same vault and the same girl sitting besides the man who had died. She was recitting the following Qur’anic verse, the transalation of which is ”And the Angels vist them from each door and send them their compliments, glad tiddings for peace and safety against each kind of misfortune. All this is the fruit of your contentment (and steadfastness for the religion of Islam). There is therefore a good reward for you in the Hereafter.”

This story of the idolator shows the Greatness of Allah and His Mercy towards the man who previously worshipped idols. He sent the people to the island as a means to guide the idolator and thus rewarded him a magnificent rewardin the hereafter.
”O Master of the world ! Whom Thou giveth to, nobody can withhold and whom Thou giveth not, no one can confer upon him.”

Cheap Ticket to Paradise

A man from a respectable background came to Balkh in Iran, accompanied by his wife and daughters. Shortly after their arrival the man fell ill and later died, leaving his wife and daughters. Without his support they became poor and suffered. So fearing the mockery of enemies, she fled Balkh with her daughters to another town.

On the day she arrived the weather was very cold, so she left her daughters in a mosque and went out in search of food. She passed by two groups of people. One was gathered around a Muslim who was the Sheikh and the other group around a Zoroastrian (Majusi) who was the security officer of the city.

She first went to the Sheikh and described her situation saying, “I am a woman of a respectable family, with daughters whom I have left in the local mosque, I have come in search of food.” He asked her, “Bring me proof that you are from a respectable family.” She replied, “I am a stranger in this town and therefore do not know anyone to testify for me.” She departed from him broken hearted.

She then went to the Zoroastrian and explained her situation to him, telling him about her noble background and her orphaned daughters who were, waiting her return. She also mentioned to him how the Sheikh had treated her. The Zoroastrian stood up and sent some womenfolk to bring her daughters and took all of them to his house. There he showered them with honour and generosity. He fed them fine food and clothed them in rich garments.

That night the Sheikh saw in a dream the Day of Resurrection and the banners were unfurled around the Prophet (Peace be Upon him). Ahead of him, was a green palace made of emeralds, its balconies of pearls and rubies and domes of pearls and corals. He asked the Prophet (Peace be Upon him), “Messenger of Allah, for whom is this palace?” The Prophet (Peace be Upon him) replied, “For a Muslim.” The Sheikh replied, “I am a Muslim!” The Prophet (Peace be Upon him) said, “Prove to me that you are a Muslim?” At that, the Sheikh was dumbstruck. The Prophet (Peace be Upon him) then said, “You asked a woman to produce proof of her respectability, and therefore my question to you, is can you produce proof that you are a Muslim?” At this point the Sheikh felt remorse about his treatment towards the woman and her orphaned daughters.

In the morning, he immediately set out to find the woman. He learnt she was staying with the Zoroastrian and so called for him. When the Zoroastrian arrived, the Sheikh requested that he sends the woman and her daughters to him. The Zoroastrian replied, “Under no circumstance! I have received great blessings from her.” The Sheikh said “Take a thousand dinars from me and bring them to me.” He shouted, “Impossible! The one who showed you the palace in your dream has made it (the palace) for me. Are you surprised because I am not a Muslim? By Allah, I did not sleep last night, before I and my family accepted Islam at that noble woman’s hand, and I dreamt something similar to what you dreamt; the Messenger of Allah (Peace be Upon him) asked me, “Is that noble woman and her daughters with you?” I replied: “Yes, Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet (Peace be Upon him) said, “This palace is for you and your family. Allah created you a believer in pre-eternity.”

At that the Sheikh remained sorrowful and grieved for the missed opportunity of earning a lofty position in Paradise, due to his neglect of the widowed woman and her daughters.

Allah’s Messenger (Peace be Upon him) has said, “The one who strives on behalf of the widow and the needy is like a warrior in the path of Allah”. (Bukhari and Muslim,)

May Allah guide us to what is right for indeed, He is Generous, the most Kind, the most Merciful!

The Ultimate Test

Abu-ul-Hassan Siraj (mercy be upon him) said, “One day I set out for the performance of pilgrimage (Hajj). As I was making a circuit (Tawwaf) around the Holy Ka’ba, I happened to see a fair-faced woman. I said to myself, By God! I have never seen a woman with such beauty before. Perhaps she has all this beauty as she may not have suffered any grief or sorrow.” She heard this statement and said, “What did you say? By God! I am immersed in grief and my heart is afflicted with adversities and misfortunes and there is no one to share with me the pangs of grief.”

I asked her, “What has happened to you?” She replied, “My husband slaughtered a goat. My two small children were playing with each other and another was in my lap. As I got up, one of the children said to the other, “Shall I tell you how our father slaughtered the goat?” The other replied in the affirmative. Consequently, he. laid his brother on the ground and killed him like a goat.

He then ran away on account of fear, and climbed up a mountain where a wolf devoured him. His father went out in search of him and, during the course of his quest, he died due to the intensity of thirst.

I left the infant to sit and went towards the door of the house. The infant then crawled to the fire upon which the earthen pot was hung. As soon as he touched it, it fell and scolded him. As result his body was burnt removing the flesh from the bones.

I had one daughter left who was married. When she came to hear of this, she fell unconscious and died. It was I who was left alone.”

Shocked by this I asked her, “How did you bear all these misfortunes?” She said, “A person who would ponder over patience and impatience, would see much difference between them. The reward for patience Is great and for impatience, there is no reward.” Then, she recited the following three couplets which read: “I endured because endurance is the best thing to rely upon. If any advantage could be obtained by impatience, I would have adopted it. I endured many a misfortune, misfortunes of such intensity that if they were to have fallen on a mountain, it would have been reduced to dust. I have exercised full control over my emotions and never shed a tear. Now they are falling in my heart.”

Stroll in the Mountains

Zun-Noon relates, whilst I was walking the mountains of Intakia I saw a girl who looked insane, wearing a gown made out of wool. I greeted her with Salaam. She replied accordingly and then said, “Are you Zun-Noon?” I replied, “How did you recognise me?” She replied, “Through Allah’s recognition”. She then asked, “What is generosity?” I replied to her, “To give”. She added, “That is in regards to worldly things. What is it in regards to Deen?” I replied, “To hasten to the obedience of the creator.” She pursued, “When you hasten to the creator do you seek a reward?” I replied, “For every single deed, a reward multiplied by ten”. “This is considered bad in love”, she remarked. “Hasten to God in such a manner that when he looks into your heart he sees that you want nothing from him in return. Oh Zun Noon I have been waiting for 20 years but I am ashamed to ask fearing that I become like a bad labourer, one who wants his wage as soon as he has done his work. I work only to seek his honour and glory”.

Sufyaan Thawri relates Shaibaan and I left for hajj. On the way a lion came before us, I said to Shaibaan, “Do you not see this lion that has come before us” Shaibaan responded, “Do not fear oh Sufyaan”. As soon as the lion heard what Shaibaan said it came wagging its tale like a dog and Shaibaan began to rub its ear. I said, “What is this glory?” He replied “This is not a glory Oh Thawri, if I did not fear fame I would have carried my provisions on his back to Makkah.”

A pious saint relates, Once I was very angry with my nafs. I said to it that I am going to throw it in some place of destruction. I used to live near a jungle in which was a den of lions and I went and lay in the midst of two cubs, hoping to be devoured by their parents. After a short while their father came carrying a piece of meat in his mouth. When he saw me he threw the meat and it sat a distance from me. Then their mother came, carrying a piece of meat. She too threw the meat, roared and came to attack me, but the lion stopped her with his head. She sat down with the father and both of them did not move. After a while the lion walked towards me and one by one carried the cubs to their mother.

The Student of Shaykh Sirri

A disciple of the great Sufl Shaykh Sirri relates that Shaykh Sirri once had a female student who’s son visited an Alim. The Alim sent him to work the hand mill. On his way there the child fell into a lake and drowned. The Alim then informed Shaykh Sirri about the incident. Shaykh Sirri accompanied his companions to see the mother. He related the virtues of patience and of being content with fate. She wondered aloud, “What is the motive behind these words”. He informed her that her son has drowned. She cried, “My son?” He replied, ”Yes”. She proclaimed, “Allah has not done this.” Shaykh Sirri informed her that there is no doubt that her child has drowned. She demanded, “If what you say is true then take me to that place.”

They took her to the river and showed her the place in which he had drowned. She called out, “Mohammad, Mohammad my son”. All of a sudden he replied, “I am here mother”. When she heard his voice she went into the water, holding him by the she pulled him out and then took him home. Shaykh Sirri turned to Junaid (one of the great Sufi Shaykhs’) in amazement and asked, “What is this? “He said, this woman adorns herself with obedience to the Creator and the blessing of that, if there is any matter concerning her, she is informed first of it, and because she was not informed that her son has drowned, she denied her son had died and said Allah has not done this”.

Mercy of Allah

Abu Abdullah al Jawhari relates, once I went for Hajj. On the night of Arafat at Muzdalifah I dreamt of two angels descending from heaven. One asked the other. “How many people made Wukoof (the stand before Allah) of Arafah this year . His companion replied, “600,000 of which only 6 peoples Hajj was accepted by Allah”. When I heard this I wanted to cry out aloud. ‘The first angel then inquired, “What did Allah do with he Hajj of the remaining pilgrims?” The second angel replied, “Allah looked at them with mercy and forgave 100,000 people for every one accepted Hajj’; thus accepted the Hajj of 600,000. “That is the Mercy of Allah, He bestows it on whomever He wills and the rnercy of Allah is great’.

A pious man relates that once I left for hajj. On the way I slept under the moonlit night, when I heard a voice of a weak man. “Oh Abu Ishaaq I have been waiting for you since yesterday. I went close to him and found that he was a very young thin man, close to death. He was surrounded by lots of flowers, some of which I had never seen before. I asked him where he was from. He mentioned a town and then said, “I was living a life of luxury when my nafs demanded seclusion from it all, so I left, puzzled and confused to the jungles and now I am here on the verge of death. I prayed to Allah to send me a Wali of His and I hope you are him”. I asked, “Do you have any parents?” he replied “Yes, I also have a brother and sisters”. I further questioned, “Did you ever desire to meet them or remember them?” He replied, “Never except today, I wished to smell their fragrance. These wild beasts took pity on me. They cried and brought me these flowers”. Ibraheem says, ‘A big snake then came with a big narcissus in his mouth and contended, “Remove your evil from him, Allah is aware of the condition of his friends and those that are obedient to him”.

Ibraheem revealed, “On seeing this I fainted and when I came round the young man had died”. I then fell asleep again, I woke up to realise that I was on the road to Makkah for Hajj. After I had completed the Hajj, I went to the city the young man had mentioned. There I discovered a woman who resembled him. She had a pot of water in her hands. I approached her and confirmed her identity. I then related the incident to her.

She asked, “So how did you find the young man? and then remarked, “I have been waiting three days for you”. I mentioned the words of the young man, which were, “I wished to smell their fragrance”- She screamed, “The fragrance reached him”. After this exclamation, she died. Later a few women came and took care of her burial.

Water With the Taste of Honey

A pious man relates, whilst I was sitting next to the Ka’ba an old man with his face covered came and drank water from the well of Zam Zam using a container. I then drank what he had left over and found that it tasted of honey. I turned to see where he had gone, but he had left.

The next day I came and sat next to the well, the old man came again with his face covered. On this occasion he drew out the water with a bucket and drank from it. As usual he left some behind which I drank. This time I found the water tasted of sweet milk. I had never tasted anything better.

Fire of Hell

It is related that Zainul Abideen would pray one thousand rakahs every night, even if he were travelling.  When he performed ablution he would turn yellow and during prayer he would tremble. When asked why this happened to him, he responded, “Do you not know who I stand before?” If the wind blew he would fall down unconscious out of the fear of Allah.

Once there was a fire in his house while he was prostrating in prayer. The people began to warn him, “Oh son of the messenger of Allah, FIRE! FIRE!” He did not raise his head untill the fire had extinguished itself. He was later asked why he did not respond to the cries of the people. He replied “The fire of hell had diverted my attention”.

Dirhams from the Unseen

A pious man relates, I was travelling with a caravan through a jungle when I saw a woman walking ahead. She appeared weak, so I thought that perhaps she was walking in front so that she is not left behind. I found a few dirhams in my pocket and gave them to her and said, “When the caravan stops, come to me and I will ask the people to offer you some money”, enabling her to purchase an animal to ride on. She stretched out her hands and showed me some dirhams clenched in her hands. She gave them to me and said “You took them from your pocket and I from the unseen”.

Shaykh Abu Saeed al-Kharraz relates, once I entered Masjid al-Harram and noticed a man begging. He wore two torn, dirty garments. I thought, “People like him are a burden on the rest”. Unexpectedly, he turned and looked at me, reciting the following verse from the Qur’an. “Know well that Allah Knows what is in your hearts, so be fearful of him”. On hearing this, I immediately turned to Allah to forgive me for my evil thought. The man then called me and recited, “It is He who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons evils and knows what you do”.


Shaykh Fath al-Mowsily relates, once I saw a young boy walking through the jungle. It appeared as if he was uttering some words. I greeted him with Salaam and he replied accordingly. I inquired, “Where are you going ? ”He retorted, “To the house of Allah.” I further asked, ”What are you reciting?” ”The Qur’an” he replied. I remarked, ”You are at a tender age, it is not an obligation that you are required to fulfil.” He said , ”I have witnessed death approach people younger than me and therefore would like to prepare if death was to knock on my door.”

I astoundingly commented, ”Your steps are small and your destenation far.” He responded, ”My duty is to take the step and it remains the resposibility of Allah to take me to my destenation.” I continued to ask, ”Where is you provision and conveyance (means of transport).” He replied ”My Yakeen is my provision and my feet are my conveyance. ”I explained, ”I am asking you regarding bread and water. ”He replied ”Oh Shaykh if someone invited you to their house, would it be appropriate to take your own food?” I exclaimed, ”No!” ”Similarly, My Lord has invited His servant to His house, it is only the weakness of your Yakeen (certainty) that maked us carry provisions. I despite this. Do you think Allah will let me go to waste? ”Never.” I replied. He then left.

Sometime later I saw him in Makkah. He approached me and inquired, ”Oh Shaykh are you still of weak belief?”

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