The Detainee and The Detained

It is said that a rich man had a slave named Sanqar, who was hard working, honest, feared Allah and abstained from wrongdoing. Always mindful and with a heart full of love for Allah, he was a contrast to his master who was a non-practising Muslim with shaky belief.

Once, at midnight, the master called him aloud to leave his bed, take the luggage and accompany him on a journey. Sanqar made haste, at the first call of his master, left his warm bed, collected the luggage and followed him.

Morning dawned on the way, and they heard the Adhaan from a nearby mosque. Sanqar took his master’s permission to join the prayers, reckoning that he would sit close by and relax. The master told him return as soon as possible.

Sanqar entered the mosque and the master, forgetful of Allah, waited outside. The Salah completed, all the worshippers and the Imam came out and walked away.

Now the master walked to the very door of the Masjid and called upon Sanqar by name, demanding how was it that he had not come out of the Masjid yet, while even the Imam had left. Sanqar replied from within, “O Master, I am trying my best, but they don’t let me out. Just hold on for a while. I know you are waiting outside.”

The master hurried seven times to the entrance of the Masjid, calling Sanqar by name. hearing the same answer every time. His temper flared up, and he shouted indignantly, “Sanqar! All the men and Imam have left long ago, what are you doing alone in the Masjid? Who is detaining you inside the Masjid?”

Sanqar’s voice rang from inside, “O Master, the same one who is preventing you from entering the Masjid is the One keeping me inside.”

(Source: Tales from Rumi)


  • kabiru

    this story of Sangar and his master teaches us on how to use wisdom(hikma) to call people into the way of Allah. But my question here is its permisible for someone to stay away from somebody(non-practicing muslim) because he/she always engaged in some acts that are unislamic?

    • From what I have heard from the Ulama, it is permissable to stay away from them and would be better to keep company with good Muslim friends.

  • Mariam


  • Mariam

    I would rather say you should not completely distance yourself from them rather make dawah to them and help them realise their mistake. and Allah knows best..

  • Sana


    Can someone explain the end… I don’t understand it..

    • The slave say to his master that teh One who prevented you from coming inside (Allah) is keeping him inside (perhaps physically or through the love of Allah and the Masjid in which He is worshipped).
      I hope that makes it a little clearer.

  • Anwar

    I still don’t understand the end.

  • Muhammad

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    An explanation of the above story from Mualana Yunus Patel website:

    The conclusion of this story is this that the ability and guidance towards doing righteous deeds lies in the hands of Allah. This door is not opened through knowledge, planning and use of the intellect, or pride over these things. This is only acquired through Allah’s bounty and Divine Mercy. To acquire it, one has to lower himself before Allah by crying, begging and praying to Him.

    Wassalamu Alaikum

  • abdulhamid bin ahmad

    Dats interesting, masha Allah

  • Zainab

    Allah guides he whom he wills, if he likes he completely suppress your heart to worship him wholeheartedly and if he likes he hardens your heart away from humility in serving him.

    so the story insinuate that, Allah who has keep the boy in serving him inside the mosque is also the one preventing the master to enter the mosque for serving him


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