Category Archives: Stories

Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi and the Thieves

One night Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi went walking among his subjects after taking off his royal clothes and putting on ordinary clothes. He chanced to come upon a group of thieves who were consulting amongst themselves. On seeing him they asked: “Who are you?”

The King (Sultan) replied: “I am also one like yourselves.” They understood that to mean that he was also a thief like themselves and allowed him to join their company. They then continued the conversation amongst themselves and it was decided that each one of them should explain what speciality or skill he possesses so that at the time of need a task could be put before him to show that special skill.

One of the thieves said: “Friends, I have a special gift in my ears, that whenever a dog barks, I fully understand what he says.”

The second one said: “I have a special gift in my eyes, that whatever I see in the darkness of night, I am able to recognize it in the light of day.”

The third one said: “I have this speciality in my arms that through the strength that lies in my arms, I can make a hole in the strongest wall, to enter a house.”

The fourth one said: “I have this special gift in my nose that by smelling the sand on the ground I am able to ascertain whether there is any treasure buried underneath it or not. It is just like in the case of Majnoon, who without being told, merely by smelling the ground, got to know where Layla was buried.”

The fifth one said: “I have such strength in my hands that no matter how high a building is, I can climb along its wall with my rope ladder and easily enter the building in this manner.”

Thereafter they all asked the King: “O man, what special gift do you possess which we can make use of in our thieving activities?”

The King replied: “I have this speciality in my beard that when criminals are handed over to their executioner, I merely shake my beard and such criminals are immediately set free.” (In other words, if as a show of mercy I shake my beard, the criminals found guilty of murder, are set free).

On hearing this the thieves said: “O dear Qutub, on the day of difficulty, you will be our one means of salvation.” (In other words, if we are arrested, then through you blessings we will be saved. Now we do not have to fear, because the rest of us had the special gift which would help us in our thieving exploits, but none of us had the means of granting safety from punishment. This speciality lies only with you. Now we need not have any fear of punishment. Now we can get on with our work).

They all went in the direction of the palace of Shah Mahmood with the King in their midst. Along the way a dog barked and the one who understood the dog’s language translated: “The King is also in you midst.” Although they heard it, no one paid any attention to this information, as their greed was uppermost in their minds. One of them smelled the ground and explained that this is the Royal Palace . There is a treasure in this place. The other one threw a rope ladder against the wall. The other one made a hole in the wall and they all entered to burgle. Afterwards they divided the loot amongst themselves and hastily each one of them went to hide his share of the spoils.

The King noted each one’s description and found out where each of them resided. He left them and secretly re-entered the Royal Palace . The following day the King related the entire story to his courtiers and thereafter sent the policemen to arrest them and to inform them of their death sentence.

When they were brought before the Court with hands bound together, they were all trembling in fear before the King’s throne. However, the thief who had this special gift of recognizing anybody during the day whom he had seen during the darkness, was quite at ease. In him together with the signs of fear there were also sights of hope. In other words, although he was struck by awe while standing before the King and although fearing the King’s wrath and revenge, he also had the hope, that the King would be true to his word, that when in mercy he shakes his beard, criminals will be set free. Furthermore he also had the hope of setting free al his companions because the King will surely not turn away from all those whom he knew and recognized.

This person’s face was changing from yellow to red, as within himself the feelings of fear and hope alternated. The Sultan Mahmood in Kingly dignity passed judgment that they all should be handed over to the Executioner to be hung on the gallows. As the King himself was witness to their crime, there was no need for any other witnesses.

As soon as the King announced his judgement, this person appealed in great humility: “Sire, with you permission, may I say something?” The King permitted him to speak and he said: “O Master, each one of us had exhibited his special gift which helped in this crime. Now it is time that the Kingly speciality should be exhibited according to the promise. I have all the while recognized you. Remember you had promised that in you beard there is this speciality, that if you cause it to move in mercy, the criminal will be saved from punishment. Hence, O King, shake you beard, so that through the blessings of your grace, all of us can be saved from the punishment of our crimes. Our specialities have brought us to the gallows. Now it is only you special gift that is left which can save us from being punished of our crimes. Our specialities have brought us to the gallows. Now it is only you special gift that is left which can save us from being punished. Now is the time for the exhibition of your speciality. Kindly shake your beard. Because of fear our lives have reached right up to our mouths. Please save us with the special gift that lies in your beard.”

Sultan Mahmood smiled at the plea and became filled with mercy and grace as he heard their pitiful admission of guilt. He said: “Each one of you have exhibited his special quality to such an extent that it has brought you to the brim of destruction, except in the case of this one. He recognized me as the Sultan. He saw me in the darkness of the night and recognized me as the Sultan. Hence for his having recognized me, I set all of you free. I feel ashamed at those eyes which recognized me not to shake my beard and thereby exhibit my special quality.”

Lessons

The first lesson contained is this story is that while a person is committing a crime the true King of Kings is with him, and is fully aware of all that he does. “And He is with you wherever you are.” When a person commits any disobedience to Allah he is actually committing treachery against Him. Anyone who fails in his duty to Allah or in the rights which are due to me, is like a thief committing the theft of Allah’s treasures. For this reason, one should always bear in mind that the Master is the witness, seeing us at all times, and is aware of all that we do. If we commit any disobedience or iniquity, it means that in His very presence His treasury is being looted and robbed.
Think for a moment! Whom are you robbing? That King and Master tells you: “I am seeing what you do. I am with you. My laws have been revealed to you. Today your breaking that law. Today, in this world I will hide your fault, hoping that perhaps you will come upon the right road. But if you do not come to your senses, then tomorrow on the day of Qiyamat when you will be brought before Me, with hands bound together, then who will be able to save you from My anger and revenge?”

The second lesson from this story is that Allah will punish sinners in the hereafter although He may initially overlook them in this world. We see that at the time the thieves were looting the Royal treasury, the Sultan witnessed the entire incident. He was with them and allowed them to proceed without being punished. However in the end, he had them arrested. If, at all times, this thought is uppermost in our minds that Allah sees all our deeds then there will surely be fear in the heart against committing sins.

The third lesson from this story is this that on the day of Qiyamat no special quality will be of any benefit. All those deeds which contravene the laws of Allah will on the day of Qiyamat be bound around man’s neck even though, in this world, they were considered as being special qualities. The thieves mentioned those special gifts and qualities as if the were qualities of virtue, but in reality those very qualities were the cause of their destruction:
“Each one of them exhibited their special quality,
But all their qualities only caused their misfortune to increase.”
Any special quality which does not bring a person nearer to his Creator, and which does not connect the heart to Allah, and which is not a medium towards the remembrance of Allah is no quality of virtue. In fact it is a cure and a misfortune. All the powers and attributes of man which are used in rebellion against Allah and towards disobedience and negligence, will one day cause him to be brought before Allah as a criminal. All those nations who have made great progress and through scientific inventions have made this world subservient to them, but turn away from Allah, passing their lives in disobedience, will realize on the day of Qiyamat, whether the speciality of scientific progress had been the cause of receiving Allah’s grace or His anger.
“Blessed be to you the subjugation of the sun and moon,
But if there is no light in the heart there is no light anywhere.”

The fourth lesson from this story is that no special quality will be of benefit except that which leads towards recognizing Allah, just like the person who having seen the Sultan, recognized him and through this special quality, he not only saved himself but was also able to intercede on behalf of this companions. As for his other companions, their special quality became a means towards earning Allah’s punishment.
“Only the sight of the fortunate one was of any use
Who recognized the Sultan during darkness of night.”
The lesson derived is that this world is like a place of darkness. In the darkness of this world, every servant of Allah who follows the Divine Laws of Shariat and through its blessings recognizes Allah, will be provided with salvation against the punishment on hell-fire, on the day of Qiyamat. This recognition will also be a means towards intercession on behalf of other criminals, from among the sinners of the people of faith. However, there should not be any pride and over confidence in this recognition. In fact, one should alternate between fear and hope and in utmost humility beg for this intercession. Then Allah will accept this intercession from whomever He wishes according to His Mercy . For those whom He will not accept this intercession, He will in perfect justice exhibit His overwhelming vengeance. Hence, fortunate indeed is the person who, in the world, created within himself the knowledge of recognizing Allah. The Aarifeen (True knowers of Allah) who through their spiritual efforts and exercises recognize Allah with their souls, will tomorrow on the day of Qiyamat see Allah and attain salvation. Furthermore their intercession on behalf of other sinners will also be accepted. But the disbelievers and criminals will through their special qualities be admitted into hell-fire. On that day these poor starving ones with pale faces, patched coarse clothing, who today are being ridiculed and jeered at, will feast their eyes upon the countenance of Allah. On that day, the criminals will envy them:
“Would that we had lived like them in the world and acquired their qualities.
Would that we had recognized Allah properly!”

The fifth lesson is this that the story also illustrates the high position these righteous and saintly ones have as far as their humanity is concerned. What a pity that nations and people, just like those thieves, spend their short span of worldly lives looking upon means of delight and comfort as special gift and accomplishment, and look upon material progress as being actual progress. Whereas on the other hand, they have adopted uncouth habits like urinating while standing and cleansing themselves with paper after defecating. They also consider it normal to take a bath sitting in a tub and allow the water, which had become dirtied through being in contact with the anus to be drawn into their mouth and nose. They consider those actions as the norms of society. Can such people ever be considered to be cultured and people of progress? What a pity it is that the beloved cultural ways of Muslims should be cast aside and that such despicable ways of these people should be adopted.

Source: Khanqah

Allah is the Provider

Shaykh Sa’eed ibn Musfir narrates the following account:

I was walking out of the Haram (the Ka’bah in Makkah) when I saw a man begging from everyone that passed by him.

Just then a man who had parked his tinted Mercedes excessively close to the Haram in a designated VIP parking walked passed the beggar on his way to his car. As he pulled the keys out and the alarm did the ‘whup whup’, the beggar raised his finger to the sky and said, “Please, for the sake of Allah!”

Trying to end the moment and avoid a dip into the pocket, the Mercedes man said back, “Allah will provide!”

The beggar replied: “What! Did you at any moment think that I thought YOU were my provider! I’m not asking for your provision, I KNOW Allah will provide for me.”

Shaykh Misfir continues. The two stood there staring at one another for a moment and then the Mercedes tinted windows came up and the man drove away.

A needy African sister who was sitting nearby on the street selling textiles was moved by the incident. She did not have much, but from what she did have, she pulled out 1 riyal and placed it in the hands of that beggar.

He smiled and went on his way.

Meanwhile the Mercedes man could not drive on with the choke of guilt.

He turned the car around and made his way through the crowd to the place where the incident had happened.

Shaykh Misfir says…I saw with my own eyes as he pulled out a 10 riyal bill from his briefcase to give to the beggar. But he looked left and right and could not find him. What was he to do? He had already pulled out the bill to give for the sake of Allah and was not going to put it back. So he found the nearest person he thought was worthy of the bill, placed it in her lap and went on his way.

The 10 riyals sat in the lap of the sister that had given the beggar!

Hazrat Abu Hurairah reported that Rasulullah has said that Allah’s injunction is:

“O my servants ! Spend and you will be given.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas reported that Rasulullah has said that “Charity does not diminish wealth.” [Tibrani]

(Source: Al-Islaah publications)

Can You Sleep when the Wind Blows?

Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received A steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer.

“Are you a good farm hand?” the farmer asked him.

“Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,” answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!”

The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, “No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.”

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down.

Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

When you’re prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm.

We secure ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of Allah. We don’t need to understand, we just need to hold on to His commands in order to have peace in the middle of storms.

Human Kindness in Islam

Nasiruddin was the slave of a king, and very fond of hunting. One day he came across a very pretty baby deer and picked it up and rode away. The mother deer saw Nasiruddin take her baby and followed him anxiously. Nasiruddin, pleased with the baby dear, was thinking about presenting it to his children to play with. After a time, he chanced to look back and saw the mother deer following him, her expression full of grief. He noticed too that she did not seem to care about her own safety. Moved to pity, Nasiruddin set the baby deer free. The mother deer nuzzled and licked her baby fondly and the two deer leapt happily away into the forest. But many times the mother deer looked back at Nasiruddin, as if to express her thanks.

That night Nasiruddin dreamt that the revered Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was addressing him: ‘Nasiruddin, your name has been entered in the list of Allah, and you will one day have a kingdom. But remember that when you are king you will also have many responsibilities. Just as you have shown mercy to the deer today, you should be merciful to all Allah’s creatures. You should not forget your people by falling into a life of luxury.’

This dream came true and Nasiruddin did become king, Amir Nasiruddin Subaktagin, father of Sultan Muhammad.

The moral of the story is that if we wish Allah to be merciful to us, we must be eager to show mercy to all the living creatures of the earth.

When a flower blooms, its colour and scent first touch the garden near it, and then spread. In the same way, a Muslim’s acts of human kindness should first touch those nearest to him, his family and his neighbours.

Source: Muslim Manners by Iqbal Ahmad Azami

A Unique take on Forgiveness

One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick.

Suddenly, my daughter, spoke up from her relaxed position in her seat. “Dad, I’m thinking of something.”

This announcement usually meant she had been pondering some fact for a while, and was now ready to expound all that her six-year-old mind had discovered. I was eager to hear. What are you thinking?” I asked.

“The rain,” she began, “is like sin, and the windshield wipers are like Allah wiping our sins away.”

After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond. “That’s really good,” Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this little girl take this revelation? So I asked…
 “Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming? What does that tell you?”

She didn’t hesitate one moment with her answer: “We keep on sinning, and Allah just keeps on forgiving us.”

I will always remember this whenever I turn my wipers on.
Source: Muftisays.com

Helping an Old Man

It was a bitter, cold evening. The old man’s beard was glazed by winter’s frost while he waited for a ride across the river. The wait seemed endless. His body became numb and stiff from the frigid north wind. He heard the faint, steady rhythm of approaching hooves galloping along the frozen path.

Anxiously, he watched as several horsemen rounded the bend. He let the first one pass by without an effort to get his attention. Then another passed by? and another. Finally, the last rider neared the spot where the old man sat like a snow statue.

As this one drew near, the old man caught the rider’s eye and said, “Sir, would you mind giving an old man a ride to the other side? There doesn’t appear to be a passageway by foot.”

Reining his horse, the rider replied, “Sure thing. Hop aboard.”

Seeing the old man was unable to lift his half-frozen body from the ground, the horseman dismounted and helped the old man onto the horse. The horseman took the old man not just across the river, but to his destination, which was just a few miles away.

As they neared the tiny but cozy cottage, the horseman’s curiosity caused him to inquire, “Sir, I notice that you let several other riders pass by without making an effort to secure a ride. Then I came up and you immediately asked me for a ride. I’m curious why, on such a bitter winter night; you would wait and ask the last rider. What if I had refused and left you there?”

The old man lowered himself slowly down from the horse, looked the rider straight in the eyes, and replied, “I’ve been around here for some time. I reckon I know people pretty good.”

The old-timer continued, “I looked into the eyes of the other riders and immediately saw there was no concern for my situation. It would have been useless even to ask them for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, kindness and compassion were evident. I knew, then and there, that your gentle spirit would welcome the opportunity to give me assistance in my time of need.”

Those heartwarming comments touched the horseman deeply.

“I’m most grateful for what you have said,” he told the old man. “May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion.”

Ya Allah, Make me among those about whom the Holy Quran has said: “And they give them preference over their own selves even though they are in need”. (Hashr 59:9)

Ameen

Source: qisas website

Put the Glass Down

A professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see and asked the students, ‘How much do you think this glass weighs?’

’50 gms!’…. ‘100 gms!’…… ‘125 gms’ …… the students answered.

‘I really don’t know unless I weigh it,’ said the professor, ‘but, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?’

‘Nothing’ the students said.

‘Ok! What would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?’ the professor asked.

‘Your arm would begin to ache’, said one of the students.

‘You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?’

‘Your arm could go numb, you might have severe muscle stress and paralysis and have to go to hospital for sure!’ ventured another student; and all the students laughed.

‘Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?’ asked the professor.

‘No’

‘Then what caused the arm ache and the muscle stress?’ The students were puzzled.

‘Put the glass down!’ said one of the students.

‘Exactly!’ said the professor. ‘Life’s problems are something like this. Hold it for a few minutes in your head and they seem okay. Think of them for a long time and they begin to ache. Hold it even longer and they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything’.

‘It’s important to think of the challenges (problems) in your life, but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT is to have trust in Allah (swt) and to ‘put them down’ at the end of every day before you go to sleep. That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh and strong and can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way!’

So, as it becomes time for you to leave office today, Remember friend to ‘PUT THE GLASS DOWN TODAY’ and have tranquility by putting trust in Almighty Allah (swt).

Holy Quran: “He it is who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers that they might have more faith added to their faith”. (48:4) Tranquility is sign of strong faith while worries and stress is sign of weak faith.

Tell to your mind every day before you go to sleep: “YAA AYYATUHAN NAFSUL MUTMAINNAH, IRJI’II ILAA RABBIKI RADHIYATAN MARDHIYYAH, FADKHULII FII IBAADII WADKHULII JANNATII”. (Al-Fajr 89:27-30)

“O soul that is at rest satisfied. Return to your Lord well-pleased (with Him), well-pleasing (Him). So, enter among My servants, and enter into my Paradise”.

The Bitter Harvest

by Muhammad Al-Shareef

I was a teacher in the Qur’anic study circle at our neighborhood Masjid at the time. I would see this young boy after Maghrib prayers, you might say he was about fifteen years old. He held a pocket Qur’an and sat alone reading from it – no, he wasn’t actually reading from it, he was just trying to make it seem as if he was. Now and again, he would shyly steal a few glances at us, curious to know what we were doing. Once in awhile, you might see him straining to make out what we were talking about.

Every time I caught his eye, he would avert his head and continue with his recitation, as if he had not intended to look this way.

Day after day, he sat in the same reserved manner, revealing the same timid glance. Finally after Isha Salah one day, I resolved to confront him.

“As Salamu ‘Alaykum, my name is Salman, I teach the Qur’anic study circle in this Masjid.”

‘And my name is Khalid.’

Strange, he replied so fast, as if he had been waiting to share this piece of information for such a long time and expected to be asked.

“Where do you study Khalid?”

‘In the Eighth grade…and I…I love the Qur’an a lot.’

Strange indeed, why did he add that last sentence?

Confidently, I asked him, “Listen Khalid, have you got any free time after Maghrib? We would be honored to have you join us in the class.”

‘What? The Qur’an? The Halaqah? Yes…why, yes of course (happiness overcame him). I’ll be there, Insha’Allah.’

That night, I couldn’t think of anything other than this young boy and the haze that surrounded his behavior. Sleep would just not come.

I attempted to interpret an answer for what I saw and heard, but there was none. A verse of poetry came to mind: ‘the coming days shall unravel the mystery / and the news may appear from where you could never see.’

I turned on my right side and slipped my right hand under my cheek. O Allah, I have surrendered myself to You and to You I turn over my affairs.

*** Subhan Allah, how the calendar was jogging by. Khalid was now a regular in our Qur’anic circle, energetic and successful in memorization. He was friends with everyone and everyone was friends with him. You could never catch him without a Qur’an in his hand, or find him in any other line in Salah other than the first. There was nothing wrong with him except for his occasional long lapses of attention. There were times when his stoned eyes would reflect the fathomless thought going on in his mind. Sometimes we knew his body was with us, but his soul was somewhere else, suffocating in another world. Occasionally, I would startle him. All he had was a mumble to reply with, he would have been the first to admit its fabrication.

One night, I walked with him after class to the beach shore. Maybe his big secret might meet something equally large, relax somewhat, and release its distress and pain.

We arrived at the beach and traced the waves. The full moon was out.

A strange sight. The darkness of the night found the darkness of the sea, with a lit moon in-between them.

It sat somewhat embarrassed at its intrusion, similar to my shyness towards Khalid right then.

The rays of the silent moon rested on the silent waves of the sea. I stood behind the silent boy. The scene was silence.

Just then! It all shattered and crushed to the ground as the young boy fell to the bottom, bleeding his heart with tears. I chose not to interrupt Khalid’s emotional release, perhaps the saltiness of his tears might help him relax and cleanse his distress.

After a few moments he said from behind his tears, ‘I love you all…I love the Qur’an…and those who love it. I love pious brothers, moral, pure brothers.’

‘But…my father…it’s my father.’

“Your father? What is wrong with your father Khalid?”

‘My father always warned me not to hang around with you people. He’s afraid. He hates you all. And he always tries to convince me that I should hate you too. At any chance he gets, he’ll try to prove his point with stories and tales.’

‘But…when I saw you people in the Halaqah reciting Qur’an, I saw something entirely different. I saw the light in your faces, the light in your clothes, the light in your words, even when you were silent I could see the light even then.’

‘I doubted my father’s tales and that’s why I would sit after Maghrib, watching you, pretending that I was part of the circle, trying to share in the light.’

‘I…I remember Ustadh Salman…I remember the time you approached me after ‘Isha prayer. I’d been waiting for that moment for such a long time. When I began the classes, my soul locked itself into a world of purity with your souls. I began the circle and was persistent. I wouldn’t sleep, my days and nights became Qur’an. My father noticed the change in my routine. He found out, one way or another, that I had joined the circle and that I was now hanging out with “terrorists.”

‘Then, on a dark night…

‘We were waiting for father to come home from the coffee shop, his daily ritual, so that we could all have dinner together.’

‘He entered the house with his hardened face and slaps of anger.’

‘We all sat together at the dinner mat. Silence settled on the gathering as usual, all of us were afraid to speak in his presence.’

‘He knifed the silence with his roaring and immediate voice. “I heard you’ re hanging out with the fundamentalists.”

‘I was caught red. My tongue looped and failed. All the words in my mouth attempted to come out at the same time. But, he didn’t wait for the answer…

‘He snatched the teakettle and threw it maliciously at my face.’

‘The room spun and the colors united before my eyes. I stopped distinguishing the ceiling from the walls from the floor, and fell.’

‘My mother held me.’

‘A damp cloth on my forehead reminded me of where I was. The vicious voice turned on my mother, “Leave him alone, or you’ll be in the same lot.”

‘I crawled out of my mother’s lap and whimpered away to my room. He followed me down the corridor with the cruelest curses.’

‘There was not a day that he didn’t beat me in some way. Curses, kicks, throwing whatever was nearest to his hand. My body had finally become a shiver of fear, grotesque colors formed all over. I hated him.’

‘One day while we were sitting at the dinner mat, he said, “Get up, don’t eat with us.”

‘Before I could get up though, he pounced immediately and kicked me in the back, making me slam into the pots.’

‘At that moment, lying there on there on the ground, I pretended to stand taller than him and shout back in his face…’

‘One day, I’ll pay you back. I’ll beat you just like you beat me, and curse you just like you cursed me.’

‘I’ll grow up and become strong. And you’ll get old and become feeble.’

‘And then…I’ll treat you just like you treated me. I’ll pay you back.’

‘After that, I left home and ran away. I just ran, anywhere, it didn’t matter anymore.’

‘I found my way to this beach. It helped me wash away some of the sadness. I held my pocket Qur’an and began reciting until I could continue no longer because of my excessive crying.’

And here, a few of those innocent tears descended again, tears that sparkled under the moon like pearls under a lamp. I couldn’t say anything, the surprise had arrested my tongue. Should I be aghast at this beast of a father, whose heart knew nothing about mercy? Or, should I be amazed at this patient young lad, whom Allah had wished guidance for and inspired with faith. Or, should I be shocked at them both, at the father-son bond that had broken, causing their relationship to transform into that of a lion and a tiger, or a wolf and a fox.

I held his warm hand and wiped away a tear from his cheek. I reassured him, prayed for him, and advised him to remain obedient to his father. I told him to remain patient and that he was not alone. I promised that I would meet his father, speak to him, and try to evoke his mercy.

*** That incident slipped further away with each passing day. I tried thinking of ways to open Khalid’s case with his father. How should I speak to him? How was I going to be convincing? To be frank, how was I even going to knock on his door? Then finally, I collected my courage, rehearsed my plan, and resolved that the confrontation…uh, meeting…would be that day at five o’clock.

When the time arrived, I left for Khalid’s house with all my ideas and questions for his father dangling from my pockets.

I rang the doorbell. My fingers trembled and my knees were melting. The door opened. There it was, standing in the shadow with it’s frowned lips and veins beating with anger.

I tried beginning with a candid smile. Maybe it might smooth out some of the wrinkles before we even started.

He snatched my collar and jerked me towards him. ‘You’re that fundamentalist that teaches Khalid at the Masjid, aren’t you?’

“Well…uh…yes.”

‘God help me, if I ever see you walking with him again, I’ll break your legs. Khalid won’t be coming to your class anymore.’

And then, he mustered all the saliva in his mouth and spit on my face. The door slammed behind it.

Slowly, I unfolded a tissue that was in my pocket, wiped what he had honored me with, and retreated down the stairs consoling myself. Allah’s Messenger – sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam – suffered more than this. They called him a liar, cursed him, stoned him with rocks and caused his feet to bleed. They broke his teeth and placed dung on his back and expelled him from his house.

*** Day after day. Month after month. No sign of Khalid. His father forbade him from leaving the house, even for the congregational prayer. He even forbade us from seeing or meeting him. We prayed for Khalid…Until we forgot about him. Years passed away. One night, after the ‘Isha’ prayer, a shadow walked behind me in the Masjid and rested a familiar harsh hand on my shoulder. The same hand that held me years ago. The same face, the same wrinkles and the same mouth that honored me with what I was not deserving of.

But … something had changed. The savage face had shattered. The angry veins had subsided, belittled and still. The body looked tired of all the pain and conflict, weakened by sadness and grief.

“How are you?” I kissed his forehead and welcomed him. We took a corner of the Masjid. He collapsed on my lap sobbing.

Subhan Allah, I never thought that that lion would one day become a kitten.

Speak up. What’s wrong? How is Khalid?

‘Khalid!’ The name was like a dagger piercing his heart, twisting inside, and breaking off. His head slumped.

‘Khalid is no longer the same boy that you used to know. Khalid is no longer the generous, calm and humble young lad.

‘After he left your circle he befriended a pack of evil boys, ever since he was little he loved to socialize. They caught him at that time of life when a youth wants to leave the house. Vanity, jokes.’

‘He began with cigarettes. I cursed him, beat him. But there was no use, his body had grown accustomed to the beatings, his ears were used to the curses.’

‘He grew quickly. He started staying up with them all night, not coming home until dawn. His school expelled him.’

‘Some nights he would come home to us speaking abnormally, his face loose, his tongue confused, his hands shivering.’

‘That body, which used to be strong, full, and tender, passed away. What remained was a feeble worn frame. That pure frosty face of his transformed. It became dark and filthy. The scum of misguidance and sin clung to it.’

‘Those shy and simple eyes of his changed. They shot red like fire as if everything he drank or took showed immediately in his eyes like some sort of punishment, in this life before the next.’

‘Hostility and disrespect replaced that shyness and cowardice he once knew. Gone was that soft, respectful young heart. In it’s place grew a hardened center, like a rock, if not harder.’

‘Seldom a day would pass without incident. He would either curse, kick, or hit me. Imagine it, my own son. I’m his father, yet he still hits me.’

After releasing all that, his eyes returned wet and bitter. But, he added quickly, ‘I beg you Salman, visit Khalid. Take him with you, you have my blessing, the door is open.’

‘Pass by him sometime. He loves you. Register him in the Qur’anic study circle. He could go with you on field trips. I have no objection. In fact, I am even willing to allow him to live in your homes and sleep over.’

‘The important thing, Salman…the important thing is that Khalid returns to the way he was.’

‘I beg you lad, I’ll kiss your hands, warm your feet, I beg you and beg you…’

He collapsed, crying and wheezing, into the memories of the grief and pain. I allowed him to complete everything he had to say.

Then I addressed him…

“Despite what has passed, let me try. Brother, you planted this seed. And this is your harvest.”

The Price of Imaan

Several years ago an Imaam moved to London. He often took the bus from his home to the town area. Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the same bus.

When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him twenty pence too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, you better give the twenty pence back. It would be wrong to keep it. Then he thought, oh forget it, it’s only twenty pence. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company already gets too much fare; they will never miss it.  Accept it as a gift from Almighty Allah and keep quiet.

When his stop came, the Imaam paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the twenty pence back to the driver and said “Here, you gave me too much change.”

The driver with a smile replied “Aren’t you the new Imaam in this area? I have been thinking lately about going to worship at your mosque. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change.”

When the Imaam stepped off the bus, his knees became weak and soft. He had to grab the nearest light pole and held for support, and looked up to the heavens and cried “Oh Allah, I almost sold Islam for twenty pence!”

Remember, we may never see the impact our actions have on people. Sometimes we are the only knowledge of Quran someone will read, or the only Islam a non-Muslim will see.

What we need to provide, Insha Allah is an example for others to see. Be careful and be honest everyday, because you never know who is watching your actions and judging you as a Muslim.

The Student in the Masjid

Qari Muhammad Qayyam (may the mercy of Allah be upon him) related that a great deal of fighting and bloodshed had started prior to theIndo-Pakistan partition of 1947. He said that a very beautiful daughter of a very rich man in a certain community stepped out of her house to visit her aunt, who lived no more than a few streets away. Suddenly a riot erupted as she had gone halfway and she found herself trapped withapparently nowhere to go. She saw a Masjid nearby and quickly wentinside, sitting in the women’s section. The rioting continued late into the night and this girl did not know what to do.

The custodian of the Masjid was a very young student there and late at night when he walked through the Masjid before locking up he noticed this beautiful young lady. He was a respectful young man who feared Allah and so politely asked her to leave, saying that if she was found there then both would be dishonored and thrown out. She pleaded with him because of the extreme danger outside and so he agreed that she could spend the night, and sat down to study at the opposite end of the masjid.

The girl was unable to sleep with the events of the day in her mind and so watched the young man sitting studying by candle light at the opposite end of the masjid. She kept watching him and was very surprised at something she saw. From time to time this young man would extend his hand and keep it over the open flame, only withdrawing it when the flame obviously became unbearable. He then would resume his studies and continued this throughout the night until the dawn broke.

The young man called the Adhan and asked the girl to leave before the congregation started coming to pray since now everything was calm outside. She agreed on the condition that he tell her why he was placing his hand on the candle flame throughout the night. The young man said that that was his own business and so the girl refused toleave until he told her what she wanted to know. The young man gave in and said, “I am at the age of youth and strong desire. We were alone and my desire was increasing, and although I was studying the Devil (Shaitan) would occasionally put temptation in my heart. Hence wheneverI would feel any temptation I would put my hand on the flame and my fingers would burn. I would say to myself that this flame is nothing compared to the fire of Hell.”

The girl left the Masjid and reached home, calming her parents’ fears as to what had happened to her. She also confided in her mother that she wanted to marry the custodian of the Masjid near their house. She related the night’s events to her parents and said that only such a man with true fear of Allah in his heart can be true to his wife. Only such a man who truly fears Allah can fulfill a wife’s rights properly.

Hence the poor custodian of the Masjid earned the daughter of a rich household in marriage. He received this honor not because of his looks but because of his character. Everything disintegrates and turns to dust but character remains strong. Honor is not bestowed because of handsome clothes or beautiful jewelry but because of what is in the heart. Knowledge is only beneficial when it is captured within the heart, and not merely written in books.

Source: Muftisays.com