بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Yes, I know. You’re struggling to remember what this series is all about. It’s about the man who murdered 99 people.]
In the last part, I mentioned the importance of having good friends. Here’s one more hadeeth on the importance of being around righteous people:
إن لله ملائكة يطوفون في الطرق يلتمسون أهل الذكر ، فإذا وجدوا قوما يذكرون الله تنادوا : هلموا إلى حاجتكم . قال : فيحفونهم بأجنحتهم إلى السماء الدنيا ، قال : فيسألهم ربهم ، وهو أعلم منهم ، ما يقول عبادي ؟ قال : تقول : يسبحونك ويكبرونك ويحمدونك ويمجدونك ، قال : فيقول : هل رأوني ؟ قال : فيقولون : لا والله ما رأوك ، قال : فيقول : وكيف لو رأوني ؟ قال : يقولون : لو رأوك كانوا أشد لك عبادة ، وأشد لك تمجيدا وأكثر لك تسبيحا ، قال : يقول : فما يسألونني ؟ قال : يسألونك الجنة ، قال : يقول : وهل رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لا والله يا رب ما رأوها ، قال : يقول : فكيف لو أنهم رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لو أنهم رأوها كانوا أشد عليها حرصا ، وأشد لها طلبا ، وأعظم فيها رغبة ، قال : فمم يتعوذون ؟ قال : يقولون : من النار ، قال : يقول : وهل رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لا والله يا رب ما رأوها ، قال : يقول : فكيف لو رأوها ؟ قال : يقولون : لو رأوها كانوا أشد منها فرارا ، وأشد لها مخافة ، قال : فيقول : فأشهدكم أني قد غفرت لهم . قال : يقول ملك من الملائكة : فيهم فلان ليس منهم ، إنما جاء لحاجة . قال : هم الجلساء لا يشقى بهم جليسهم
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah ‘s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Allah has some angels who look for those who celebrate the Praises of Allah on the roads and paths. And when they find some people celebrating the Praises of Allah, they call each other, saying, “Come to the object of your pursuit.’ ” He added, “Then the angels encircle them with their wings up to the sky of the world.” He added. “(after those people celebrated the Praises of Allah, and the angels go back), their Lord, asks them (those angels)… though He knows better than them… ‘What do My slaves say?’ The angels reply, ‘They say: Subhan Allah, Allahu Akbar, and Alhamdulillah.
Allah then says ‘Did they see Me?’ The angels reply, ‘No! By Allah, they didn’t see You.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw Me?’ The angels reply, ‘If they saw You, they would worship You more devoutly and celebrate Your Glory more deeply, and declare Your freedom from any resemblance to anything more often.’ Allah says (to the angels), ‘What do they ask Me for?’ The angels reply, ‘They ask You for Paradise.’ Allah says (to the angels), ‘Did they see it?’ The angels say, ‘No! By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw it?’ The angels say, ‘If they saw it, they would have greater covetousness for it and would seek It with greater zeal and would have greater desire for it.’
Allah says, ‘From what do they seek refuge?’ The angels reply, ‘They seek refuge from the (Hell) Fire.’ Allah says, ‘Did they see it?’ The angels say, ‘No By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.’ Allah says, How it would have been if they saw it?’ The angels say, ‘If they saw it they would flee from it with the extreme fleeing and would have extreme fear from it.’ Then Allah says, ‘I make you witnesses that I have forgiven them.”‘
Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) added, “One of the angels would say, ‘There was so-and-so amongst them, and he was not one of them, but he had just come for some need.’ Allah would say, ‘These are those people whose companions will not be reduced to misery.’ “ [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 417]
One of the things that we all love about Ramadan is that it allows us to make a fresh start.
There’s just one little problem though: who said that we need to wait until Ramadan to make a fresh start?
Our ummah today has so many problems. Many Muslims are immersed in shirk (the worst of the sins), fornication (and its sisters: pornography and masturbation), anger management issues, family problems, riba (interest), backbiting and tale bearing, etc.
I could go on and on.
We all have issues that we need to straighten out. What are we doing about them though? And what are we supposed to do about them?
We all know that we need to make a fresh start (yes, ALL of us) but how?
Well, there’s a great story that tells us the way to go about doing that:
Abu Said al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying: There was a person before you who had killed ninety-nine people and then made an inquiry about the learned persons of the world (who could show him the way to salvation). He was directed to a monk.
He came to him and told him that he had killed ninety-nine people and asked him whether there was any scope for his repentance to be accepted. He said: No. He killed him also and thus completed one hundred.
He then asked about the learned persons of the earth and he was directed to a scholar, and he told him that he had killed one hundred persons and asked him whether there was any scope for his repentance to be accepted. He said: Yes; what stands between you and the repentance? You better go to such and such land; there are people devoted to prayer and worship and you also worship along with them and do not come to the land of yours since it was an evil land (for you).
So he went away and he had hardly covered half the distance when death came to him and there was a dispute between the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment.
The angels of mercy said: This man has come as a penitent and remorseful to Allah and the angels of punishment said: He has done no good at all. Then there came another angel in the form of a human being in order to decide between them. He said: You measure the land to which he has drawn near.
[Allah commanded the earth (from where) he wanted to come out to move itself away and to the other earth (where he wanted to go) to draw nearer.]
They measured it and found him nearer to the land where he intended to go (the land of piety), and so the angels of mercy took possession of it.
Qatada said that Hasan told him that it was said to them that as death approached him, he crawled upon his chest (and managed) to slip in the land of mercy.
[Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6662. The addition in brackets is from Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth no. 6664]
Here are the lessons that I* learnt from this story:
[*Just so you don’t think that this is some sort of scholarly analysis.]
1) We need to realise that what we are doing is wrong and we have to WANT to change for the better.
From what I’ve personally seen from many people, this seems to be the number one factor as to why some people are unable to change: they simply don’t want to.
Yes, they might claim they want to change but when they are brought face to face with their issues, they simply ignore it.
This man (i.e. the murderer) wanted to change and make a fresh start and due to this, it was made easy for him.
So, admitting our faults and wanting to improve is the first (and most difficult) step towards starting a new life.
2) It does not matter what the sin is.
The sin of the man was murder. The only sin worse than that is shirk.
Some people think that their sins are too great to be forgiven or that they have done too many bad things.
That’s absolutely false.
Allah forgives all sins if a person sincerely repents from them.
So, don’t worry about what you have done in the past, rather focus on repenting from your sins.