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Total Transformation

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Ja’far As-Saa-igh (rahimahullah) narrates the following:

Among the neighbours of Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) was a man who was involved in many sins, evils and shameless deeds. One day, this man came to the gathering of Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah) and greeted him with salaam. However, although Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) replied to his salaam, he did not show him attention and receive him with warmth. Rather, he seemed uncomfortable in the presence of this man (as this man was well known to have evil ways and sinful habits).

The man immediately perceived the discomfort of Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) and thus said, “O Abu ‘Abdillah (rahimahullah)! Why are you uncomfortable in my presence? On account of a dream that I saw, I have completely changed and I am no longer the person that you knew me to be.” Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) asked, “What dream did you see?”

The man replied, “I saw Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in my dream. It seemed as though he was on an elevated area while many people were seated below him. One by one, the people stood and asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to make du‘aa for them. As they stood and made their request, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made du‘aa for them, until only I remained. I also wanted to stand and ask Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to make du‘aa for me, but I felt embarrassed and ashamed to do so on account of my evil actions and ways. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then addressed me and asked, “O so-and-so! Why do you not stand and ask me to make du‘aa for you?” I replied, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! It is my shame and embarrassment of my evil deeds that prevents me from doing so.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) responded, “If it is shame and embarrassment that prevents you, then stand and ask me for du‘aa. I will still make du‘aa for you, as you do not speak ill of my Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum).” I thus stood and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made du‘aa for me. When I thereafter awoke, I found that Allah Ta‘ala had instilled within me complete hatred and disgust for all the sins that I was involved in.”

When Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) heard this incident, he addressed us saying, “O Ja’far! O so-and-so! Tell people of this incident and do not forget it, as it is beneficial and inspiring.”

(Kitaabut Tawwaabeen - Ibnu Qudaamah pg. 275)

Lessons:

1. As long as a person is filled with remorse and regret over his sins and evil ways, there is hope for him to repent and gain the proximity of Allah Ta‘ala. However, when a person becomes happy and proud of his sins, and even begins to publicize them on social media, then since the element of remorse is lacking, he will not repent to Allah Ta‘ala.

2. Every person wishes to earn the blessed du‘aa of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). One easy method through which we can all attain this blessing is for us to abundantly recite durood upon Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

3. We do not know which action of ours will gain the acceptance of Allah Ta‘ala and become the means of our salvation. Hence, we should never consider any action too small, nor should we ever take it for granted that our actions are accepted. Rather, we should continuously beg Allah Ta‘ala to accept our broken efforts.

4. Speaking ill of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) is a tremendous crime and sin. Similarly, revering and loving them is a means of gaining the proximity and love of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). 

5. Only Allah Ta‘ala can inspire a person to change his life and can instil the aversion and repulsion for haraam and evil within him. We should thus make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala to grant us the love for righteous deeds and disgust for sinful actions.

6. Stories of people changing their lives and the incidents of the pious are lesson-filled and greatly inspiring. Hence, we should all conduct ta‘leem in our homes on a daily basis so that these stories may inspire us all.