‘Abdullah bin Mubaarak (rahimahullah) is a personality whose fame precedes him. He was blessed in the fields of hadeeth, fiqh and striving in the path of Allah Ta‘ala, among other disciplines, and was also among the greatest saints of his time.
A person once asked ‘Abdullah bin Mubaarak (rahimahullah) how did he embark on the path to acquire the knowledge of Deen. He gave the following reply:
I was a youngster who would drink intoxicating substances, and loved music, and would take great enjoyment from indulging in these evil actions. On one occasion, when the apples and other fruit had ripened, I called my friends to an orchard. We ate and drank so much that we became intoxicated and fell asleep. At the very end of the night, just before subah saadiq (the break of dawn), I awoke. I picked up a lute and began to play it while singing the following couplets:
ألم يأن لي منك أن ترحما ونعصي العواذل واللوما
Is it not time that you had mercy on me, and we rebel against those who criticize (us)?
However, I could not get the tune to sound the way I wanted. So, I continued to play it, over and over, while repeating the couplet. To my absolute surprise, the lute began to speak, just as a person speaks, and recited the following verse of the Quraan Majeed:
أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَن تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ
Has the time not come for the believers, that their hearts should become humble before the remembrance of Allah Ta‘ala. (Surah Hadeed v16)
When I heard this, I exclaimed, “Definitely (it is time for me to repent), O my Rabb!” I then broke the lute and spilled the wine, and Allah Ta‘ala blessed me, through His grace, to make true taubah. It was then that I began to acquire the knowledge of Deen and exert myself in ‘ibaadah.
(Tarteebul Madaarik vol. 3 pg. 43)
1. No matter how deeply we may be drowning in sin, there is always hope for us to change our lives. No person is a ‘write off’. Hence, we should always turn to Allah Ta‘ala and beg Him to forgive us and assist us to change our lives.
2. When Allah Ta‘ala instils the feeling of remorse and the urge to repent and reform in a person’s heart, it is a special gift from Allah Ta‘ala that should be valued and treasured. If one disregards this bounty and ignores it, it is possible that Allah Ta‘ala will not inspire him in this manner again.