During the era of Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), the Banu Israaeel once underwent a severe drought. They approached Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) and beseeched, “O Kaleemullah (the one whom Allah Ta‘ala has blessed with the ability of speaking to Him directly)! Make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala, on our behalf, for rain!”
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) thus went to the desert with the Banu Israaeel who numbered seventy thousand or more. Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) then began to make du‘aa saying, “O my Rabb! Send us Your rain! Envelop us in Your mercy! Take pity on us on account of the breastfeeding children, the grazing animals and the old people among us whose backs are bent!” However, despite making this du‘aa, the sky remained clear of clouds and the rays of the sun continued to beat down relentlessly.
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) then made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala saying, “O Allah! If I do not have that level of honour in Your sight, then accept my du‘aa through the honour of the unlettered Nabi, Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), who You will send as a Nabi before the end of the world.”
Allah Ta‘ala replied to Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), “It is not that you do not have high honour in My sight! Rather, you are esteemed in My sight! However, there is in your midst one of my servants who has been at war with me, by committing sins and violating my commands, for forty years. Announce to the people that this person should leave, as it is on account of him that I have withheld the rain from you.”
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) submitted, “O Allah! O my Master! I am a weak servant, and my voice is weak, so how will my announcement reach all the people, whereas they are more than seventy thousand in number?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “You will make the announcement, and I will ensure that they hear it.”
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) thus stood and called out, “O sinful servant who has been at war with Allah Ta‘ala for forty years! Leave us, for it is on your account that we are deprived of rain!” When he heard the announcement, the sinful servant began to stand, but then noticed that nobody else was doing so. He thus realized that he was the guilty person who Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was referring to. It then occurred to him that if he stood and left, he would be disgraced and humiliated before the entire Banu Israaeel. However, if he did not stand and leave, everyone would continue suffering from the drought.
In this state, he remained seated, but lowered his head in sincere remorse and repented for his sins saying, “O my Rabb and Master! I disobeyed You for forty years, yet you granted me respite. Now that I have come to you in obedience, accept me.” He had barely completed his words of repentance when rain began to fall in torrents.
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was surprised and asked Allah Ta‘ala, “O my Rabb and Master! How is it that You have sent us rain, whereas nobody rose and left our gathering?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I sent rain to you on account of the repentance of the same person who caused Me to withhold the rain.”
Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) submitted, “O Allah! Show me who this obedient servant is!” Allah Ta‘ala responded, “O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I did not expose or humiliate him when he was disobedient to Me, so how can I expose him when he is obedient to Me? O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I do not like those who carry tales, so how can I do the same (by causing him to be exposed)?”
(Kitaabut Tawwaabeen – Ibnu Qudaamah pg. 65)
1. It is often on account of our evil deeds and actions that calamities and difficulties befall us. Furthermore, when a calamity falls, it afflicts all the people, not only the sinners. Hence, we should personally repent from our evil ways, and should also have an ardent desire for the reformation of our fellow Muslims, be they our family, friends, community or the Ummah at large.
2. As long as there is life, there is hope. The doors of Allah Ta‘ala’s forgiveness are always open for that person who turns to Him in sincere repentance. Through the power of repentance, a person can erase the sins of a lifetime in mere moments.
3. We should never reveal and expose the sins and faults of people as this is a serious sin. If we conceal the faults of people, Allah Ta‘ala will conceal our faults as well.