An Uncle from the Unseen

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Yazeed bin Haaroon (rahimahullah) narrates the following incident:

I once went to Asbagh bin Yazeed Al-Warraaq (rahimahullah) to learn a few ahaadeeth of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). When I arrived, I found him extremely sorrowful and grieved and so I asked him, “May Allah Ta‘ala have mercy on you! What has grieved you?” Asbagh (rahimahullah), however, did not reply and instead said to me, “If you wish to record ahaadeeth then do so, otherwise return home.” I therefore wrote the ahaadeeth he taught me and left. When I went to Asbagh (rahimahullah) on the second day, I found that his grief and sorrow had somehow intensified and worsened. Concerned for his welfare, I again asked him what the matter was. My enquiry was to no avail as he again brushed my question aside in the same manner. Once again, I wrote the ahaadeeth he taught me and proceeded home.

When I went to Asbagh (rahimahullah) on the third day, I found him delighted and cheerful. I said to him, “I see that you are happy today – alhamdulillah – whereas you were grieved and sorrowful yesterday. What was the matter?” Asbagh (rahimahullah) replied, “If you had not been asking me the same question for the past two days, I would never have today told you what had transpired. I, together with my household, had spent three days without a morsel of food to eat. Today, my small daughter came to me in desperation complaining, ‘Father! The hunger!’ Not having any other recourse, I made wudhu and performed two rakaats of salaah. I thereafter raised my hands to make du‘aa, but found that I had suddenly forgotten the beautiful words of du‘aa I would normally utter. Completely at a loss, I begged Allah Ta‘ala saying ‘O Allah! If you have deprived me of sustenance then do not deprive me of making du‘aa.” As soon as I made this du‘aa, Allah Ta‘ala inspired me to beg Him in the following words,

‘O Allah! All voices are lowered for You. All thoughts are lost in You. Everything is constrained besides You. Everything flees from You towards You. Every believer relies on You (with firm faith and conviction). You are the Most High in Your splendour, the Most Magnificent in Your beauty and the Most Supreme in Your power. O that Being Who even in His loftiness is near, yet in His proximity lofty, and All Powerful in His kingdom, send salutations upon Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and his family (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). O Allah! Bless me with sustenance from Yourself and neither make it such that I owe a person a favour for it, nor that I am made to account for it in the Hereafter. I beg You in Your mercy, O Most Merciful.’

When I had concluded this du‘aa, I returned home and found my big daughter waiting for me. She said to me, ‘Father! Uncle had just brought this purse of coins. He also brought a camel with flour and a porter carrying an array of everything the market has to offer. Before he left, he instructed us saying, ‘Convey salaams to my brother and tell him to make the same du‘aa whenever he is in need, his du‘aa will be accepted.’”

Asbagh (rahimahullah) then went on to exclaim, “By the oath of Allah! Neither did I ever have a brother nor do I know who this person was. He was from Allah Ta‘ala Who has power over everything.” (Kitaabul Mustagheetheena billahi Ta‘ala - Ibnu Bashkuwaal, pg. 43)

Lessons:                 

1. For a believer, there is no such thing as not having any recourse. Wherever he may be and in whatever situation he may be, he always has wudhu, two rakaats salaah and his begging bowl to draw from the treasures of Allah Ta‘ala. 

2. Allah Ta‘ala instilled emotions and feelings in human beings. Due to circumstances, it is possible for a person to feel anxious and distressed due to which he may even speak in an abrupt manner or treat us without the warmth and affection we are used to receiving. A person behaving in this way should be given the benefit of the doubt as it may be that he is undergoing a crisis we are unaware of. Instead of getting upset and hurt, we should be understanding and supportive.     

3. A person without luggage can comfortably sail through the “nothing to declare” section in the custom’s terminal. By ensuring that all our sustenance is earned in a 100% halaal manner, we will sail through the questioning in the Hereafter with nothing to declare. It’s far cheaper to pay for it here than in the Hereafter.

4. If a person is content to live with some difficulties but his family and those with him are unable to bear the same difficulties, he should be considerate and mindful of their state and try to arrange for their permissible comforts – even if he himself has no interest in the comfort.

5. While we should always conduct ourselves with dignity and respect, our juniors, children, etc. must never find us aloof and unapproachable. If they feel uncomfortable to ask us the questions they have, they will most probably end up seeking guidance from people who are bad influences upon them. 

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