Zaazaan (rahimahullah) was a great Taabi‘ee (rahimahullah) and Muhaddith. He had met ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), ‘Ali (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and many other Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), and was counted among the special students of ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).
Prior to becoming a great saint and Muhaddith of this Ummah, Zaazaan (rahimahullah) was involved in sin. However, Allah Ta‘ala blessed him to repent and change his life at the hands of ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).
The following is the personal account of Zaazaan (rahimahullah), describing the manner in which Allah Ta‘ala guided him and inspired him to repent at the hands of ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), which lead to him becoming the renowned personality that we know. He says:
I was a youngster who possessed a melodious voice and considerable skill in playing the drum. Once, a friend and I were with a few other people. I was entertaining our small group by singing songs, when ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) passed by. Hearing the sound of song and merrymaking, he came toward us. On reaching us, he kicked the vessels of wine, causing them to spill their contents. He then snatched the drum from me and cast it to the ground, breaking it. Finally, he turned to me and said, “O youngster! If you used the melodious voice which I heard to recite the Quraan Majeed, you would really become something!” Saying that, he left.
I turned to my friend and asked him, “Who was this person?” He replied, “That was ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).” At that moment, Allah Ta‘ala inspired me to repent. I thus ran after ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) with tears streaming down my face. He had just arrived at the door of his home and was about to enter when I reached him and held onto his clothing. He turned to me and asked, “Who are you?” I replied, “I am the person who was playing the drum.” ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) realized that I had come to repent and change my life, and so he hugged me and cried out of happiness. He then said, “Welcome to the one whom Allah Ta‘ala loves (and thus inspired to repent). Sit here!” ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) thereafter entered his home and brought some dates for me to eat saying, “Eat from these dates. If I possessed any food besides this, I would have presented that to you as well.”
(Taareekh Ibni ‘Asaakir vol. 18, pg. 283)
1. Each and every believer should do whatever is in his control to bring people closer to Allah Ta‘ala and stop them from committing sin. However. The manner of stopping people from sin will differ from person to person and from situation to situation. For example, a father should physically stop his household from committing sin, as he is the head of the home and wields the authority. However, if one tries to physically stop a person who is not under his authority, then there is fear that instead of bringing the person closer to Deen, he may take exception and react badly, straying further from Deen. Hence, it would be more appropriate to speak to this person, rather than physically restrain him.
2. If a person tries to stop us from committing sin, we should be appreciative and accept his correction. Instead of viewing this person as an enemy, we should regard him to be our well wisher. If we adopt this attitude and mindset, the door for our progress will be open.
3. No person is a ‘write-off’. No matter how far we may be from Deen or how serious our sins may be, if we turn to Allah Ta‘ala in sincere repentance, He will forgive our sins and bless us.
4. After a person accepts correction, we should not continue to remind him of the sin that he was involved in. Rather, we should show him support and make him happy. Hence, ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) hugged Zaazaan (rahimahullah) and fed him whatever he had, out of happiness that Zaazaan (rahimahullah) had repented.