In the time of Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) there lived an extremely sinful youngster. He was so deeply involved in sins and vice, that his people had actually banished him from the town (lest the punishment of Allah Ta‘ala seizes all of them because of him). After some time, he passed away near some ruins on the outskirts of the town.
Allah Ta‘ala then sent wahi (revelation) to Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) saying, “Indeed one of my friends has passed on. So go to him, give him ghusl and perform his janaazah salaah. (Furthermore,) inform those who sin in abundabnce to (also) attend his janaazah so that I may forgive them. Carry him to Me (by burying him) so that I may bestow him with an honourable abode.”
Thus, Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) made this proclamation in the Banu Israaeel, and many people gathered, so that they may be granted forgiveness. When they arrived and realized who he was, they exclaimed in amazement, “O Nabi of Allah! This is the very same sinner who we had banished.” Hearing this, Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) also became quite astonished.
Allah Ta‘ala sent revelation to him again saying, “What they are saying is true (that he is the very same sinful person) and they are My witnesses. However, when the time of his death drew (near whilst he was) in this ruin, he looked right and left but did not find any close friend (to console him) nor any relative (to stand by his side). (Rather,) he found himself to be a lonely despised stranger. He then looked up and said, ‘O my Allah! I am one of Your slaves and a stranger in Your land. If I had known that punishing me would increase Your kingdom (in any way) or forgiving me would cause a deficiency to Your kingdom, then I would not have asked You for forgiveness. I have no other place of refuge or hope besides You and I have heard in the revelation which You sent down that You have said, ‘I am The Most Forgiving, The Most Merciful’, so do not dash my hopes.’”
Allah Ta‘ala then went on to say, “O Moosa, is it (then) becoming of Me to turn him down whereas he is a stranger in this condition, and he has beseeched Me and implored Me? By (the oath of) My Honour, (even) if he had to plead to me on behalf of all the sinners in the world, I would have acceded to his request because of his humbled state. O Moosa, I am the sanctuary of the stranger, his Beloved, his Curer, and the Being Who shows mercy to him.”
(Kitaabut Tawwaabeen pg. 66)
1. Regardless of how sinful a person may be and how many vices he may have committed, the doors of taubah (repentance) are always open for him. When a person turns to Allah Ta‘ala in repentance, He will not only forgive his sins, but may also change his evil deeds into good deeds. However, a key aspect in making taubah is that a person humbles himself before Allah Ta‘ala and acknowledges his wrong and errors. In this incident, Allah Ta‘ala was even prepared to forgive all the sinners of that time just on account of this person, because of his humbled state.
2. In life, we often get so caught up with the glitter and glamour of this world that we become oblivious of the reality that one day we will definitely leave this world and meet Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, we drown ourselves in sins and vice as if there will be no repercussions for these actions. However, when the reality of death strikes, a person’s eyes open, but it is too late most of the time.
3. When one sees another believer involved in sin, he should try to stop him either physically or verbally (if it is possible and will not lead to a bigger problem). However, if he cannot do this, then the least is that he must hate the sin and make du‘aa for the sinner. Although it is imperative to despise this person’s actions, one should never feel himself to be greater than him, because neither does he know what will be the persons end result nor does he know his own future.
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