On one occasion, a person complained of drought to Hasan Basri (rahimahullah). Hearing his complaint, Hasan Basri (rahimahullah) said, “Seek forgiveness from Allah Ta‘ala.”

Another person then complained of poverty. To this person as well, Hasan Basri (rahimahullah) gave the same advice. He said, “Seek forgiveness from Allah Ta‘ala.” A third person then said to him, “Please ask Allah Ta‘ala to bless me with a child.” Hasan Basri (rahimahullah) replied by giving him the same advice which he had given to the previous two people. He said, “Seek forgiveness from Allah Ta‘ala.” Finally, a fourth person complained that the crops in his orchard had insufficient rainfall. Hasan Basri (rahimahullah) advised him saying, “Seek forgiveness from Allah Ta‘ala.”

Observing that four different people had come, with four different complaints, yet each had received the exact same answer, the people who were present were quite surprised. Hence, they asked Hasan Basri (rahimahullah) the reason for him giving the exact same advice to each person.

Hasan Basri (rahimahullah) replied, “I did not give them this advice from my own side (rather, I acquired this advice from the Quraan Majeed). In Surah Nooh (in the Quraan Majeed), Allah Ta‘ala says (mentioning the advice which Nabi Nooh [‘alaihis salaam] gave to his people), ‘Seek forgiveness from your Rabb, indeed He is most forgiving. (If you seek forgiveness from Him,) He will cause the sky to rain upon you in abundance, and will help you with wealth and sons, and will cause gardens to grow for you, and cause rivers to flow for you.’”

(Tafseer Qurtubi vol. 21, pg. 255)


When a person is leading a life of sin, then often, his sins create obstacles, hurdles and problems in his life. Difficulty in earning livelihood, marital problems, rebellious and disobedient children – these are just a few of the problems that can be caused through persistent sinning. Often, a person does not even realize that the problems he is suffering with are the result of his evils and sins. Thus, the remedy is to turn to Allah Ta‘ala in sincere repentance and give up all sins. If there are any outstanding rights which we owe to Allah Ta‘ala (e.g. qadhaa salaah, etc.) or to the creation (e.g. unsettled debts, asking forgiveness from a person we hurt, etc.) then these should also be attended to.

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