ALLAH does not change the state of people, until they change it themselves

31.12.11

Sincere Repentance

Allah says that even if our sins are as numerous as all the stars in the sky, all the grains of sand on this earth, or all the leaves of all the trees in this world, even then our sins are few in comparison with His mercy. Allah tells us to be penitent and He will accept our repentance.

Hadrat Hasan Basri (May the mercy of Allah be upon him) was a great shaykh from among our righteous predecessors. A woman would come to him whose husband had died, leaving behind a great fortune to their only son. The boy went astray because of this wealth and started wasting his youth in vain indulgences. The mother kept counseling him to mend his ways, and brought him to Hadrat Hasan Basri year after year, but the young man refused to pay heed.

Time came when his evil ways took their toll and the young man fell fatally ill. His mother seized this opportunity to counsel him towards repentance. This time her son paid attention and said to his mother, "I don't even know how to ask for forgiveness, take me to Hasan Basri so he may teach me."
A glimmer of hope flickered in the mother's heart, but she said that she was too old and weak to support and take him there. The son then asked her to bring Hadrat Hasan Basri to the house, and also to request him to lead his funeral prayer in case he died before they arrived.

Filled with hope, the mother hurriedly went to Hadrat Hasan Basri and told him what was happening. Hadrat had just given a hadith lesson and was tired and wished to rest. He thought that the son had just said these words to pacify the mother. Both he and the mother had been counseling him for years but he had not listened, so why would he change now? Hadrat Hasan Basri refused to come and also refused to lead the funeral prayer.

The mother returned broken-hearted and told the son that Hadrat Hasan Basri had refused to come. This news cut through the young man's heart like a knife, and tears filled his eyes. He said to his mother, "Please hear my final wish. I am so unfortunate that even the auliyaa refuse to lead my funeral prayer. My time is near: when I die, do not bury me in the graveyard, for I might become the cause of further suffering for others in the grave. Bury me at home, but before burying me tie your shawl around my neck and drag my corpse around the house because I am dying the death of a dog. I beg forgiveness for my sins and may Allah show mercy upon me." Saying this he recited the affirmation of faith (shahadah) and closed his eyes, leaving his mother crying.

Almost immediately there was a knock at the door. The mother ran and opened the door to see that it was Hadrat Hasan Basri. The mother asked him in surprise what he was doing there. Hadrat Hasan Basri replied, "I had gone to sleep when Allah said to me, 'What kind of a Friend (wali) are you that you refuse to lead the funeral prayer of another Friend of Mine?' And I realized then that Allah had accepted your son's repentance."

Allah is so merciful that He is willing to forgive the worst of us of the worst of sins, if only we repent sincerely any time before our death. May Allah guide us towards the realization of His unlimited mercy, and inspire us to take advantage of His forgiveness, and may He also guide us towards leading a pure life, and make us from among those who are sincere to Him. Ameen.

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