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An odd story

By Shaykh Said Afandi al-Chirkawi an-Naqshbandi

روي أن ملكين التقيا في السماء الرابعة فقال لأحدهما صاحبه : إلى أين تقصد...الخ . ((موعظة حسنة)) ، صـ 296

Once two angels met in the forth heaven.  One asked the other: “Where are you going?” The other answered: “I am going to fulfill a strange order given to me: in one city there is a dying Jew who wants to eat a certain kind of fish. But this fish does not inhabit the river where the Jew lives. My task is to take the fish from where it lives, throw it into the river near the Jew’s house and make a fisherman fish it out so the Jew gets the fish for his meal.”

What was the purpose of all this? God rewarded the Jew in the earthly life for the good deeds he had committed. There was only one good deed remaining; and God wanted to reward the Jew for this deed in this world.

Thus, God pays the unbelievers for the smallest good deed during their lifetime and does not delay the reward until the Hereafter.

Then the angel who was going to get the fish asked the other one: “And where are you going?” The latter answered: “I am going to fulfill an order which is odder than yours.” He continued: “In one city there is a righteous person dying, he wants to drink milk. All his sins and bad deeds he had committed during his life have been forgiven due to the problems, worries and sorrow he had to endure, except for only one sin. I am going to spill the milk so that the dying man cannot drink it, as atonement for this sin.” That is, his disappointment that he cannot drink the milk will be made the atonement for his sins in order to eradicate the reason to punish this righteous person.

Thus Allah sends disasters and grief over the righteous as atonement for their sins in order to purify them before he brings them to the Hereafter hence the hell fire will not touch them.

An ayah (here and further - approximate meaning) of the Quran says:  قال تعالى :(مَنْ يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ) النساء: ١٢٣ 

Whoever committed a bad disgusting deed will be rewarded according to his doing.”

That is: an unbeliever will get his requital in the Hereafter if he does not repent before he dies; whereas a sinful believer will be punished or forgiven according to the will of Allah.

When this ayah was revealed, a companion of the Prophet, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said to the Prophet, may Allah honor him and grant him peace: “Oh Messenger of Allah!  Who among us does not commit disgusting deeds?” According to Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, Abu Bakr also said: “When this ayah was sent, we started morning and crying.”  When the Prophet, may Allah honor him and grant him peace, replied to Abu Bakr: فقال عليه الصلاة والسلام : (( أما تحزن أما تمرض أما يصيبك البلاء)) ؟ قال : بلى يا رسول الله . قال : (( هو ذلك )) 

Aren’t you haunted by grief, diseases and disasters?” Abu Bakr replied: “Verily, I am, oh Messenger of Allah!” and the Messenger of Allah said:  “All this is atonement for the sins.”  According to another tradition, the Prophet, may Allah honor him and grant him peace, said to Abu Bakr, may Allah be please with him: فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : (( اما أنت وأصحابك المؤمنون فتجزون بذلك في الدنيا حتى تلقوا الله وليس عليكم ذنوب ، وأما الآخرون فيجمع لهم ذلك ليجزوا به يوم القيامة )) . ((صاوي)) صـ 247  ، جـ 1 

 “You and your companions, who believed, that is, all the faithful, are punished in the earthly life in order to be purified when they meet God in the Hereafter.” As for the others, that is for the infidels, the punishment is postponed until in the Hereafter.” وروى جعفر بن محمد رضي الله عنه قال : عجبت لمن ابتلي بأربع كيف يغفل عن أربع ، عجبت لمن ابتلي بالهم كيف لا يقول لا إله إلا أنت سبحانك إني كنت من الظالمين ، لأن الله تعالى يقول : فاستجبنا له ونجيناه من الغم وكذلك ننجي مؤمنين . وعجبت لمن يخاف شيئا كيف لا يقول حسبي الله ونعم الوكيل ...اخ وعجبت لمن خاف الناس كيف لا يقول : وأفوّض أمري إلى الله إن الله بصير بالعباد... اخ وعجبت لمن رغب في الجنة كيف لا يقول : ما شاء الله لا قوة إلا بالله . ((بستان العارفين)) 

I will not elaborate on the meaning of this Arabic saying in order not to extend my speech needlessly. I will solely speak about the purpose.

He, who is in grief and sorrow, is recommended to recite: قال تعالى :( لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ) الأنبياء: ٨٧ 

He, who is afraid of something, is recommended to recite: قال تعالى :( حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ) آل عمران: ١٧٣ 

He, who is afraid of people, is recommended to recite: قال تعالى :( وَأُفَوِّضُ أَمْرِي إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ) غافر: ٤٤ 

He, who hopes to enter Paradise in the Hereafter, is recommended to recite over and over:

 مَا شَاءَ اللهُ لاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللهْ

قال بعض المتقدمين : من تضافرت عليه النعم فليكثر من الحمد لله ومن كثر همه فليكثر الاستغفار ، ومن ألحّ عليه الفقر فليكثر من قول لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله.

Whoever was granted abundant bounties, let him praise Allah by saying constantly “Alhamdulillah”.  Whoever is grieved and worried, let him repent by saying “Astaghfirullah”.  Whoever is haunted by misery and poverty, let him say: “La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah”.

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- Taken from the book of Shaykh Said Afandi al-Chirkawi “Encouragement to Heed the Call of The Quran”.

Translation of the book Tanbih al-awam ila da’wat al-Quran from Avar in 4 volumes. – 1st volume 1st edition. -  Makhachkala, Nurul Irshad, 2011. - 400 pages