|Malik ibn Dinar (may Allah be pleased with him) was a pious and obedient imam. No body imagined that he had once been a harsh and disobedient man. The story of his repentance shows us that no body is too bad to be accepted.|
Ibn Dinar was one of the most oppressive people. Because he used to be an unjust and alcoholic person who also practiced usury, he was disliked and avoided by people. He had a little daughter whom he loved profoundly. After her death at the tender age of three, he, distraught and engulfed with sadness, drank until he lost his consciousness.
On that night, he had a dream that he was witnessing the Day of Judgment, and that a horrendous snake was chasing him. Terrified and unable to escape, Ibn Dinar saw no one but an old man toward whom he ran seeking help. The old man was too weak to help him, but he pointed toward another direction, in which Ibn Dinar ran until he found himself at the edge of a cliff leading to Hellfire.
Horrified, Ibn Dinar ran back to the old man and begged for rescue. The old man cried and told him, "I am weak, just as you see. I cannot help you." Then he told Ibn Dinar to run in another direction, which Ibn Dinar did. As he was running, the snake was so near to him that it almost seized him. All of a sudden, he saw his young daughter, who came to her father' aid and rescued him from the snake.
Overjoyed, yet still in a state of great fear due to what had just happened, Ibn Dinar took his daughter's hand and sat with her as they used to sit together when she was alive. Then the daughter posed the following question to her father: O my father:
"O my daughter! Tell me about that snake," Ibn Dinar said. His daughter said, "It was the evil deeds that you kept accumulating to the point that they have almost eaten you up. Do you not know, my father, that the deeds one does in the world will meet one embodied on the Day of Judgment? As for the old man, that was your good deeds, which are so few and weak; therefore, they wept your situation and their inability to offer you any help, and, if it had not been for the fact that your little daughter died at a tender age, those few good deeds that you did in the world would not have benefited you in the least."
Ibn Dinar then woke up, crying out, "O my Lord, right now [I repent]; right now, my Lord! Yes, it is due." So, he got up, performed wudu' (ablution), and headed out to perform Fajr Prayer in the mosque, seeking to repent and return to Allah. Upon entering the mosque, he found the imam reciting the very same verse recited by his daughter in the dream.
Indeed, Almighty Allah is All-Aware of those who wish to turn back to Him, and out of His boundless mercy, He gives them continuous opportunities enabling them to seek His forgiveness and draw close to Him.
After his repentance, Ibn Dinar became known for his perseverance in Prayer and his earnest, weeping supplication throughout the night. He used to say, "O Allah, only You know who will be the inhabitants of Paradise and who will be the inhabitants of Hellfire. So, to which party shall I belong? O Allah, let me join the inhabitants of Paradise and do not make me among the inhabitants of Hellfire."
Ibn Dinar changed from a person known for his oppression, alcoholism, and great negligence in his relationship with Allah, to a leading pious scholar. After he had been a disagreeable figure, people to this day continue to love him, remember him fondly, and ask Almighty Allah to have mercy upon him. Once an individual whose actions could have made him merit Hellfire, Ibn Dinar turned into a person who, we hope, will dwell in Paradise eternally.
That was the story of Ibn Dinar and his sincere repentance unto his Lord, the All-Merciful Creator. Now, what about you and me? What types of persons are we at this very moment? Will we change for the better? Indeed, we should waste no time in pursuing this goal and should seek Allah's help so that we may attain it.
Ibn Dinar said:
I read in some of the books of wisdom that Almighty Allah said, "Indeed, I am Allah, the King of kings. The hearts of kings are in My hand. [For] whoever obeys Me, I will put in their [the kings'] hearts mercy and compassion toward them, and [for] whoever disobeys Me, I will put in their hearts wrath upon them. So, do not busy yourselves with insulting the kings, but instead, repent unto Me, and I will put in their hearts compassion and sympathy for you. [Safwat At-Tafaseer, Vol. 1, p. 419]Let us turn back to Allah, repent unto Him, and work on our individual relationships with Him. Only then can the whole Ummah, in sha' Allah, remain steadfast and reap the fruits of repentance.
* The story was recorded in Ibn Qudamah's book At-Tawwabeen, and this article has been taken with modifications from Suhaibwebb.com.
Image Source: Islam Great Religion Blog.