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The blessed Companion, Abdullah Ibn Umar reports that the Holy Prophet (SAW) once gave a sermon in which he said:

O Emigrants, I seek refuge of Allah Almighty against five traits of character lest they should grow into you: firstly, against immodesty, for when immodesty prevails in a people they are hit by plagues, epidemics and ever-new diseases not even heard of by their elders; and secondly, against cheating in weights and measure, for when this disease grips a people, they are hit by famine, price-hikes, rigorous labour and over-work and oppressive rulers; and thirdly, against non-payment of Zakah, for when people do not pay Zakah, rains are stopped; and fourthly, against the religious apathy of people, for when a community breaks its covenant with Allah and His Messenger, then Allah Almighty makes alien enemies sit over them who snatch away what belongs to them without any justification; and fifthly, against the apathy of ruling authority, for when the rulers of a people fail to decide matters in accordance with the Book of Allah because the injunctions revealed by Allah Almighty do not suit their fancies, then Allah Almighty causes mutual hatred and disputation to descend upon them.

(Ibn Majah, al-Bayhaqi and others and al-Hakim has called it ‘sahih’ according to the standard set by Muslim)

There once lived a pious man who was enslaved to a wicked master. The righteous slave wanted to teach his master a lesson that he would not forget, a lesson that would make him change his ways.

The Master told him one day to plant wheat. The slave took the opportunity. He went and collected seeds of barley and planted them. As the season drew near, the master was enraged to see that after all this work and time the slave had planted the wrong seed. In his thrashing rage, he scolded the slave saying, “Why did you do this?”

The righteous slave said, “I had hope that the barley seeds would come out as wheat.”

The Master said, “How can you plant barley seeds and expect it to come out as wheat?”

The slave stopped and said quietly, “How can you disobey Allah and expect for His bounteous mercy? How can you openly challenge his Deen and hope for Jannah.”

The Master was stunned and silent. He understood. “You have taught me something today that I had never realized. You are free for the sake of Allah.”                                                         

A man came to Ibrahim ibn Adham (RA) and said, “Abu Ishaq, I am unable to control my lower self. Please give me something to help me with it.”
“If you accept five conditions,” said Ibrahim, “and are able to put them into practice, your disobedience will not cause you any problem.”
“Just tell me what they are, Abu Ishaq!” the man said.

“The first is that when you want to disobey Allah you do not eat anything He provides.”
“Then how will I get anything to eat? Everything on the earth is from Him!”
“So is it right to eat His provision and disobey Him at the same time?” replied Ibrahim.
“No, it is not. What is the second condition?”

“When you want to disobey him, move off His land.”
“That is even more difficult! Exclaimed the man. “In that case where will I live?”
“Is it right to eat his provision and live on His land and then to disobey Him?” asked Ibrahim.
“No, it is not. What is the third condition?”

“When you want to disobey Him in spite of eating His provision and living on His land, find a place where He will not see you and disobey Him there.”
“What do you mean, Ibrahim? He knows everything that happens even in the most hidden places!”
“So is it right to disobey Him when you eat His provision and live on His land and when you know that He can see everything you do?”
“It certainly is not!” the man replied. “Tell me the fourth condition.”

“That when the Angel of Death arrives to take your soul, you say to him, ‘Give me a reprieve so that I can repent and act righteously for Allah.'”
“But he won’t listen to me!”
“Then if you cannot ward off death long enough to give yourself time to repent, and you know that when it comes there will be no reprieve, how can you hope to be saved?”
“What is the fifth?”

“That when the angels of the Fire come to you to take you to the Fire, you do not go with them.”
“They will take me whether I like it or not!” exclaimed the man.
“So how can you hope to be saved?”
“Enough, enough, Ibrahim! I ask Allah’s forgiveness and I turn to Him!”

The man’s repentance was sincere and from that time on he was assiduous in his worship and avoided acts of disobedience until the day he died.                                                         


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