The Power of Istighfar

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

This story is from the life of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), founder of the Hanbali madzhab.  Imam Ahmad (r.a.) is one of the most celebrated Sunni theologians and is often referred to as “Shaykh al-Islam”.

During his old age, while Imam Ahmad (r.a.) was travelling, he stopped by a town.  After the prayers, he wanted to stay for the night in the masjid yard because he did not know anyone in the town.  Owing to his humility, he had not introduced himself to anyone.

Failing to recognise the great imam, the caretaker of the mosque refused to let him stay in the masjid.  As Imam Ahmad (r.a.) was quite old, the caretaker had to drag him out of the masjid.  On seeing this, a baker from a nearby place felt pity for him and offered to host to him for the night.  During his stay with the baker, Imam Ahmad (r.a.) observed that the baker would constantly recite istighfar.  Imam Ahmad (r.a.) asked the baker if the constant practice of saying istighfar had any effect on him.  The baker responded by telling Imam Ahmad (r.a.) that Allah (s.w.t.) had Accepted all of his ud’iyyah, supplications, except one.

When Imam Ahmad (r.a.) he asked him which du’a had not been accepted, the baker replied that he had been asking Allah (r.a.) to Grant him the privilege of meeting the famous scholar, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.).

On hearing this, Imam Ahmad (r.a.) said that Allah (s.w.t.) had not only Heard to his du’a but had him dragged him to his doorsteps.


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