Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Repentance of Shaykh Malik ibn Dinar (q.s.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam ibn Qudamah (r.a.), the shaykh of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) and the main fiqh authority in the late Hanbali madzhab in his book, Kitab at-Tawwabin) narrated that when Imam Malik ibn Dinar (q.s.) was asked regarding the circumstances of his repentance he said the following:

“I was a policeman and I was given to drinking.  I bought a beautiful slave who gave me a daughter.  I doted over my daughter and when she began to crawl on all fours I grew even fonder of her.  Whenever I put a strong drink in front of me she would come to me and pull me away from it, or she would spill it from me.  When she completed two years, she passed.  I became consumed with grief over her loss.

When the night of mid-Sha’ban came - it was the night before Juma’ah - I stayed home and drank.  I did not pray the ‘Isha’ prayer.  Then I had a dream that the Day of Judgment had begun, the Trumpet was blown, the graves gave up their dead, mankind was gathered up, and I was among them.  I heard something behind me.  I turned around and saw a dragon of indescribable size, blue-black, rushing for me with wide open jaws.  I fled in terror.

I passed by a shaykh dressed in spotless clothes, exuding a fragrant smell.  I greeted him and he greeted me back.  I said to him, ‘O shaykh!  Protect me from this dragon, and may Allah Protect you!’

The shaykh wept and said, ‘I am weak and it is stronger than me.  I cannot overcome it.  Go quickly, perhaps Allah will Grant you something that will save you from it.’

I turned and resumed my flight.  I climbed up on one of the promontories of the Day of Resurrection overlooking the layers of Hellfire.  I looked at the horror they contained and almost fell in for fear of the dragon.  But a crier cried out to me, ‘Go back!  You are not among its inmates.’  His words stilled my fears and I went back.

But the dragon again pursued me.  I went back to the shaykh and said, ‘O shaykh!  I begged you to protect me from this dragon but you didn’t protect me.’

Again he wept and said, ‘I am weak, but proceed to this mountain.  In it are kept the deposits of the Muslims.  If there is a deposit for you, then it will help you.’

I looked and saw a round-shaped mountain of silver topped with domes of hollowed pearl and hanging drapes, and every dome had two large gates of red gold encrusted with emeralds and pearls and overhung with drapes of silk.

When I saw the mountain I fled to it with the dragon in hot pursuit.  As I approached the mountain, one of the angels cried, ‘Raise up the veils, open the gates, and look out!  Perhaps this wretched one has a deposit with you that will save him from his enemy.  At this the veils were lifted, the gates were opened, and out of the palaces came children with faces like full moons.  The snake was catching up to me and I was near despair.’

One of the children cried, ‘Woe to you!  Come and see, all of you!  His enemy is very near him.’

Whereupon the children came one wave after another, and among them was the dear daughter of mine that had died two years before.  When she saw me she wept and said, ‘My father, by Allah!’  Then she leapt in a carriage of light and came near me with the speed of an arrow.  She put her left hand in my right hand and I held on to her.  Then she stretched her right hand towards the dragon and it turned around and fled.

My daughter bade me sit, then she sat in my lap and began to stroke my beard and said, ‘O my father!


Has not the time arrived for the believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah...” (Surah al-Hadid:16)

I began to weep and said, ‘O my daughter, you children know the Qur’an?’

She replied, ‘My father!  We know it better than you.’

I asked her, ‘Tell me about the dragon which wanted to destroy me.’

She replied, ‘Those were your evil deeds which you built up and strengthened, and they wanted to take you to Hellfire.’

I asked, ‘What about the shaykh I passed by?’

She replied, ‘O my father, those were your righteous deeds, you made them weak until they were no match for your evil deeds.’

I said, ‘O my daughter!  What are you all doing in this mountain?’

She said, ‘We are the children of Muslims, we have been given this dwelling until the Hour rises.  We await whatever you send forth to us, and we intercede for you.’”

Imam Malik (q.s.) said, ‘Then I awoke in a start and saw that morning had come.  I flung the potion from me and shattered the drinking-cups, and I repented to Allah.”


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