Imam ibn al-Mubarak's (q.s.) Repentance

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam ibn al-Mubarak (q.s.) was asked about the beginning of his quest for knowledge.  He said, “I was a young man who drank wine, loved wealth and rejoiced in those foul things.  I invited some brothers of mine to a garden when the apples and other fruits were ripe, and we ate and drank until we were overcome by drunkenness and sleep.  I woke up at the end of the period before dawn. I took up the lute which I played and composed:

“Is it not time that you had mercy on us
And defied the critics and censors?”

Then I could not make it rhyme as I wished.  When I repeated it to it, the lute spoke to me as a man speaks:

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 said, ‘Yes, Lord.’  I broke the lute and spilled out the wine, and repentance came by Allah’s Favour with its realities, and I turned to knowledge and worship.”


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