Download PDF: [S] Patience while being Punished

Hadrat Sayyiduna Malik bin Fadaalah – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates from Hadrat Sayyiduna Hasan – may Allah be pleased with him – who explains that in the previous Ummah there was a very pious person whose name was Aqeeb. Aqeeb used to also live away from the people in some mountain area. In that place, he spent all of time in the Ibadah of Allah.


One day, he received information that there was an oppressive ruler nearby who placed untold burden and tyranny on his people. He was also informed that this King also had the habit of cutting off the hands, feet, nose and ears of people. In other words, this was his favourite sport time. When this Saint heard about this tragic news, he decided to pay a visit to this King and inform him about his misled ways and also with the hope that he would be able to guide the King to the straight path. In other words, Aqeeb’s objective was to propagate good and prohibit evil. He also wanted to warn this person about the terrible punishment which will come to him from the Allah Almighty if he continued living in this manner.


When Aqeeb appeared in front of the King, he shouted to him that he should fear Allah and stop this tyranny and oppression.

However, instead of accepting this advice, the King flew into a rage. In a state of immense pride and conceit, he also shouted at the Saint and said to him, “O dog, a simple and ordinary person like you is informing me to fear the Lord. I will certainly punish you for this arrogance and I will deliver such punishment on you which has never been seen before.”


The King then ordered that this Saint be tied and that his skin should be removed starting from his feet upwards. When his guards heard this command, they grabbed the Saint and tied him to the ground. They then began to remove the skin from his feet upwards. However, the Saint displayed immense patience at the initial stages. He did not utter a single word of complaint. However, when they reached his stomach, due to the immense pain, he uttered a slight cry of pain. However, he heard a Voice from the Divine Court saying to him, “O Aqeeb! Display patience. We will remove you from the house of pain and suffering to a house of peace and ease. (In other words, he will be sent to Jannah). We will remove you from this confined world and allow you to live in a most expansive place.” When the Saint heard this, he immediately kept silent and decided to bear whatever pain and punishment was being experienced.


However, when they came up to near the face, again Aqeeb uttered a sound of pain. Suddenly, he heard a Voice from the Divine Court saying to him, “O Aqeeb! All the creatures on earth and in the heavens are weeping because of what you are going through. The Angels have also turned their attention towards you and are watching you. If you utter a word of complaint a third time, I will send a most terrible punishment on this oppressive nation and will allow them to taste severe retribution”.


When the Saint heard these words, he remained silent until he was martyred. In fact, it is said that the only reason that he remained silent was because he did not want punishment to come over his own people even though they were the people who had treated him so badly and unjustly. (Uyunul Hikaayah) Such is the state and condition of the Awliyah. They would prefer to suffer themselves than allow others to suffer. They would prefer to face hardship than allow others to face the same hardship. At the same time, they were also making it clear that they thought nothing of the world and whatever hardship one has to face here.