Download PDF: [S] The Sabr of the Old Man

Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Awzaa’i – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that this incident was related to a Saint who was always on the lookout of pious and noble people. In fact, he used to travel in desolate areas and barren deserts trying to meet the special creation of Allah Almighty. With this purpose, one day, he decided to travel to Egypt.


He narrates:


Just before entering the city, I noticed a tent which was established in a very dry and barren area. I also noticed that inside this tent, there was a person who was sitting and he had no hands, feet or eyes. However, at the same time he was making the following Du’a, “O Allah! I praise You equal to Your creation. There is no doubt You indeed are the Creator of everything. You are the Greatest. I give thanks to You that You have certainly elevated me above other creatures.”


When I heard this Du’a, I was certainly shocked and I decided to ask him the reason for his Du’a whose words seemed confusing to me.


I approached him and greeted him. He returned my greeting. I then asked, “O pious person! I wish to ask you something, will you be able to answer me?”


He replied, “If I know the answer, I will certainly give you the answer.”


I then asked him which were the excellences he was talking about which Allah Almighty had honoured him (in spite of the fact that he had no hands, no feet and no eyes).


He replied, “Do you not see that excellence with which my Creator has honoured me with. Look carefully, if Allah Almighty wanted, he would have rained down fire on my head and I would have burnt to death. If He wished, He could have commanded the mountain to fall me and I would have been crushed. If He wanted, He would have commanded the ocean to drown me. However, Allah Almighty has protected me from all of these terrible things. Therefore, why should I not give thanks to Allah Almighty for all of these great blessings?”


He then said to me, “I have a special request for you. If you can do me this favour, I would certainly be very thankful.”


He then continued, “I have a son who comes to see me during the time of Salaah. He also serves me in this time and he also comes during the time of Iftaar. However, I have not seen him since yesterday. If you can find out what has happened to him, I would greatly appreciate it.”


I left the place promising him that I will look for his son and my intention was that maybe I will receive some reward for this action. As I walked along this barren place, I saw a small valley and what I saw in this valley shook me. I noticed a wild animal that had torn a young man to shreds and was eating the body. I immediately realised that this was indeed the son of this old person. I was very sad when I noticed this and recited the Inna lillahi.


I also thought that if I suddenly break this news to the old man, perhaps he might have a heart attack and die. I then decided to break the news to him in such a manner that he will understand and also be able to display patience as well.


I then went to his tent and greeted him. I asked him, “I wish to ask you a question and I would appreciate an answer.”


He replied, “If I know the answer, I will certainly give it to you.”


I then asked him, “Is your status greater or is the status of Nabi Ayub – peace be upon him – greater?”


He replied, “There is no doubt that the status of Nabi Ayub – peace be upon him – is greater.”


I then asked, “When trial and tests came to Nabi Ayub – peace be upon him – did he display patience or not?”


He replied that indeed Nabi Ayub – peace be upon him – displayed immense patience.


I then asked him that when he was afflicted with a certain illness and even certain people who were close to him distanced themselves from him, still he displayed patience. Was this correct or not?


He replied that indeed Nabi Ayub – peace be upon him – displayed immense patience even at this time.


I then said to him that now it was time for him to display patience because the son he was waiting for had been eaten by wild animals. When he heard these words, he again gave thanks to Allah Almighty for whatever he had received. He then began to weep and a few minutes later, he passed away.


I then thought to myself who would help me in this barren land to bury this person and also perform his last rites. Suddenly, I saw ten to twelve riders appearing from the side of the mountain. I indicated to them to stop and help me in this important duty. They then washed the person’s body with the sea water and we gave him his Kafan. They then asked me to perform his Janazah Salaah which I did.


After the burial had been completed, this group of people left and I was left alone near the grave of this pious person. I felt very sad to leave this blessed grave and decided to wait longer near the grave. At night, I saw a dream and I noticed that both me and the old man were in a green dome-like tent and the old person was wearing green clothing. I then asked him how Allah Almighty had treated him and he mentioned that Allah Almighty had blessed him with the same reward which He blessed those who make Sabr.