Download PDF: [S] The Son of Harun al-Rashid

It is reported that once the wall of a certain person collapsed. He went to the market place to look for a builder. He came to a spot and found many labourers waiting for someone to employ them.


However, among all these people, there was also a young man who was sitting on one side separate from everyone else. He also had the tools of trade with him.


This person continues, “I asked him whether he was looking for work and he replied that he was looking for a job. However, he did mention that he was willing to work on three conditions. The first is that I must give him in his wages in full. The second is that he will work according to his strength. The third was that when the time came for Salaah, he must be given permission to complete his Salaah. I then accepted all of these conditions and took him home with me. I then left him in charge of competing his work and went outside to complete some of my task. When I returned in the evening, I noticed that he had completed more work than the others and I became very happy with this and gave him his wages.


The next day also, I went in search of this young man, however, I could not find him anywhere. When I inquired from the other labourers, they informed me that he only came once a week and only worked one day a week. I then realised that this was not an ordinary worker. I then found out where he stayed and went to his house.


I was shocked to see that he was sleeping on the floor and had a very high fever. I said to him, “My brother! You seem to be a stranger here and also sick. If you are happy with the idea, I can take you to my house so that I can have the opportunity of serving you. At first, he refused to accept my offer but after great insistence on my part, he finally agreed. He also agreed to come with me on condition that I do not give him any food. I agreed to this condition and took him to my house. He stayed for three days in my house, however, he asked for nothing and never took any food. On the fourth day, his fever became very high and he called me to him. He then said to me, ‘My dear brother! It seems like my final moments have arrived. When I die, I kindly request you to carry out my final wishes.


“His wish was, ‘When I die, I want you to die a rope around my neck and drag me outside and keep saying that this is the condition of those who are disobedient. Perchance, in this manner, my Lord will become pleased with me. When I pass away, wrap me up with ordinary material. After you complete this, I request that you go to Baghdad Shareef to meet Sultan Harun Rashid. You must also inform him of my final words which are, ‘Fear Allah! If perchance death comes while you are oblivious and unaware, you will suffer the consequences later, however sadness and regret after this, is of no value.’ He also informed me to give his ring and his Quran to Sultan Harun Rashid.


After the young man had given me his last wishes, soon after, he passed away. I remained weeping for a long time in great sadness. I then decided to follow his last and final wish and took a rope to fasten it around his neck. However, suddenly I heard an Unseen Voice telling me, “Do not place the rope around his neck. Is that how a friend of Allah azza wajal is treated?” When I heard this, my body began to tremble. After I heard this proclamation, I kissed his feet and prepared his Ghusal and burial.


After I had completed the burial rites, I took the Qur’an and the ring and travelled towards the Palace of the Sultan. I also wrote this incident on a piece of paper.

After a while, I handed this to a guard who carried it to the Sultan. I was then called in front of the Sultan and he said, “Am I such an oppressive Ruler that message needs to be sent to me on pieces of paper?”


I said that I respected his position and that I had not come on any of my own personal wish but that I had brought a very important message for him. When the Caliph asked me the reason for my visit, I then handed him the Qur’an and the ring.  He asked me where I had got these things from and I said that I had received it from an ordinary labourer. When he heard this, he said, “A labourer?” and he repeated this three times and then began to weep.


After weeping for a long time, he asked me where this labourer was and I informed him that this labourer had passed away. When he heard this, he fell unconscious and continued in this state until the time of Asr.


After he regained consciousness, he wanted to know whether I was present when this labourer had passed away. I replied that I was present. He asked me whether this labourer had given him any final words to be conveyed to him. I then informed him about whatever the young man had mentioned to me and when he heard these words Sultan Harun Rashid began to weep even more and started to praise this young labourer with various epithets. When I looked at the state of the Sultan, I was very shocked because I could not help thinking that this mighty Sultan was crying over an ordinary labourer!


In the evening, he requested me to take him to the grave of this young man. The Sultan walked behind me with his face covered. When we entered the cemetery, I pointed to the grave.


The Sultan then held this grave and began to weep even more. He then sat on the head side of this grave and said to me, ‘This young man was my son. He was the coolness of my eyes and also a part of me. One day, while he was in deep thought and ecstasy, one of the children in the Madressah read the 12th verse of Surah Hadeed:


یَوْمَ تَرَی الْمُؤْمِنِیۡنَ وَ الْمُؤْمِنٰتِ یَسْعٰی نُوۡرُہُمۡ بَیۡنَ اَیۡدِیۡہِمْ وَ بِاَیۡمٰنِہِمۡ بُشْرٰىکُمُ الْیَوْمَ جَنّٰتٌ تَجْرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحْتِہَا الْاَنْہٰرُ خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَا ؕ ذٰلِکَ ہُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِیۡمُ ﴿ۚ۱۲﴾

The day when you shall see the believing women that their light run before them and on their right. It is being said to them, ‘to day the happiest tidings for you are those Gardens beneath which the streams flow wherein you will abide. This is the supreme triumph.’


When he heard this verse, he ran out of the Palace weeping and we never saw him again. (Hikaayatus Saaliheem, 68)




Our advice to the young people is to listen to this story over and over again and enlighten your heart with this amazing story. If only we too could be blessed in this manner. We should not relax and think that we are still young and still early for our death. Stay away from those things which earns the Divine Wrath of Allah azza wajal and the anger of His beloved Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam. Ameen.