Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem,
Asalaamu aleykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakatuhu,
The Repentance of Ka’b bin Malik (RA)
When the Messenger of Allaah resolved to go to Tabuk in order to face the Romans, he ordered all of his companions to make preparations for the expedition. Almost everyone went. Some who stayed behind were either too weak or too poor to be able to afford the Journey; others remained behind because they were hypocrites; and there were three particular Companions that remained behind, despite the fact that they were neither weak nor guilty of being hypocrites. One of these three was Ka’b bin Malik.
Although Ka’b was a sincere Muslim, he continued to procrasinate until it was too late: the Muslims had left for the expedition, and the only people he saw when he went out into the marketplace were weak, sick, or poor Muslims who were no able to make the journey; as well as people – slightly more than 80 – who stayed behind without any sound excuse.
When the Muslims returned from the expedition, Ka’b and his two companions were boycotted: No one was allowed to speak to them or greet them. Of course, by now Ka’b reaslised his error and felt a great deal of remorse. The entire earth, despite its wideness, felt constricted for him. Feeling sad and forlorn, Ka’b would weep uncontrollably as he asked Allaah to forgive him. To be sure, his repentance was sincerely for Allaah, Allaah revealed this Verse, informing the Muslims that He had accepted the repentance of Ka’b and his two companions:
“Allaah has forgiven the Prophet, the Muhajirun (Muslim immigrants to left their homes and came to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (Muslims of Al-Madinah) who followed him [Muhammad in the times of distress (Tabuk expedition, etc.), after the hearts of a party of them has nearly deviated (from the Right Path), but He accepted their repentance. Certainly, He is unto them full of Kindness, Most Merciful.” [At-Tawbah 9:117]
The Ranking of a Person Who Repents
Bakr ibn Abdullah al-Muzani is the narrator of this story:
There was once a butcher who fell in love with the daughter of his neighbours. One day, the girl’s parents sent her on an errand to the neighbouring town. Seeing that she was alone, the butcher followed her until she reached a secluded place, where he made his presence known to her. When he tried to seduce her, the girl said, “Do not do so! Indeed, I love you even more than you love me, but I fear Allaah.”
The butcher’s jaws dropped and he said in self-reproach, “You fear Allaah and I don’t!” He left her alone and repented for his intentions.
On his way back, he became extremely thirsty. He soon came across a Prophet from the Prophets of the Children of Israel. Noticing the expression on the butcher’s face, the Prophet asked, “What is the matter with you?”
“Extreme thirst,” said the butcher.
“Let us go supplicate to Allaah for rain.”
“I have no good deed that makes my supplication worthy of being answered,” said the butcher.
“Then let me invoke Allaah while you say ‘Ameen’ to my invocations,” said the Prophet.
He then began to supplicate, and the butcher said, ‘Ameen,’ after each of the supplications.
Suddenly, a cloud appeared, rain fell from it into the nearby town, after which it approached the two men. Wherever the butcher walked, the cloud followed after him, instead of hovering over the Prophet.
“You claim that you have no good deeds,” said the Prophet. “Yet despite the fact that it was I who supplicated while you said ‘Ameen’ the cloud shaded the city and then it followed you. What is your story?”
The butcher the told him what happened with his neighbour’s daughter.
“One who repents to Allaah has a ranking that no other person can achieve,” said the Prophet.
Race Towards Repentance!
Wanting to advise his son al-Hasan, Ali ibn Abi Taalib said, “My son: Beware of three, be in harmony with three, be modest before three, race to three, flee from three, be in disagreement with three, fear three, and hope of three.”
“O my father, please explain,” said al-Hasan
“Beware of pride, anger, and the base kind of ambition. Live in harmony with Allaah’s Book, His Messenger’s sunnah, and the lives of His righteous slaves. Hurry away from sinning, race to repentance and sprint forward in the pursuit of knowledge. My son, flee from lying, treachery and transgression. Be in disagreement with evil and its people, hypocrisy and its people, and foolishness and its people. Fear Allaah, fear the company of those who do not fear Allaah, and fear the evil speech of your tongue. Hope for Allaah to forgive your sins, to accept your deeds, and to accept the intercession of your Prophet.”
More Stories in Part 4 to follow InshaAllaah.
Wasalaamu aleykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakatuhu.
Taken from Stories of Repentance, Compiled by Muhammad Abduh Mughawiri.