One of the righteous predecessors, Habib al Ajami, was a man given to much servitude and devotion to Allaah. He spent all his time in the ‘ibaadah of Allaah [swt]. One day his wife approached him, and she explained their state of complete destitution. She told him how hungry they were, how there was no food and nothing to cook in the house. Al-Ajami’s wife suggested that Habib go and rent his services to the people, and be paid so that they may live. Habib agreed.
The next day he set out early in the morning and went to the graveyard. He spent his whole day there, in complete devotion and worship of Allaah [swt]. When he returned home in the evening, his wife asked about the payment. He said, ‘Don’t worry, the one I am working for is so generous, and he will certainly pay me soon.’ The wife was pacified.
The next day Habib al Ajami did the same. He set off in the morning and spent his entire day in worship. Once more he returned home, and once more his wife enquired about the wages he’d received for his days work. He made some more excuses, once more talking of the virtue and vast generosity of the one he was working for.
Day three came; he set off the same and did the same. He returned home, and by now his excuses were wearing thin. He offered something feeble to his wife, and she replied, how generous can he be that he doesn’t even pay you for the day’s work that you do? Tell him that if he doesn’t pay you by tomorrow, you will no longer work for him. Habib agreed.
Day four – Habib al Ajami did what came to him naturally; he set out early and spent the day at the graveyard, engrossed in his worship of Allaah. Returning home in the evening, he was anxious and panicked about what he would tell his wife today. After all, his excuses had run out! Nearing home, he saw that there was smoke coming from the chimney. Habib became curious - the smoke indicated a lit fire. Why would fire be lit in a house where there’s no food, and thus, nothing to cook.
When Habib entered his home he was met by the warm embrace and good pleasure of his wife. She was beaming! She told him that a messenger had come while he was away at work, and had brought his payment. They’d been given two sacks of gold, a sack of money and a generous supply of food. She then explained that the messenger had also left a message:
“Tell Habib that We recognise his hard work. And tell him, that when We withhold, it is not because We are miserly. Rather it is so that we may test and then give you generously.”
On hearing this, Habib al Ajami wept and glorified Allaah [swt].
Rahimahullaah! MashaAllaah tabarakAllaah, may Allaah [swt] be pleased with him!
Please note: if you wish to forward/share this story with others, inshaAllaah you are free to do so. BUT you must let me know first, so that I can clarify important matters as were explained to us by our teacher. Please also note that this story was relayed to us by one of our sheikhs. Any errors, omissions or misunderstandings arising are a reflection of the inabilities of the one to whom the story was related [myself], not on those who conveyed the message. May Allaah [swt] exalt the people of knowledge. Aameen. Wallahu alam.
The note and article was contributed by Author ‘-’.