During the era of the khilaafah of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), there lived a youngster who was very pious. He would exert himself in ‘ibaadah and always remained attached to the masjid. This youngster was such that even Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) himself was fond of him.

This youngster had an old father whom he would visit every night after performing the Esha Salaah. Coincidentally, while going to his father’s house every night, he would pass by the home of a certain woman. When the gaze of this woman fell on the youngster, she was ‘head-over-heels’ and instantly fell in love with him. Her obsession for him was such that she would stand in his path and try her best to seduce him. However, he always resisted her efforts and avoided falling prey to her charms.

After trying and trying, the occasion finally arrived when he buckled and gave in to her advances. On her invitation, he followed her to her home and they began to enter. She entered first, and as he began to enter behind her, he suddenly remembered Allah Ta‘ala and the following verse of the Quraan Majeed flowed from his tongue.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا إِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طَائِفٌ مِّنَ الشَّيْطَانِ تَذَكَّرُوا فَإِذَا هُم مُّبْصِرُونَ

Those who fear Allah Ta‘ala, when an evil thought assaults them from Shaitaan, they remember (Allah Ta‘ala), and then they see (that which is right).

As this verse came to mind, he lost his senses and fell unconscious. Seeing the youngster lying unconscious in her doorway, she hastily called her maidservant for assistance. Together, they carried him to his father’s home and deposited his unconscious body at the door.

In the meantime, the youngster’s father decided to set out and search for him (since he was concerned that he had not yet arrived). However, as he exited his home, he found his son lying senseless at his door! The father called a few of his family members for help and they carried the still-unconscious youngster into the home.

After some portion of the night had passed, the youngster finally regained consciousness. Seeing this, his father came to him and anxiously asked, “O my son! How are you?” The youngster replied, “I am well.” The father thereafter asked him what had transpired, to which the youngster responded by narrating the entire incident to him.

The father then asked, “O my son! Which verse of the Quraan Majeed was it that you remembered and recited to yourself?” In reply, the youngster recited that very same verse and once again seemed to fall unconscious! When those around him shook his body, attempting to revive him, they realized that he had passed away. His family thus proceeded to give him ghusl, after which they took him to the cemetery and buried him during the night.

The next morning, when the demise of the youngster and the incident that led to his death was related to Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), he went to the father of the son to convey his condolences. Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then asked the father, “Why did you not inform me (of his demise, so that I would have also attended his janaazah)?” The father replied, “O Ameerul Mu-mineen! It was night (hence I did not wish to disturb you).” Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then requested to be taken to the grave of the youngster.

When Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and those who had accompanied him arrived at the grave, Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) addressed the buried youngster saying, “O so-and-so!” Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) then recited the following verse of the Quraan Majeed:

وَلِمَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ جَنَّتَانِ

For those who fear standing before their Lord, there will be two gardens (in Jannah).

The youngster replied to Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) from the depths of the grave saying, “O ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu)! My Rabb has granted me both gardens in Jannah.”

(Tareekh Ibni ‘Asaakir vol. 45, pg. 450)

Lessons:

1. When a person is pious, he is beloved to Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala then makes him beloved to all the other pious people as well. This is why the youngster, despite being a junior person, was beloved to Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).

2. The youngster made sure that he visited his father every night. If we cannot visit our parents regularly, then we should at least phone them regularly. In whatever way we can, we must try to win the happiness of our parents.

3. All it took was a single glance, and the young girl fell in love with the boy. This is enough to demonstrate the importance of guarding our gazes. Since even one accidental glance can make us mad over a girl, or vice versa, we have to make sure that we are never in a situation where that glance can occur, whether it is through the phone or visiting some place.

4. We all know that we have to refrain from sin, but most people will say, “I can’t help it! I find it impossible to resist!” The question is, “What have we done to prevent ourselves from falling into sin?” In other words, to stay away from sin, we will have to stay away from all those things that will tempt and invite to sin and make it easy for us to sin. If we know that there is danger to our imaan in any area, we must avoid it at all costs.

5. Often, when a person is on the verge of committing a sin, or is engaged in committing a sin, Allah Ta‘ala, out of His kindness for this person, causes his conscience to stir, whereby he feels guilty and remembers that he is involved in sin. When this happens, we must immediately seize the opportunity to abstain and repent immediately.

6. In this day and age, when temptation, immorality and sin have become so accessible and easy, the only force that can prevent us from “messing up” and succumbing to the pressure is the awareness and fear of Allah Ta‘ala. These are qualities which need to be acquired and cherished, and their rewards and benefits are immense, both in this life and the next.