During the time of Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), the Banu Israaeel once suffered a severe drought. They approached Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) and beseeched, “O Kaleemullah (the one whom Allah Ta‘ala has blessed with the ability of speaking to Him directly)! Make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala, on our behalf, for rain!”

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) thus went to the desert with the Banu Israaeel who were seventy thousand or more in number. Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) then began to make du‘aa saying, “O my Rabb! Send us Your rain! Envelop us in Your mercy! Take pity on us for the sake of the breastfeeding children, the grazing animals and the old people among us whose backs are bent!” However, despite making this du‘aa, the sky remained clear of clouds and the rays of the sun continued to beat down relentlessly.

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) then made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala saying, “O Allah! If I do not have that level of honour in Your sight, then accept my du‘aa through the honour of the unlettered Nabi, Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), who You will send as a Nabi before the end of the world.” Allah Ta‘ala replied to Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam), “It is not that you do not have high honour in My sight! Rather, you are esteemed in My sight! However, one of my servants is among you who has been at war with me by committing sins and violating my commands for forty years. Announce to the people that this person should leave, as it is because of him that I have withheld the rain from you.”

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) submitted, “O Allah! O my Master! I am a weak servant, and my voice is weak! How will my announcement reach all the people, whereas they are more than seventy thousand in number?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “You will make the announcement, and I will ensure that they hear it.”

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) thus stood and called out, “O sinful servant who has been at war with Allah Ta‘ala for forty years! Leave us, for it is due to you that we are deprived of rain!” When he heard the announcement, the sinful servant began to stand, but then noticed that nobody else had stood. This made him realize that he was the guilty person who Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was referring to. It then occurred to him that if he stood and left, he would be disgraced and humiliated before the entire Banu Israaeel. However, if he did not stand and leave, all the people would continue suffering from the drought.

In this state, he remained seated, but lowered his head in genuine, sincere remorse and repented for his sins saying, “O my Rabb and Master! I disobeyed You for forty years, yet you granted me respite. Now that I have come to you in obedience, accept me.” He had barely completed his words of repentance when rain began to fall in torrents.

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) was surprised and asked Allah Ta‘ala, “O my Rabb and Master! How is it that You have sent us rain, whereas nobody awoke and left our gathering?” Allah Ta‘ala replied, “O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I sent rain to you on account of the repentance of the same person who caused Me to withhold the rain.”

Nabi Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) submitted, “O Allah! Show me who this obedient servant is!” Allah Ta‘ala responded, “O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I did not expose him and humiliate him when he was disobedient to me, so how can I expose him when he is obedient to me? O Moosa (‘alaihis salaam)! I do not like those who carry tales, so how can I do the same (by causing him to be exposed)?”

(Kitaabut Tawwaabeen – Ibnu Qudaamah pg. 65)

Lessons:

1. Sometimes, things in life just don’t seem to be working out for us. No matter what we try, we still seem to fail. Sometimes, we suffer a robbery, or a bad injury, or such humiliation and embarrassment that we don’t know where to hide our faces. Often, these difficulties are a direct result of our evil deeds. In some cases, our sins even bring difficulties to those around us. So, whenever we see difficulties, we must think that it is because of OUR sins. We must then repent to Allah Ta‘ala and beg His forgiveness.

2. Many a time, you get two people who were friends for twenty years. Then, one of them betrayed or offended the other so badly that they never spoke to each other again until they died. In comparison to that, we have Allah Ta‘ala, who is so forgiving that after betraying Him and disobeying him for forty years, all the person had to do was repent and Allah Ta‘ala accepted him. There is no such thing as a person who is beyond redemption, even if one is involved in the worst of sins, as Allah Ta‘ala is ready to accept anyone – provided their hearts are sincere.

3. Allah Ta‘ala loves the person who makes sincere repentance so much that it was due to the repentant person’s du‘aa that everyone was blessed with rain. Thus, when we repent, we don’t only come out of the ‘bad books’, but rather go straight into the ‘good books’. Then, from being a cause of difficulty for everyone, Allah Ta‘ala will make us a means of mercy and happiness for all.

4. Allah Ta‘ala is so kind to us that even when we sin, He does not immediately cause our sins to be exposed to people, making us suffer humiliation and embarrassment. Rather, He gives us chance after chance to make amends. However, when we reject this kindness of Allah Ta‘ala by going out of our way to display our sins (on Instagram, Facebook, etc.,) then Allah Ta‘ala becomes very displeased. Hence, if we fall into sin, we should at least avoid advertising and displaying it.