Imaam ‘Abdullah bin Mubaarak (rahimahullah) is a famous personality. He was not only a master in the fields of hadeeth and fiqh, but was also among the greatest saints of his time.
‘Abdullah bin Mubaarak (rahimahullah) was once asked as to what had motivated him to set out to acquire the knowledge of Deen. In reply, he narrated the following:
I was a youngster who would drink intoxicating substances. I would love music, and I would greatly enjoy myself, indulging in these sins. Once, when the apples and other fruit had ripened, I called my friends to an orchard for a party. We ate and drank, until we had drunk so much that we became drunk and fell asleep. At the very end of the night, just before sehri time, I awoke and picked up a lute (musical instrument). I then began to play it while singing some words.
However, I could not get the tune to sound the way I wanted. So, I continued to play it, over and over, while repeating the words, until to my absolute surprise, the lute began to speak, just as a person speaks, and recited the following verse of the Quraan Majeed:
اَلَمْ یَاۡنِ لِلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنۡ تَخْشَعَ قُلُوۡبُہُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللہِ
Has the time not come for the believers, that their hearts should become humble before the remembrance of Allah Ta‘ala.
When I heard this, I exclaimed, “Definitely (it is time for me to repent), O my Lord!” I then broke the lute and spilled the wine, and Allah Ta‘ala blessed me, through His grace, to make true taubah. It was then that I began to acquire the knowledge of Deen and exert myself in ‘ibaadah.
(Tarteebul Madaarik vol. 3, pg. 43)
1. No matter how sinful we may be, there is always hope for us. Even if we are addicted to drugs, or involved in an illicit relationship, or are drinking, partying or gambling – Allah Ta‘ala is still prepared to forgive us and accept us into His love and mercy. All that we need is to turn to Him, cry over our sins and try our best to reform our lives.
2. Sometimes, we get a feeling in our heart and feel inspired to change our lives and give up our sins. For some people, it is when they have a close call with death, or a close friend or relative passes away. This feeling is actually an inspiration from Allah Ta‘ala and an invitation to turn towards Him. We must grab these opportunities with both hands as they may not come again.
3. When we want to give up sins and change our life, we must cut off all ties with those things that can pull us back into the sin. Hence, ‘Abdullah (rahimahullah) broke the lute and spilled the wine. Hence, if we want to stop an illicit relationship for instance, we must completely cut off all communication with the girl, tell our friends that we do not want to know or hear anything about her and even delete and block her number.