Maalik bin Dinaar (rahimahullah) narrates the following incident:

On one occasion, I was performing tawaaf around the blessed Ka’bah. During the tawaaf, I was surprised with the large number of people who had arrived to perform Hajj and ‘Umrah. However, (as I observed these people,) I began to think, “If only I knew which person is accepted by Allah Ta‘ala, so that I may congratulate him, and which person is rejected by Allah Ta‘ala, so that I may sympathize with him!”

That night, when I went to sleep, I had a dream in which someone said to me, “O Maalik bin Dinaar! You are pondering over those performing Hajj and ‘Umrah! I take an oath, by Allah, that Allah Ta‘ala has forgiven all the people, whether young or old, male or female, black or white, Arab or non-Arab – with the exception of one man. Allah Ta‘ala is greatly displeased with him and has rejected his hajj, striking his face with it.” After hearing this, Allah Ta‘ala alone knows how I managed to sleep for the remainder of the night, as I feared that I should not be that rejected person.

The following night, when I went to sleep, I had the exact same dream, except that this time, I was told, “You are not that person (who is rejected by Allah Ta‘ala). Rather, he is a man from the region of Khuraasaan, from a city named Balkh. His name is Muhammad bin Haaroon. Allah Ta‘ala is greatly displeased with him. Allah Ta‘ala has rejected his hajj and has struck his face with it.”  

The following morning, I went to the various tribes of Khuraasaan, who were gathered in Makkah Mukarramah (for Hajj), and greeted them with salaam. I then asked them, “Are there any people among you from the city of Balkh?” When they affirmed that there were people from Balkh among them, I asked, “Is there a man among you named Muhammad bin Haaroon?” They enthusiastically replied, “How excellent! O Maalik, you are enquiring about a man who is such that nobody in Khuraasaan can surpass him in worship and disinterest in the world!”

I was astonished at the manner in which they extolled his virtue, considering the dream which I had seen. Nevertheless, I said to them, “Please direct me towards him.” They responded, “For the last forty years, he fasts during the day and spends the night engaged in performing salaah. He only takes ruined, dilapidated buildings as his residence. You will find him among the ruined homes of Makkah Mukarramah.”

I thus went towards the ruined buildings of Makkah Mukarramah where I began to roam about, until I located him, standing behind a wall. His right hand was amputated, and his collar bones were pierced, with chains linking through them, extending to shackles around his ankles. When I saw him, he was engaged in salaah, performing ruku and sajdah, but when he heard the sound of my footsteps behind him, he concluded his salaah. He then asked me, “Who are you, and where are you from?” I replied, “I am Maalik bin Dinaar from Basrah.”

Muhammad bin Haaroon then asked me, “O Maalik! What has brought you to me? You must have seen a dream regarding me, so please tell me what you saw.” I responded, “I feel embarrassed to tell you what I saw.” He replied, “Do not feel embarrassed, O Maalik!” Thus, (at his urging,) I narrated the dream to him.

After hearing my dream, he began to weep, and continued to shed tears for some time. Eventually, he said to me, “O Maalik! For every year of the last forty years, a pious person, such as you, has been shown this dream in my regard, informing him that I am from the people of Jahannum.” I enquired, “Did you commit a terrible crime and sin which now stands as an obstacle between you and Allah Ta‘ala?” He answered, “Yes! My sin is even greater than the heavens, the earth and the throne of Allah Ta‘ala!” I asked, “Tell me of your sin so that I may caution others and discourage them from committing it.”

Muhammad bin Haaroon thus recounted the following:

“O Maalik! I was a man who would excessively consume intoxicating substances. One day, I was with one of my friends, and I drank so much liquor that I became totally drunk and completely lost my sense of reason. In this intoxicated state, I left my friend and returned home. On arriving at home, I knocked on the door. My wife, who was also my cousin, opened the door. As I entered, I saw my mother who was stoking the oven to increase its heat. She continued to stoke the oven until the inside of the oven actually turned white with the heat. At that point, she turned and saw me, swaying from side to side in my drunken state.

“She began to reproach me saying, ‘This is the last day of Sha’baan, and tonight will be the first night of Ramadhaan! Tomorrow morning, all the people will wake up in the state that they are fasting, and you will wake up in the state that you are drunk and intoxicated! Do you feel no shame before Allah?’ Hearing my mother’s reproach, I raised my hand and slapped her. My mother cursed me and uttered, ‘May you be destroyed!’

“I was angered by her curse, so in my drunken state, I lifted her and threw her into the oven. When my wife saw this, she pushed me into an inner room of the house and locked the door, fearing that the neighbours would hear the noise.

“As the night drew to an end, my soberness returned and I recovered my senses. I shouted for my wife to open the door, but found that when she replied to me, it was with harshness and disgust. I asked her, ‘What is the matter? Why are you showing me harshness that you have never shown me before?’ She replied, ‘You do not deserve any kindness or sympathy from me!’ Hearing this, I asked her the reason, to which she answered, ‘You killed your mother. You threw her into the oven and she burned to death.’

“When I heard this, I could not restrain myself. I broke the door down, exited the room and rushed to the oven. As I looked into the oven, I saw my mother’s body in it resembling a burned loaf of bread. I turned from the oven and saw an axe. I seized it in my left hand, placed my right hand on the door frame, and hacked off my right hand. I then pierced my collar bones and inserted a chain through them. I also tied my feet in shackles.

“My wealth comprised of eight thousand dinaars (gold coins). Before the sun could set, I gave the entire amount in charity. I freed twenty six slave girls and twenty three male slaves, and I donated all my properties as waqf in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. Since then, for the past forty years, I have fasted every day and remain awake every night, performing salaah. I perform hajj every single year, and every year, a learned person such as you is shown this dream in my regard!”

Maalik bin Dinaar (rahimahullah) says,

I shook my hand in the face of Muhammad bin Haaroon and exclaimed, “You accursed person! You have almost burned the earth and all its inhabitants with the fire of your sin!” Saying this, I turned and moved away from him to a place where I could still hear him, although I could no longer see him. At that point, he raised his hands and made du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala.

I departed and returned to my residence. That night, I had a dream in which I was blessed to see Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to me, “O Maalik! Do not make people despondent in the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala, and do not make them lose hope in His forgiveness! Indeed Allah Ta‘ala has accepted the du‘aa of Muhammad bin Haaroon and has forgiven his sin … On the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah Ta‘ala will inspire his mother to forgive him as well.”

The following morning, I went to Muhammad bin Haaroon and informed him of the dream that I had seen. As soon as he heard the glad tidings that I conveyed to him, he breathed his last and departed from this world. I thereafter participated in his janaazah salaah.

(‘Uyoonul Hikaayaat pg. 135)

Lessons:

1. All forms of intoxicants are extremely disastrous. Apart from the impermissibility, a person loses his sense of reason and ends up doing the worst of crimes, even killing his own mother!

2. We must always have hope in Allah Ta‘ala forgiving us and accepting us. Allah Ta‘ala is the Most Merciful and Most Loving. No matter how severe our sins may be, Allah Ta‘ala’s mercy is even more vast and His forgiveness is even greater.

3. From the thousands of people who had gone for Hajj, only one person’s Hajj was not accepted – the person who had murdered his mother. From this, we can well understand how important it is to honour, respect, love and serve one’s mother and bring happiness to her heart. If a person brings pain to his mother’s heart, it is very unlikely that he will ever enjoy happiness and success in this world.

4. As soon as Muhammad bin Haaroon realized what he had done, he did his best to cover up for it. He gave all his wealth away and spent the rest of his life in the worship of Allah Ta‘ala. If we have fallen into sin, then we should also immediately make amends by making sincere taubah, giving charity, etc.

5. The most remarkable lesson learnt from this incident is that of perseverance. Just imagine that for forty years, Muhammad bin Haaroon was told that his Hajj was rejected, but he never gave up! He knew that there is no door of mercy besides Allah Ta‘ala’s door, and so he was prepared to die knocking at the door. Eventually, his perseverance paid off, as Allah Ta‘ala forgave him, mere moments before he passed away. Thus, even if we continue failing to keep up to our taubah, we must never give up. Insha-Allah, one day we will ‘win the battle’ and become a chosen servant of Allah Ta‘ala.