Once, there was a person whose body always smelled of the most exotic perfume! One day, one of his friends asked him, “What is this wonderful perfume I always smell on you? You must be spending a lot of money on musk if you apply it so often!” The person replied, “By Allah! I have never bought musk and I have never used it!” His friend was amazed and asked, “Then where does your perfume come from?” He did not want to answer the question, so he said to his friend, “Why are you asking me?” His friend replied, “I hope that Allah Ta‘ala will let me learn something and benefit from what you will tell me.” On his friend’s encouragement, he finally told them the following story:

In my young days, I was very handsome and good looking. My father was a businessman and I would generally spend my time with him. One day, an old woman came to him and bought some cloth. She did not have the money with her to pay for it, so she asked my father if he would send me along to her home to collect the money. My father agreed and sent me.

I went with her until we reached a huge mansion. The old woman took me into a stunning courtyard, and as I entered, I caught sight of a beautiful young girl on a raised seat, sitting on a cushion of silk. When she saw me, she was immediately blown away by my good looks. She insisted that I go and sit with her on her seat, but I firmly refused. When I rejected her, instead of backing down, she got off the seat and started to come after me! Then, in a fit of passion, she began pulling me towards herself. I was now in a real problem!

To escape from her hugging and pulling, I told her that I needed to use the toilet. Although she was impatient, she shouted for her slaves and told them to take me to the toilet. I entered the toilet where I relieved myself into my hands. I smeared the filth over my body, clothing, and face. When I came out from the toilet, the girl who was excited and waiting for me didn’t see a handsome boy anymore! Instead, she saw a person covered in filth and excreta! She was disgusted and shouted to her servants in horror, “This is a madman! Throw him out immediately!”

It so happened that I only had one dirham on me. After her servants threw me out, I bought some soap and went to the river where I washed the filth out off my body and clothing. After I was clean, I went back to my father and did not tell him a word of what had happened.

When I went to sleep that night, I had a dream and saw that a handsome man with an excellent perfume came to me. I asked him who he was, and he replied that he was Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam). He said to me, “Allah Ta‘ala has sent me to give you the good news of Jannah, and to reward you with some of its perfume because of what you did to avoid falling into sin.” He then passed his hands over my face, body and clothing and departed. When I awoke the next morning, I smelled of an exotic perfume. To this day, my body still smells of this perfume. (At-Targheeb wat Tarheeb lil Yaafi‘ee pg. 165)

Lessons:

  1. The boy in this story covered himself with filth to avoid falling into sin. Many of us are the total opposite – we do everything that we can to try and fall into the filth of sin.
  2. To stay away from sin, a person has to stay far from the places and environments of sin. This is even more important in the holiday season when environments become worse and more sins are committed.
  3. A person who leaves sin for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala will enjoy rewards in both this world as well as the Hereafter.
  4. A true Muslim is disgusted by sin even more than he is disgusted by filth and excreta.
  5. A Muslim will happily make any sacrifice to guard his link of love with Allah Ta‘ala.