A woman in grief once came to the famous student of Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (rahimahullah), Baqiyy bin Makhlad (rahimahullah), and begged him for help. She cried and said, “My beloved son has been captured by the Romans! I am so sad that I cannot sleep the entire night! I cannot pay his ransom because I don’t have the money. All I have is my small home, and I can’t find anybody to buy it from me. Will you please find someone who will pay my son’s ransom? Days and nights have passed since he was captured, and I can find no peace and happiness.”

Baqiyy (rahimahullah) replied, “Go home, I will try to see to your problem insha-Allah.” He then lowered his head and began making du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala for her son to be freed. Just a few days later, the woman came back to Baqiyy (rahimahullah) with her son! Out of appreciation, she made du‘aa for Baqiyy (rahimahullah) and said to him, “Listen to his story!”

Baqiyy (rahimahullah) asked the son, “What happened to you?” He replied, “The soldiers of one of the Roman kings captured me. I was in a group of prisoners who would be forced to work in the desert every day until sunset. At the time of sunset, the guard would take us back in our chains. One day while returning, I was astonished to find that the chains around my ankles fell off on their own! The guards immediately began swearing at me and asked me why I took the chains off. I protested saying, ‘No! I didn’t! By Allah it fell off on its own without me even realizing it!’ Since the chains had fallen off, they called the blacksmith. When he arrived, he secured me in new chains, but even this did not work! I stood up and took only a few steps when the new chains also miraculously fell off. They were completely puzzled, so they summoned their priest and asked him what to do. He asked me, ‘Do you have a mother?’ When I said yes, he said, ‘It seems that she has made du‘aa for you and it has been accepted. It is better that you are set free.’ So they released me and even guarded me until I reached the border of the Islamic lands.”

When he heard this, Baqiyy (rahimahullah) asked, “On which day and at what time did your chains fall off?” When the boy replied, they realized that it was the exact moment that Baqiyy (rahimahullah) had raised his hands to Allah Ta‘ala in du‘aa. (Al-Muntazam – Ibnul Jowzi vol. 12, pg. 274)

Lessons:

  1. We all have our ‘chains’ in life. It can be drugs, pornography, a girlfriend, masturbation, or any other sin. Whatever our chain, it is holding us back and dragging us down. To free ourselves of these chains, we need to ‘chain’ ourselves to a pious ‘Aalim who will advise us and assist us. We then need to make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala, as He holds the key to happiness and success.
  2. A mother’s du‘aa is potent and powerful. No matter how much a mother may ‘nag’, scold or shout, she only does it out of love for her child. If the son hurts her in any way, he can lose her du‘aa – or even worse – earn her curse. He should do everything he can to make her happy and win her du‘aa.