Saturday, 30 June 2007

The Taubah of Musa Al-Hashmi RA

Muhammad bin Sammak RA relates:

"Musa bin Muhammad bin Sulaiman Al-Hashmi was a nobleman of the Banu Umayyah clan who had been brought up in affluent circumstances, engaging himself in eating, drinking and merrymaking, having the most elegant clothes to wear and indulging in all kinds of lusts and sensual pleasures. Himself a handsome young man with a moon-like face, he lived in a palace enjoying the company of beautiful women and men, far away from the worries and cares of the world.

Allah Ta'ala had showered upon him all kinds of bounties and favours; his annual income amounted to three hundred and three thousand (303,000) Dinars, which he spent in past times and lustful pursuits. He lived in a lofty mansion, with windows on one side, opening out to the main road. Musa Al-Hashmi would sit beside one of these and watch the wayfarers walking outside. There were windows, on the other side of the building, that opened out to a beautiful garden from which cool and fresh breezes blew, laden with sweet fragrances of flowers. In the middle of the palace, there stood a domed pavilion of ivory, studded with nails of silver and burnished with gold.

The young Hashmi sat in his pleasure-dome, with a gem studded turban tied around his head, reclining on a throne covered with jeweled brocade in company with close friends, while his attendants stood at respectable distance, awaiting his orders. In the front of the pavilion sat a company of dancers and singing girls; whenever he wanted to listen to music, he just glanced at a music instruments, and the singers came forward and began to sing songs and play music. When he wanted the music to stop, he pointed to the instruments and the music stopped. These merriment's went on till late at night until sleep overpowered him. When he was intoxicated with excessive drinking, his friends went away and he retired to his private apartment, with one girl that pleased his fancy. He spent his mornings playing chess and dice.

Nobody ever talked to Musa Al-Hashmi of matters painful or concerning death and diseases. His parties were devoted to merrymaking, anecdotes were related and jokes and pleasantries went round. Each day, people brought to him rich varieties of the rarest perfumes from all over the country and nice vases of sweet smelling flowers were presented to him. The chieftain spent twenty seven years of his life in such luxuries and pastimes.

One night, when sitting as usual, in his pavilion, he heard a sweet voice coming from a distant place; unlike the voice of his own singers, but most melodious and charming, which made him restless. He ordered the music to stop and leant out of the window to listen attentively to the voice. The voice floated in the air for some time, then fell silent, and then it became audible again. Musa Al-Hashmi ordered his servants to fetch the man responsible for this charming tones.

While their master continued to drink wine, the servants tracked the voice. It was a thin and lean young man, weak in body, pale in face, with parched lips and dishevelled hair; his belly drawn close to his back, dressed in to two rags that just covered his nakedness. He was standing in Solat before Almighty Allah. He was reciting from the Holy Qur'an in a Masjid.

They caught hold of the young man without telling him why, took him out of the Masjid and presented him to their master.

They confirmed their catch saying:

"Here is the person you wanted, sir."

Musa Al-Hashmi who was now dead-drunk and not in his proper senses, asked:

"Who is this man?"

They told him that he was the one whose voice he had heard a few moments ago. Musa Al-Hashmi asked them where they found the man and they said that he was offering Solat in a Masjid and reciting from the Holy Qur'an. Musa Al-Hashmi then asked the ragged young man what he was reciting.

The ragged young man recited, beginning with:

"Lo! The righteous verily are in delight (of Jannah); On couches, gazing (at that the wonders of Jannah), Thou wilt know in their faces that of delight. They are given to drink of a pure wine, sealed, whose seal is musk - for this, let (all) those strive who strive for bliss (of Jannah) - (as this bliss can only be achieved as a recompense for good deeds, let them try to excel one another in the performance of good deeds). And,(that wine) is mixed with the water of Tasneem, a spring whence those brought near to Allah drink. (the drink served to the righteous will be seasoned with the water of Tasneem, which is a speciality, meant only for those brought near to Allah (the Muqarrabun) , who will have it pure in its undiluted form)." (Surah Al-Mutaffifin: Ayat 22~28)

The ragged young man then said to the chieftain:

"O you have been deceived! Your palace, your pavilion and your couches can not compare with those:

"Lined couches of Jannah." (Surah Al-Waqi'ah: Ayat 15)

"Couches lined with silk brocade." (Surah Ar-Rahman: Ayat 54)

"Green cushions and fair carpets." (Surah Ar-Rahman: Ayat 76)

"(While reclining on these couches, the fellow of Jannah will see two gardens) Wherein are two fountains flowing." (Surah Ar-Rahman: Ayat 50)

"Wherein (in these two gardens) is every kind of fruit in pairs (each pair of fruit having two different tastes)." (Surah Ar-Rahman: Ayat 52)

"Fruit in plenty. Neither out of reach nor yet forbidden." (Surah Al-Waqi'ah: Ayats 32~33)

He continued:

"Unlike the gardens of this world, of which not every is allowed to eat!"

The young man went on reciting verses from the Holy Qur'an comparing Jannah and the circumstances of its inhabitants, with those describing Jahannam and the circumstances of the its inhabitants:

"Then he will be in a blissful state. In a high garden." (Surah Al-Haqqaa: Ayats 21~22)

"In a high garden. Where they hear no idle speech. Wherein is a gushing spring. Wherein are couches raised. And goblets set at hand. And cushions ranged. And silken carpets spread." (Surah Al-Ghashiyah: Ayats 10~16)

"Lo! Those who kept their duty are amid shade and fountains." (Surah Al-Mursalat: Ayat 4)

"'Its food is everlasting, and its shade; this is the reward of those who keep their duty while the reward of disbelieves is fire." (Surah Ar-Rad: Ayat 35)

"Lo! The guilty are immortal in Hell's torment. It is not relaxed from them, and they dispair therein." (Surah As-Zukhruf: Ayats 74~75)

"Lo! The guilty are in error and madness. On the day when they are dragged into the fire upon their faces (it is said unto them): Feel the touch of Hell." (Surah Al-Qamar: Ayats 47~48)

"(The guilty will be) In scorching wind and scalding water. And shadow of black smoke." (Surah Al-Waqi'ah: Ayats 42~43)

"Though they will be given sight of them - The guilty man will long be able to ransom himself from the punishment of that day at the price of his children. And his spouse and his brother. And his kin that harboured him. And all that are in the earth, if then it might deliver him. But nay! For Lo! It is the Fire of Hell, eager to roast. It calleth him who turned and fled (from truth). And hoarded (wealth) and withheld it." (Surah Al-Maarij: Ayats 11~18)

"And wrath is upon them and theirs will be an awful doom ." (Surah Ash-Shuraa: Ayat 16)

"They will wish to come forth from the Fire, but they will not come forth from it. Theirs will be a lasting doom. (Surah Al-Maa'idah: Ayat 36)

When the man had thus recited a good many verse, about Jannah and Jahannam, Musa Al-Hasmi rose from his seat and embraced him, weeping and crying most bitterly. He told his friends to go away and, himself went out, with the poor man, to the courtyard of his palace, where he sat on a rug and wept and cried with deep remorse over his past youth, while the poor man sat there till dawn admonishing him to repent and exhorting him to start a life of piety. Musa Al-Hashmi then repented deeply of his sins, before the poor man, and made a covenant with Allah SWT that he would sin no more.

In the morning, he made public repentance, in the presence of his friends and other people, and sat in a corner of the Masjid leading a life of devotions and Holy seclusions. He gave away, as Sadaqah, all the assets of his house, distributed all his belongings among the poor, dismissed all his servants, set free most of his slave boys and slave girls, sold others and spent the money received, in return, for the course of Allah Ta'ala.

He made full requital of all the wrongs done to others and paid all that was due from him to the people, returned all things he had taken wrongly and forcibly to their owners. Then he entered a life of austerity, wearing coarse cloth and eating barley bread. He stood all night in Nawafil (optional Solat) and fasted by the day and begun to lead a life of self-mortifying austerities. So much so, that the saints and spiritual Mashaaikhs of his time came to visit him and advised not to chastise himself so severely, saying:

"Take pity on yourself, Allah Ta'ala is Most Merciful and his bounty is beyond our estimation. He grants bounteous rewards for little pains."

Musa Al-Hashmi would reply:

"My friends, you do not know how much I sinned against my Lord - day and night. I defied his commandments. I indulged in most heinous crimes."

And he would then weep profusely.

Musa Al-Hashmi then undertook a journey for Hajj, travelling all the way on foot, and dressed in coarse cloth, with a cup and small bag of provisions. He reached Makkah, performed Hajj, and stayed there afterwards, till his death. May Allah grant him his bounteous blessings. Ameen.

During his stay in Makkah Mukarramah, Musa Al-Hashmi used to go to the Hateem by night and spend the whole night whimpering,weeping and crying unto Allah. He would say in the course of his invocation:

"O' Allah! Many an hour of night have I spent in utter heedlessness, never for a moment remembering Thee. I defied thee, my Lord, by disobeying Thee and by transgressing Thy commandments. My Lord, all my virtues have been lost. The opportunity to do good has been wasted away. I am left with a burden of sin laid on my back! Ah! Woe is me! What shall I do on the day when I shall be made to stand before Thee (for reckoning after death).

Ah! Most woeful for me, will be the day when my Book of Deeds shall be enrolled! What a shame for me to find my scroll replete with sins. O'Allah! I feel Thy wrath descending upon me now. O'Allah, Thy wrath is my damnation. O'Allah Thou showered Thy blessings and bounties upon me, but I turned away from Thee, like a most ungrateful slave, defying commandments, thus incurring Thy wrath, O' Allah, Thou was ever-watching over me (while I sinned most shamelessly) and forbearing to punish me. O' Allah where else can I find shelter except in Thee. O'Allah whither could I flee. Thou alone are my resort. Thee alone I beseech in my misery. Whom should I impore but Thee. Whom clemency shall I trust but Thine. O'Allah, O'Most Merciful Lord, I feel ashamed to ask Thee for Jannah ; I impore Thee, my Lord invoking Thy infinite Mercy, Thy all-embracing Magnanimity ,Thy vast Bounty, to have Mercy on me and grant Forgiveness to me. For Thou alone are the fount of Fear and the fount of Mercy." "

May Allah SWT use this story as a means of guidance for many of us. Ameen.

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