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Trapped in a Cave
Three men among those who lived in earlier times, set out together till they reached a cave at night and entered it. A big rock rolled down the mountain and closed the mouth of the cave. They said (to each other) nothing could save us from this cave, let us invoke Allah by giving reference of the righteous deed which we did (for Allah’s sake only). So one of them said, ‘O Allah! I had old parents and I never served milk to my family (wife, children etc.) before giving it to my parents. One day, by chance I came late (at night), and they had slept. I milked the sheep and took the milk to them, but I waited with the bowl of milk in my hand till dawn, when they got up and drank the milk. O Allah! I did that for your sake only, please relieve us from our critical situation caused by the rock. So the rock shifted a little but they could not get out of the cave.

The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) added “The second man said,” O Allah! I had a cousin who was the dearest of all people to me and I wanted to have sexual relations with her, but she refused. Later she faced a difficult time during a famine and came to me and I gave her one-hundred and twenty gold coins on condition that she would not resist my desire and she agreed. When I was about to fulfil my desire, she said: It is a sin to outrage my chastity except by legitimate marriage. So I thought it a sin to have sexual intercourse with her and left her, though she was the dearest of all the people to me and also I presented her the gold I had given her. O Allah! I did that for your sake only, please relieve us from the present calamity. So the rock shifted a little more but still they could not get out from the cave.

The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) added, then the third man said, O Allah! I employed a few labourers and paid them their wages with the exception of one man who did not take his wages and went away. I invested his wages and earned much property thereby. Then after sometime, he came and said to me; “O Allah’s slave! Pay me my wages.” I said to him, “All the camels, cows, sheep and slaves you see are yours.” He said, “O Allah’s slave, do not mock me.” I said, “I am not mocking you.” So he took all the herd and drove them away and left nothing. O Allah! I did that for your sake only, please relieve us from the present suffering. At this moment, the rock moved completely and they walked out of the cave. (Bukhari : 1/303)

Some Lessons:
The good deeds which the men did in their happy days, were used for their benefit, during their difficult times; since it was done with the utmost sincerity. Actions done solely to Please the Creator are definitely worthy of the highest acceptance. Sincere actions no matter; how small and insignificant it may seem are the actions that will carry the most weight when it will be required most ie. on the Day when deeds will be Judged. In fact, sincerity has a good deal of importance in ALL our actions.

The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said: "Verily your deeds will be judged according to your intentions." (Bukhari)

The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has also said; “If you remember Allah in your prosperous life, then Allah will remember you in your difficult days.” (Musnad Ahmed: 1/307)

The First man: Service to Parents.
Service to the parents is obligatory. In particular, when they become old and attain a ripe old age. It is a great and significant work to serve them; more so at this juncture than any other time. The people who serve their parents are indeed fortunate. It is stated that the people who do their best to serve their parents, are successful in both the worlds. Allah says in the Qur’an; “Thy lord hath decreed that ye worship none but him, and that ye be kind to parents, whether one or both of them has attained old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, not repel them. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say; “My lord! Bestow on them thy mercy even as thy cherished me in childhood.” (Qur’an: 17/23-24)

The second man: Safeguarding Chastity
It is, however, a great righteousness to protect one's chastity and save oneself from adultery. There is a Hadith which emphasises that Allah will give shadow of His throne of grace and mercy, to the young man who was called by a woman for sexual intercourse but refused her offer saying that he fears Allah. (Bukhari: 1/91)

The third man : Honesty in business & treatment of employees
The story of the third man, illustrates his remarkable honesty and generosity. Misappropriating the property that belongs to others, no matter how great the quantity or value; carries with it repercussions both in this world and Hereafter. We might deprive ourselves for others and prefer their rights over ours and that would be highly meritorious.

The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "On the Day of Judgement, one will not be able to move away, before Allah, until he has accounted for his:
LIFE: How it was spent ?
KNOWLEDGE: To what use it was put to ?
WEALTH: How it was aquired and spent ?
BODY: How it was utilised ?

Our temporary life here is only a life of probation, for the perpetual life in the Hereafter. Strive as much as we can so that our LIFE; KNOWLEDGE; WEALTH AND BODY; when questioned on the Day of Judgement, will have acceptable;sincere;virtuous actions written all over.

May we perform our Actions with UTMOST SINCERITY now; so that we may reap the benefits in the Hereafter. INSHA-ALLAH.

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