'I was a policeman and would often drink alcohol..."
“I was a policeman and would often drink alcohol. I bought a beautiful slave girl with whom I had a daughter. I loved my daughter greatly and doted on her and when she began to crawl on all fours I grew even more fond of her. Whenever I put an alcoholic drink in front of me, she would come to me and pull me away from it, or she would spill it from me. When she was two years old, she died. I became consumed with grief over her loss.
It was the night before Jummah, I stayed home and drank and I did not pray the ‘Isha prayer. Then I had a dream. I dreamt that the Day of Judgement had begun, the Trumpet was blown, the graves gave up their dead, mankind was gathered up and I was among them. I heard something behind me, I turned around and saw a huge snake of indescribable size, blue-black, rushing for me with wide-open jaws. I fled in terror.
I passed by an old man dressed in spotless clothes, smelling beautiful. I greeted him and he greeted me back. I said to him, ‘O old man ! Protect me from this snake, and may Allah protect you!’ The old man wept and said, ‘I am weak and it is stronger than me, I cannot overcome it. Go quickly, perhaps Allah will grant you something that will save you from it. I climbed up on one of the highest points of the day of Resurrection overlooking the layers of Hell. But someone cried out to me, ‘Go back! You are not one of the inmates of Hell.’ These words calmed by fears and I went back.
But the snake pursued me. I went back to the old man and said, ‘O old man! I begged you to protect me from this snake but you didn’t protect me!’ Again, the old man wept, and said, ‘I am weak, but go to that mountain. In it are kept the stores of Muslims. If there is something in store for you, then it will help you.’
I looked and saw a round shaped mountain of silver topped with domes of hollowed pearls and hanging drapes, and every dome had two large gates of red gold encrusted with emeralds and pearls and overhung with drapes of silk.
When I saw the mountain I ran to it, with the snake in hot pursuit. As I approached the mountain one of the angels cried out, ‘Raise up the veils, open the gates and look out! Perhaps this wretched one has something in store with you that will save him from his enemy.’ At this, the veils were lifted, the gates were opened and out of the palaces came children with faces like full moons. The snake was catching up to me and I was near despair!
One of the children cried out, ‘Woe to you! Come and see all of you! His enemy is very near him.’ At this, the children came, one wave after another, and among them was the dear daughter of mine that had died, two years before. When she saw me she wept and said, ‘my father! By Allah! ’ She leapt into a carriage of light and came near me with the speed of an arrow. She put her left hand in my right hand and I held on to her tight. Then she stretched her right hand in front of the snake, and it turned around and fled.
My daughter bade me sit, then she sat on my lap and began to stroke my beard and said, ‘O my father!’ then quoted from the Quran (57:16), saying, ‘Has not the time come for those who believe, that their hearts become humbled at the remembrance of Allah?’ I began to weep and said, ‘O daughter, you children know Quran?’ She replied, ‘My father! We know it better than you.’ I said to her, ‘Tell me about the snake which wanted to destroy me.’ She replied, ‘Those were your evil deeds that you built up and strengthened, and they wanted to take you to the Hellfire.’ I asked, ‘What about the old man I passed by?’ She replied, ‘O my father, those were your righteous deeds, you made them weak until they were no match for your evil deeds .’
I said, ‘O my daughter! What are you all doing in this mountain?’ She said, ‘we are the children of Muslims, we have been given this dwelling place until the Hour rises. We await whatever you send forth to us, and we intercede for you’.
Then I woke startled and saw that morning had come. I flung the alcohol from me and shattered the drinking cups, and I repented to Allah.”
This person who repented so sincerely was Sheikh Maalik Bin Dinaar(Rahmatullah alaiyhe), who later became one of the renowned Divines of his times. It is said that, in his early life, he was not a pious man and when someone asked him how he came to repent of his sins and abandon his evil ways, he related the above story about himself.
Source: Virtues of Sadaqaat
The Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, “Every son of Aadam, constantly commits errors, but the best of those who constantly commit errors are those who constantly repent.” (Tirmidhi)
Also in a Hadith Qudsi, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) quoted Allah as saying, “O Son of Aadam, as long as you supplicate Me and fasten good hopes to Me, I will forgive all your sins and I mind not. O Son of Aadam, if your sins were to reach the limits of the sky and then you sought My forgiveness, I would forgive you and not mind. O Son of Aadam, if you come to me (on the Day of Judgement) with sins equal in volume to the earth and then meet Me in the state of not having associated partners with me, I will give you in return forgiveness equal to the volume of the earth.”
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