There’s this very special story from among the companions of the prophet. You probably heard it many times, but there’s no harm hearing it again.
Before the days of Islam, there was a practice in Makkah among the pagans. You see, Arabia was a hard country at the time, people went to war over just crossing over the leg of someone of another tribe. I kid you not.
So sons were loved because they believed they could defend the honour of the tribe. Daughters on the other hand, were seen as an economic liability, fathers lived in shame when they had daughters. The ones who were too ‘honourable’ to live like that took the fast way out; they simply buried their daughters –alive.
Now this guy we are talking about was considered so ‘gangster’ amongst the men of Makkah, that he helped the ‘cowardly’ men bury their daughters alive.
Now, gangster has his own daughter, but he’s unflinching. She’s getting buried too. So he takes her outside Makkah, and digs her grave, in her presence.
As he digs, the dust begins to cover his face. His little daughter who doesn’t know daddy is about to bury her, comes beside him, and removes the dust from his face.
But that wasn’t going to save her. Daddy buried daughter, alive.
This man is still so gangster, that when a prophet emerged from among the people of Makkah and began to disrespect the idols they had worshipped and respected for centuries, he made up his mind that he was having none of that. He was going to kill the Prophet.
Today, that man’s grave is lying right beside the prophet’s grave. That man is Umar ibn Al-Khattab.
When he accepted islam, he cried a lot about his daughter, even though he had been forgiven for it.
Umar went from baby killer, to companion of the prophet, to being the leader of all the lands from what is currently Syria, to Jerusalem, to Egypt. You should get a map.
A lot of the time, we laugh at people for the wrong actions they’ve put behind them. We are quick to remind them of their own ‘action’ days when we feel they are being overly ‘righteous’.
I like to think there’s a lesson in the ground. The more filth we throw at it, the more potential it has to bear good fruit.
The Prophet (SAW) said: “Every son of Adam makes mistakes, and the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent.” [At-Tirmidhi]
There’s this funny conversation that happens in my head every time, when a person attacks a sinful person for a sin or lifestyle they put behind them. And Allah reminds them of those attacks on Judgement Day, and tells the attacker, “at the time of your attack, I had already forgiven that sin you were busy attacking”.
The joke is on you.
May Allah forgive us our shortcomings and give us the strength to put His displeasure behind us.
The mistakes are mine and Allah knows best.