Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cheap Ticket to Paradise

A man from a respectable background came to Balkh 
which is situated in the south of Iran, accompanied by 
his wife and daughters. Shortly after their arrival 
the man fell ill and later died, leaving his wife and daughters. 
Without his support they became poor and suffered. 
So fearing the mockery of enemies, she fled Balkh with her 
daughters to Samarkand.

On the day she arrived the weather was very cold, so she left 
her daughters in a mosque and went out in search of food. 
She passed by two groups of people. One was gathered around 
a Muslim who was the Sheikh and the other group around 
a Zoroastrian (Majusi) who was the security officer of the city.

She first went to the Muslim Sheikh and described her situation 
saying, "I am a woman of a respectable family, with daughters 
whom I have left in the local mosque and I have come in 
search of food." He asked her, "Bring me proof that you are 
from a respectable family." She replied, "I am a stranger in 
this town and therefore do not know anyone to testify for me.
" She departed from him brokenhearted. She then went to 
the Zoroastrian and explained her situation to him, telling him 
about her noble background and her orphaned daughters 
who were, waiting her return in the local mosque. 
She also mentioned to him how the Muslim Sheikh had treated her.

The Zoroastrian stood up and sent some womenfolk to bring her 
daughters and took all of them to his house. There he showered 
them with honour and generosity. He fed them fine food and 
clothed them in rich garments.

That night the Muslim Sheikh saw in a dream the Day of Resurrection 
and the banners were unfurled around Holy Prophet Muhammad 
(Peace be Upon him). Ahead of him, was a green palace made of 
emeralds, its balconies of pearls and rubies and domes of pearls and corals. 
He asked Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him), 
"Messenger of Allah, for whom is this palace?" 
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) replied, "For a Muslim." 
The Muslim Sheikh replied, "I am a Muslim!" 
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) said, "Prove to me 
that you are a Muslim?" At that, the Muslim Sheikh was dumbstruck. 
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) then said, 
"You asked a woman to produce proof of her respectability and 
therefore my question to you is, can you produce proof that 
you are a Muslim?" At this point the Muslim Sheikh felt remorse 
about his treatment towards the woman and her orphaned daughters.

In the morning, he immediately set out to find the woman. He learnt 
she was staying with the Zoroastrian and so called for him. When 
the Zoroastrian arrived, the Muslim Sheikh requested that he sends 
the woman and her daughters to him. The Zoroastrian replied, 
"Under no circumstance! I have received great blessings from her." 
The Muslim Sheikh said, "Take a thousand dinars from me and
 bring them to me." Zoroastrian shouted, "Impossible! The one who 
showed you the palace in your dream has made it (the palace) for me. 
Are you surprised because I am not a Muslim? By Allah (SWT), 
I did not sleep last night, before I and my family accepted Islam at that 
noble woman's hand and I dreamt something similar to what you dreamt; 
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) asked me, 
"Is that noble woman and her daughters with you?" I replied: 
"Yes, Messenger of Allah." Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) 
said, "This palace is for you and your family. Allah (SWT) created you 
a believer in eternity." At that the Muslim Sheikh remained 
sorrowful and grieved for the missed opportunity of earning 
a lofty position in Paradise, due to his neglect of the widowed woman 
and her daughters.

Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon him) has said, 
"The one who strives on behalf of the widow and the needy is like a warrior 
in the path of Allah". (Bukhari and Muslim) May Allah guide us to 
what is right for indeed, He is Generous, the most Kind, and the most Merciful!