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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

this applies in the case of those who deserve compassion, who feel remorse and show that they have repented, as is sometimes the case when people come to ask questions and find out, as in the following story. ibn ‘abbaas reported that a man who had divorced his wife by zihaar and then had intercourse with her came to the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) and said,

“o messenger of allaah, i divorced my wife by zihaar then i had intercourse with her before i offered kafaarah (expiation).” he said, “what made you do that, may allaah have mercy on you?” he said, “i saw her anklets in the moonlight.” he said, “then do not go near her until you have done that which allaah commanded you to do.” (abu ‘eesa said, this is a hasan ghareeb saheeh hadeeth. saheeh sunan al-tirmidhi, no. 1199)

abu hurayrah (may allaah be pleased with him) said:

“whilst we were sitting with the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him), a man came to him and said, ‘o messenger of allaah, i am doomed!’ he said, ‘what is the matter with you?’ he said, ‘i had intercourse with my wife whilst i was fasting.’ the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said, ‘are you able to set a slave free?’ he said, ‘no.’ he said, ‘can you fast for two consecutive months?’ he said, ‘no.’ he said, ‘do you have the wherewithal to feed sixty poor persons?’ he said, ‘no.’ the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said nothing more about the matter for a while, and whilst we were sitting there like that, a large basket full of dates was brought to the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him). he said, ‘where is the one who was asking?’ the man said, ‘here i am.’ he said, ‘take this and give it in charity.’ the man said, ‘who is poorer than me, o messenger of allaah? by allaah, there is no family in madeenah poorer than mine.’ the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) smiled until his eyeteeth were visible, then he said, ‘feed your family with it.’” (reported by al-bukhaari, fath, 1936).

this person who had made a mistake and came to ask about it was not joking or taking the matter lightly. he felt remorseful and guilty, as is clear from his saying “i am doomed.” for this reason, he deserved pity and compassion. the report narrated by ahmad (may allaah have mercy on him) makes the man’s state even clearer:

abu hurayrah reported that a bedouin came, hitting his cheeks and tearing out his hair, and saying, “i am sure that i am doomed!” the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said to him, “what makes you doomed?” he said, “i had intercourse with my wife during ramadaan.” he said, “can you free a slave?’ he said, “no.” he said, “can you fast for two consecutive months?” he said, “no.” he said, “can you feed sixty poor persons?” he said, “no,” and mentioned how poor he was. a large basket containing fifteen saa’ of dates was brought to the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him), and the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said, “where is that man? … feed the poor with this.” he said, “o messenger of allaah, there is no one in madeenah who is poorer than my family.” the messenger of allaah (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) smiled until his eyeteeth were visible and said, “feed your family.” (al-musnad, 2/516. al-fath al-rabaani, 10/89)




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