The greater the piety, the greater the humility a believer will show. Our pious predecessors, despite being great men, had such humble opinions of themselves. Once the river nile dried up, this was a regular occurrence. People had a belief that to make it flow ago, a virgin girl needs to be sacrificed and her blood needs to flow in the nile. This was a terrible custom that people had reverted to in the days of Ameerul Mumineen Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه. Unsure what to do, the governor of Egypt wrote a letter to Ameerul Mumineen asking for guidance.
Ameerul Mumineen sent back a letter. He said to the governor that take this letter. Instead of a virgin girl, throw this into the nile. As soon as the governor threw it in the water, the nile started to flow again. The question is, what did the letter say?
It read: “From the slave of Allah Umar رضي الله عنه, Ameerul Mumineen, to the Nile of the people of Egypt. To proceed: If you only flow on your own initiative, then do not flow, for we have no need of you. But if you only flow on the command of Allah, the One, the Subduer and He is the One who causes you to flow, then we ask Allah, may He be exalted to make you flow.” The nile began to flow again.
This also happened in the time of Hazrat Zunoon Misri رحمة الله عليه. The people of Egypt came to him because he was known for his piety. His duas were accepted. They asked him to make dua for the nile to flow again. But Hazrat Zunoon had such a humble opinion of himself, he immediately packed his bags and left Egypt. Like Musa عليه السلام, He went to madyan. As he journeyed, he cried saying that Oh Allah! It can only be due to our sins that the nile has dried up and there is no greater sinner in Egypt than myself. I have now left Egypt so that my evil does not prevent the nile from flowing.
SubhanAllah, look at his humility! Despite his piety, his focus was still on his own sins. Such humility is a prerequisite for our repentance to be accepted by Allah. We must make itirafe qusoor (i.e. admit our shortcomings). Never assume that you have only a few sins or just little sins. First recognise and admit your sins, then rely on Allah’s forgiveness.
Once there was a drought in an area, I cannot remember the name of the place, but they began making dua for rain. Eventually, the women of ill repute who would sell themselves came together. They said that the rain is being withheld due to our sins, so we must make dua. They admitted their mistakes, sought forgiveness and in turn, Allah accepted their duas.
In these stories are great lessons for us. We need to develop humility, admit our sins, seek forgiveness and then have hope in Allah. By following these steps, inshaAllah, we too will experience the divine acceptance of Allah.
May Allah grant us the tawfiq, Aameen.
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
Above is an extract from Hazrat’s bayan on 12/5/2017 at Darul Uloom Azaadville.