A beautiful story of Dua and Transformation narrated by my Colleague, Sh. Ahmed AbdelWahab
A beautiful story of repentance
narrated by my beloved Shaykh, Ibrahim Al-Akhdar, Shaykh Al-Qurrā’ (the head Qur’anic reciter and teacher) in the Prophet’s Masjid:
Shaykh Ali Subai’ (may Allah have mercy on him) was a great scholar of Quran and Islam from Al-Azhar (Egypt).
He was one of the main teachers of Shaykh ‘Āmir Sayyid Uthman, who later became Shaykh Al-Qurrā’ of Egypt and was one of the greatest and most renowned scholars of Quran in the Muslim world. He was one of the Quran teachers of Shaykh Ibrāhim Al-Akhdar. So Shaykh Ibrahim is relaying the story of his teacher’s teacher.
Shaykh Ali Subai’ was known to be a very pious man. His du’aa was mustajāb (always answered), so people had great awe of him. He was blind, but was very dedicated to his Qur’ān classes. He would walk alone with his cane, asking for directions, until he reached the masjid or building he had his Quran class in.
One day, he was walking to his Quran class in Abul ‘Ila in Cairo. As he walked alone with his cane and got close to the area where the Quran school was he asked a man, “Where is Maqra’at Abul ‘Ila?”
The man he came across was very wicked. Instead of leading him to the correct location, he led him to a prostitute’s apartment. So the poor, naive Shaykh walked to the area that the man led him to. He felt the stairs with his cane, and went up the stairs.
The woman was at the top of the stairs.
She said, “What do you want?”
He heard a woman’s voice, which wasn’t what he expected.
Shaykh Ali said, “I want the Maqra’ah (Quran school) of Abul ‘Ila.”
When this woman, who normally sells unlawful desires, saw that this man was looking for a Quran school, she began trembling with fear and embarrassment.
She said, “Okay. Please come in.”
He said, “NO! I’m looking for Maqra’at Abul ‘Ila! Where is the Maqra’ah?!”
He started going down the stairs, saying “Lā Hawla wa lā quwwata Illā billah! (there is no change or might except from Allah).”
She said, “Please wait a moment, Shaykh! Just wait one moment!”
He said, “What’s the matter?”
She wanted to serve him in any way.
She said, “Come in and rest, and then I’ll show you where the school is.”
He said, “No.”
She said, “Okay, wait outside for one minute, so I can at least give you a cup of water to drink, for the sake of Allah.”
So he waited outside until she went back inside and got him a cup of water. He drank it and gave her the cup.
Then she said, “Please make du’aa for me, Shaykh.”
So he said, “May Allah accept your repentance, my daughter.”
That was it.
She guided him to the Maqra’ah. “Go straight and turn right. You will find the Maqra’ah right there.”
Then, she went into her house and closed the door. She repented to Allah, saying I will never open this door of sin ever again.
She took a spiritual bath (ghusl) and repented from that moment.
There was a rich man’s son who was in love with her, and would always visit her. He passed by her that same day and knocked on her door, but she refused to answer.
He kept knocking and would not give up.
Finally she opened and said, “What do you want?”
He said, “It’s me!”
She said, “Go away! I don’t want to ever see you here again! Leave!”
He said, “What?! Why?!”
She said, “As I said! Don’t ever come here again! Don’t even come close to this neighborhood!”
He said, “I am so-and-so!”
She said, “I don’t care who you are! Leave. This door (of sin) is closed for good.”
He went crazy, as he was madly in love with her. He kept trying and she kept adamantly refusing and said, “It’ll be easier for you to fly in the sky!”
When he realized there was no hope, he said, “Okay, I want to marry you.”
She said, “Are you crazy?! You come from an elite and rich family! You want to marry a corrupt prostitute?! Please, just leave and don’t ever come back! Don’t try to marry me. Don’t try to come close to me!”
He said, “Never! I’m going to marry you no matter what! Even if the heavens were to fall upon the earth (it won’t stop me from marrying you)! I will never leave you.”
He kept trying and begging, until she finally agreed to marry him.
They got married, and Allah granted him great success in his business and granted him a lot of wealth.
They had children.
Every year, she would go with him and her children to visit Shaykh Ali Subai’. She would give him A LOT of money, in the thousands. This was during the time Egypt had the gold pound, which was very valuable.
She would tell Shaykh Ali, “Shaykh, please take this and give it to your students, the poor, and anyone in need. Don’t leave out anyone.”
Every year, she would come to him and give him Zakah and charity.
Allah saved this woman due to this amazing du’aa the Shaykh made for her, and due to this cup of water that she gave to the Shaykh, for the sake of Allah, to drink.
All he said was, “May Allah accept your repentance, my daughter.”
Subhānallah! He didn’t say, “May Allah make you rich, or self sufficient, or ease your affairs.”
He said, “May Allah accept your repentance, my daughter.” So Allah allowed her to repent on the spot!
This is the story of Shaykh Ali Subai’, may Allah have mercy on him (and the woman who repented).
Then Shaykh Ibrahim said, “I narrated this story to you as my Shaykh, Abdul-Fattāh Al-Qādī, narrated it to me.”
Many lessons can be learned from this story.
1- The people of Quran and piety are special people of Allah, whom Allah takes care of, and answers their du’aa.
2- In one moment, with a sincere repentance, a person can turn from being a major sinner, to one of the pious servants of Allah.
3- The door of repentance is always open, as long as one’s soul doesn’t start leaving the body.
4- When someone tries their best to sincerely repent, Allah aids them.
5- It’s amazing how a sinful, immoral person can change in one moment and become a great source of blessings for their family and community. This is a great blessing of Allah.
6- Seek what is lawful and repent to Allah, no matter how great your sins are, and Allah will open all doors of good for you.
7- Don’t underestimate the power of du’aa. Take the means and ask Allah.
8- Help spread the message of the Quran in anyway that you can. If you cannot teach the Quran for example, spend on the poor and needy teachers, students, and so on, according to your ability, so that you can share in the reward.