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The value of repentance

Mullah Ali Qari (ra) in his Arabic commentary of Mishkaat wrote an incident about Ibrahim bin Adham (ra), who was an eminent spiritual leader of his time. He writes that Ibrahim bin Adham (ra) said "While walking one day I came across a wealthy young man who was spewing due to having drank liquor. He vomited so much that flies started buzzing around him. This excessive spewing caused him to lose consciousness." Upon initially seeing him Ibrahim bin Adham was very upset. The thought occurred to him that the very tongue that pronounces the name of Allah has been spoiled by the impurity of liquor. He fetched a pail of water and washed the vomit around his mouth. He prayed to Allah with the following words: "Oh Allah, though he is unworthy and disobediently involved in sin, You are my Friend and he is a servant of my Friend. In view of the fact that I consider him to be Your servant even though he is a sinner I will cast my attention on him, for he is nonetheless connected to You."

The splash of cold water on his face immediately woke him up. He came to his senses and sat up. He said: "Ibrahim you are such a prominent Wali Allah (friend of Allah), he who has given up the Kingdom of Balkh, yet you are tending to a miserable drunkard like myself?" Ibrahim replied, "Seeing you in this disabled state aroused compassion in me. I saw you in a state where flies are buzzing around you, but because you are a servant of my Allah, I deemed it correct to serve you." The young man was very surprised saying, "I was always under the impression that men of Allah look down upon sinners. Today have I come to realize that none are as compassionate upon sinners as the friends of Allah. Please give me your hands, so that I can make Taubah, I can repent for my sins and become Bayat to you."

Sultan Ibrahim (ra) accepted his request for Bayat and made him repent from his sins. At that moment he received kashf (ability to see some hidden things) that this young man who had just repented had surpassed many pious individuals of that period.

Indeed, at the very moment a person repents from his sins, he becomes the most beloved to Allah. Even the angels celebrate in the heavens saying that so and so has asked forgiveness from Allah and has come close to Allah.

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