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Once Hazrat Jibraiel A.S approached Prophet Muhammad S.A.W and told him about a man who had lived in the past. The Angel told the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W that the man was a pious one. He was among those who believed in Allah Almighty and chose to lead a humble life.
A man who worshipped Allah for 500 years
The man would worship Allah so much so that he worshipped Allah for 500 years. He used to reside on the top of the mountain where Allah Almighty blessed him with a shelter. Near the mountain, a stream of water used to flow, but its water was salty.
As the man was a pious one, Allah blessed him with another stream of water whose water was sweet. This way the man could enjoy the sweet water for drinking and ablution purposes. Allah Almighty also took care of his food. A tree of pomegranate was grown at the mountain from which the man could enjoy fresh fruit every day.
He made a supplication which was accepted
One day while the man was worshipping Allah, he made a supplication that may his death arrive while he is in Sujood i.e. In the state of prostration. His dua was accepted by Allah Almighty and he ordered to take away the life of his loyal worshipper while he is in Sujood. Hazrat Jibraiel narrates that he would always find the man in the state of prostration.
Hazrat Jibraiel then unfolded some interesting things. He told Prophet Muhammad S.A.W that on the Day of Judgment, Allah will ask his angels to open the doors of paradise for the man and let him enjoy the bounties of heaven through Allah’s mercy.
He wouldn’t be able to enter Jannah
However, the man will be sure that it is his deeds that will let him enter the paradise and thereby would ask that let him enter the paradise upon his good deeds.
So his deeds will be calculated. His 500 years of worship would not even be able to scale out the blessing of eyesight. He thought his 500 years of worship were enough to let him earn Jannah but in fact, he was not even able to make for the blessing of sight.
Upon this, Allah will order His angels to throw the man in hell. The man will get shocked and will plead. He will ask Allah to let him enter the paradise by Your Mercy.
Allah will inquire from the man who gave you the ability to worship Me for 500 years? The man would reply that Oh Almighty, you blessed me with the ability.
Allah will let him count all the blessings by saying that Who placed him in the mountains blessed with water? Who was the one who arranged sweet water for you on the top of the mountain? Who arranged food for you by growing a pomegranate? Who accepted your wish to die in the state of prostration?
The worshipper will reply that indeed Allah is the only One who has blessed me with all these gifts. Then Allah will tell the man that everything happens because of His mercy, you shall also enter the paradise only because of My mercy.
Source: Obtained from the book “Tambihul Ghafileen” by Shaikh Abul Laith Samarkandi.