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Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:20 am

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Hudayfa relates:

— The Battle of Yarmuk had just ended. I was walking over the battle-field among the martyred and injured with a pitcher of water. I was looking for the son of my uncle.

I found him lying in blood on the burning sand. He was about to die. I asked him whether he wanted water. Unable to speak, he gestured that he did. I was just offering it to him when a groaning was heard: 'Water! Water! Please, a drop of water!'

My uncle's son, whose name was Harith, heard that and gestured that I should take the water to him. I hastened to the groaning one, who was Ikrima. Ikrima had not yet taken the pitcher when a similar groaning was heard. Refusing to take the water, Ikrima wanted me to take it to the one groaning. When I got to that one, who was 'Iyash, he was supplicating:

- O God! We have never refrained from sacrificing our lives for the sake of faith. Honor us with the rank of martyrdom, and forgive our sins!

'Iyash saw the water but did not live long enough to drink it. I immediately returned to take the water to Ikrima. However, I found Ikrima also martyred. Then I hastened to Harith, my uncle's son. Unfortunately, he too was lying dead on the burning sand.

This is the most touching event I have witnessed in my life. It was their unshakable belief in Islam which caused them to behave that way. It was Islam which created such degree of brotherhood among people.

Imam Sirr al-Saqati narrates:

— For thirty years I have been asking God's forgiveness for an al-hamdu-li-llah (Thanks and praise be to God) which I uttered with joy thirty years ago. When asked if it was a sin to praise and thank God, Sirr al-Saqati explained:

— In the Mosque of Baghdad, even as I was teaching the Prophetic Tradition, 'The one who does not feel troubled because of the troubles of Muslims', a man came rushing in and said that a great fire had broken out in the Baghdad market burning all the shops to ashes, but adding: ‘Nothing has happened to your shop'. Glad that my shop had been saved from the fire, and not remembering that all the other shops had not, I happened to utter al-hamdu-li-llah. That was clearly a selfish act. While the shops of all other people were burnt, I should not have been rejoicing over mine being saved. It is for that selfish act of mine that I have been asking God's forgiveness for thirty years and praying to God that He may not make me a selfish one.

Sirr al-Saqati continued to repent of that act until his death. Before he died, he asked to be buried in a solitary place no one knew of, and explained why:

— It sometimes happens that earth throws out the dead bodies of some sinful ones so that the living ones may take a lesson. If I am a selfish one who does not feel troubled because of the troubles of other Muslims, the earth may throw me out. So [bury me some unknown place so that] the people do not know me as one wicked and sinful to that degree.



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