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Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:44 am

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The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, narrated:

Three people from one of the previous communities went abroad for some business. They were caught in a rainstorm on the way and took shelter in a cave. However, the floods formed of the heavy rain dragged a huge rock to the mouth of the cave and blocked it completely.

Unable to remove the rock, the three men decided to supplicate God Almighty to remove the rock for the sake of the most sincere of the good deeds each had done.

One of them held his hands stretched toward the heavens and implored:

— O God! As You know, I was very careful in looking after my parents. Until we had given them their food, we, the rest of the family, would not sit at the table.

Once, I went out to cut and bring wood. As I came back home late, I found tmy parents sleeping. In order not to disturb their rest, I waited beside their bed until they awoke up. They awoke at daybreak and only after I had offered them their breakfast with my own hands, did the rest of us sit down to our evening meal. If my serving my parents in that way is agreeable to You, O God, remove this rock for its sake.

He had just finished his supplication when the rock moved aside a little. Then the second man began his supplication:

— O God! As You know, I had fallen in love with the daughter of my uncle. However, despite all of my appeals to her, she would not agree to marry me. Drought broke out and while all other people suffered great hunger, everything was all right for me. At that time, the girl I loved came to me. Hunger had also stricken her people. I agreed to lend them a hundred gold coins in return for her consent to make love with me. I had just sat down beside her when she said: 'Fear God and do not violate me.' I immediately stood up without doing anything to her, and gave her the gold coins for nothing in return. If this act of mine is approved by You, O God, remove this rock for its sake.

The rock moved a little more, but it was still not possible yet to get out of the cave. Then the third man stretched out his hands and prayed:

— O God! As You know, I was once very rich. I paid the workers I employed before the sweat had dried on their brows. On one particular day, one of these workers left without collecting his wage. I bought a sheep with the money due to him and bred it on his behalf. The sheep gave birth to a lamb and eventually there was a big flock. Years later, the worker returned unexpectedly and demanded the wage due to him. Showing him the flock and other things his wage had earned, I said to him: 'All that you see belongs to you.' He did not believe me, but when I explained to him how it was, he took his due and departed. If this deed is acceptable to You, O God, then remove this rock.

The rock moved a little more and rolled away.

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