A Drowning Man’s Story - I

A Drowning Man’s Story - I
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This is a true story and I witnessed the events myself. I narrate it hoping that it may contain some lessons for whoever wants something that draws him near to Allah The Almighty.

Like other young men in secondary school, I was under the pressures of studies and getting good grades, so, I decided, with some of my good and righteous friends, to go to a beach where one of my friends owns a cabana. We were all looking forward to having a good time by entertaining ourselves within the limits of obeying Allah The Almighty.

To our horror, when we were on our way to this place, the luggage of one of my friends fell from the bus. He left the bus immediately to search for it accompanied by one of our companions. As we had separated, the rest of our friends and I decided not to complete the journey; however, soon our friend found his lost bag and joined us on the road. Consequently, we decided to continue our journey. It seemed as if Allah The Almighty wanted us to continue on this journey to be eyewitnesses to the incidents that would happen.

After arriving at the cabana, we cleaned up and set things in order. A few hours later, we decided to perform some Rak‘ahs (units of prayer) before Fajr (Dawn) prayer in the cabana’s garden which overlooked the other cabanas. Before we could start, though, a group of youth reached the cabana that faced ours and bombarded us with torrents of very loud music. At once, we went to their cabana hoping to advise them gently and good-humoredly, as well as to invite them to join us, hoping that Allah The Almighty would guide them at our hands.

However, they rejected our advice and it seemed as if they had come there for the sole purpose of committing any sins they wanted and to satisfy all their evil desires. This seemed especially true, seeing that they had come from another state and did not want to run into anyone who would restrain their desires or end the flood of confusion and heedlessness in which they were drowning themselves. So, we returned to our cabana and left them.

However, we noticed that one of them had some vestiges of goodness, for after a few moments, this young man who was called Ahmad, along with another young man from that group, came to us. They asked us to knock at their door at the time of each prayer. We welcomed this request and were very happy that Allah The Almighty had granted us success to call them to His straight Path. Indeed, when the Athaan (call) of Fajr Prayer started we knocked on their door and they joined us in prayer.

When we performed prayer, we spoke with them and tried to extract some light of guidance from their hearts, however it was very faint and buried under long years of deprivation and disobedience. Ahmad, that young man, surprised us when he started relaying his story with tears of sadness and bitterness filling his eyes.

He said,
"I was a good and tenderhearted young man. Allah The Almighty blessed me and I grew up during the first years of my youth among righteous young men who truly loved Allah The Almighty, and who had sound hearts and souls that were humbly submissive to Allah The Almighty. They loved me and I loved them. I lived with them, performing prayer, reading the Book of Allah and attending religious lectures in different mosques.

It was a beautiful life; I was close to Allah The Almighty and I loved Him greatly to the extent that, by Allah, I felt that love for Allah The Almighty flowed through my bones until it reached my brain.

It was an indescribable feeling, but whoever has tasted the sweetness of obedience would realize what I am saying.

I interrupted him as his words affected me deeply, yet I was also perplexed because of his current state, which was very different from what he was saying. What was the cause behind this radical change? I posed the question to him, but he surprised us by saying: Do you know that I have not prostrated even once to Allah for four years?

Four years of deprivation and disobedience! What had happened? What filled his heart with hatred and cast it into the pits of misery and deprivation? What prevented it from the life of illumination and closeness to Allah The Merciful, The Forgiving?

The answer was as I expected: it is the disaster and obstacle that stealthily destroys many young men after having tasted the sweetness of Faith and ascending its ranks. Therefore, its strikes are lethal and cause many young people to fall down screaming until they hit rock bottom.

He said,
"It was bad company that brought me to this state. Ever since I came to know them, they took me with them everywhere until I left my good companions and prayer, and committed sins that I had never imagined that I would dare commit."

Dear brothers, do you see ‎what the supporters of the devil can do? They are truly devils in human form who do not observe any pact of kinship or covenant of protection with a believer. They just want you to be like them; a wanderer on the roads of misery in this worldly life and a companion in all the evils they commit. However, on the Day of Judgment, they will deny and curse one another. You will see them standing before Allah The Almighty screaming at the face of one another, “If it were not for you, we would have been believers!”

The two young men stopped reminiscing with these memories and we promised them to knock at their door at the time of every prayer. However, we were not able to do that.
(To be continued...)

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