500 Years of Worship

By Shaikh Abul Laith Samarkandi

Angel Jibreel (عليه السلام) told Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) the following incident:

A man in the past worshipped Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) continuously for 500 years. He was granted a shelter on top of a mountain that was surrounded by salty water. However, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) caused a stream of sweet water to flow through the mountain for that individual. The man would drink from this water and use it to make ablution. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) also raised a pomegranate tree from which the man would eat one fruit every day.

One day, this person supplicated to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) that, “Oh Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), bring my death while I am in the state of prostration.” Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) accepted this dua of his. Whenever Jibreel (عليه السلام) came down to the Earth, he found this man prostrating to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى). Jibreel (عليه السلام) said that on the day of Judgement, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) will tell the angels to take this individual to Paradise through His mercy. However, this man will insist that he should enter paradise through the good deeds that he had performed.

Then, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) will tell the angels to compare his good deeds with the blessings that were given to him in the world. It will be seen that 500 years of his worship does not even equal to the gift of eye sight that was given to him by Allah (سبحانه وتعالى). The angels will be asked to take him toward the hell fire. Then the man will plead, “Oh Allah (سبحانه وتعالى)! Enter me into Paradise only through Your mercy.” At that point, the following discussion will take place between Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) and that man.

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى): Oh my servant, who created you?

The worshipper: Oh Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), You have created me.

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى): Were you created because of the good deeds you have done or because of My mercy?

The worshipper: Because of Your mercy.

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى): Who granted you the ability to worship for 500 years?

The worshipper: Oh the Almighty! You have granted me that ability.

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى): Who placed you on the mountain surrounded by the ocean? Who caused a stream of sweet water to flow in between the salty water? Who caused a pomegranate tree to grow for you? Who granted you death while in the state of prostration?

The worshipper: Oh the Sustainer of the Worlds! You have done all of these.

Then Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) will say, “All these have happened due to My mercy and you too will enter Paradise only through My Mercy.”

We can never thank Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) for the blessings that He has given us. Let us use these blessings to recognize Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) before our death.

رَّبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

Translation: My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the best of those who show mercy! [Surah Al-Mu’minoon, verse 118]