Al-Imaam Ibn Hibbaan has a book called “Ath-Thiqaat (The Trustworthy)” in which he narrated this Story that Teaches Steadfastness with his chain of narration from the route of Al-Imaam, Al-Mujtahid ^Abdu-r-RaHmaan Al-Awzaa^iyy that a man called ^Abdullaah Ibn Muhammad said, “I went to the coastline area in Egypt for Jihaad (i.e. to take a post, because the Muslims were invaded by other people who would come with their naval force and invade the Muslim land, so the Muslims would volunteer and take post on the shoreline to prevent that attacks. So he is saying he was there), I came to a tent and inside of that tent was a man who had lost his arms and legs and his hearing and sight were weak (he could not see and hear well), but I heard him saying a statement (which means), ‘O Allaah, inspire me to thank You and praise You a praise with which I match thanking You for all the blessings that You gave me and because You preferred me with a mark (i.e. a preference) over many of those whom You created’.”
^Abdullaah heard that statement and said, “I will go to this man and ask him where he got these words from; did he get them through his knowledge, or was it something he was inspired to say?”
So he went to this afflicted man and asked him, “Where did you get this statement from?” So the man told him, “Don’t you see what Allaah did for me? (He had no arms, no legs, and his hearing and sight were weak; the only thing he had left with was his tongue). I swear by Allaah, if He were to bring the sky down with fire and burn me, or if He were to bring the ocean to drown me, or order the mountains to destroy me, I would not do anything but increase my thankfulness to Him, because He gave me the blessing of the tongue.”
^Abdullaah was amazed. Then the man said to him, “Well, ^Abdullaah, since you are here and you see my situation, you know that I cannot do much for myself. However, I had a son who used to take care of me; when I needed to make wuDoo’ to pray, he would help me in making wuDoo’, when I was hungry, he would feed me, and when I felt thirsty, he would give me a drink, but I have not seen him in three days. He has not shown up for three days now. Could you help me find him?” ^Abdullaah said, “Sure. If someone is in need and a person helps him, he will get reward for that, and no one will get more reward than a person who helps you (i.e. you need a lot of help, so the one who helps you will get more reward than helping other people in need).”
So he went out to look for the man’s son and he did not go far. He found the child between some sandy hills and his flesh was torn apart and eaten by a wild beast. Upon seeing this, ^Abdullaah said, “Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji^oon (which means, “Surely we belong to Allaah and surely, we will be resurrected by Him on the Day of Judgment”) – a statement that Allaah said (what means) that those who are patient and hit with calamity would say this statement.
So he said the statement, then he said, “How would I go back now? With what face will I meet this man and tell him about what happened?” So he was feeling awkward. On his way back to the afflicted man, ^Abdullaah said, “The case of Prophet Ayyoob occurred to me.”
So when he got there, the afflicted man saw him and said, “Aren’t you the man who was with me earlier?” He said, “Yes, I am”. So he asked, “What did you do about what I sent you for?” ^Abdullaah asked the man, “Are you more honorable to Allaah than Prophet Ayyoob?” He said, “No. Prophet Ayyoob is more honorable, not me.” So he asked the man, “What did Allaah afflict Prophet Ayyoob with? Didn’t Allaah afflict him in his body (i.e. with sickness)? Didn’t Allaah afflict him in his children (i.e. he lost his children), and also he lost his wealth?” The man said, “Yes.” ^Abdullaah said, “So what did Ayyoob do?” The man said, “Ayyoob responded to this affliction from Allaah in body, children, and wealth by being patient, thankful, and praising of Allaah, the Exalted”. Then he said, “Did Allaah keep this affliction on Ayyoob until his own relatives moved away from him and did not want to be around him?” He said, “Yes.” He asked, “What did Ayyoob do about it?” The man said, “He responded by being patient, thankful and praising of Allaah, the Exalted.” Then he said, “Didn’t Allaah also keep this affliction on Ayyoob until some people would see Ayyoob in the street and would harm him?” He said, “Yes.” He asked again, “What did Ayyoob do?” He said, “He responded with being patient, thankful, and praising of Allaah.” Then the afflicted man said, “Could you make it short please? (i.e. I sent you to do something for me, so tell me what happened? -so he was anxious). So ^Abdullaah said, “The boy that you sent me to find I saw him between the sandy hills being torn by a wild animal. He died. May Allaah inspire you to be patient and may Allaah reward you greatly.”
The afflicted man said, “All praise and thanks are due to Allaah, the One Who did not create from my offspring someone who would disobey Him and as a result enter Hellfire.” — He was happy that his son died at an age of non-pubescence, so his son will go to Paradise. He was happy that his son was eaten by this animal and died as a Muslim.
Then he said, “Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji^oon (Surely, to Allaah we belong, and Surely, Allaah will resurrect us on the Day of Judgment),” then the afflicted man took a breath and he died.
So ^Abdullaah, the one narrating the story, said, “innaa lillaah wa innaa ilayhi raaji^oon. Now my affliction is great. What do I do with this man? (because he had come for jihaad initially before meeting this man and encountering all of this, so he didn’t know what to do). If I leave him, then the wild animals will eat his body.” So he covered the afflicted man’s body and sat by him, waiting.
After some time, four people came. They told him, “What is your story?” So he told them what had happened. They asked ^Abdullaah, “Could you uncover his face? We might him.” So they uncovered the man’s face and the people started to cry. They started kissing whatever was left of his arms and kissing his eyes. ^Abdullaah asked them, “Who is he, may Allaah have mercy upon you?” They said, “This was a man who loved Allaah a lot and he loved the Messenger of Allaah, Sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, a lot. This is Abu Qilaabah Al-Jarmiyy (from the tribe of Jarm in Yemen), the companion of ^Abdullaah Ibn ^Abbaas (i.e. the one who studied with Ibn ^Abbaas, so he was a taabi^iyy).”
Then ^Abdullaah said, “So we washed him, shrouded him, and prayed for him, and then I went back to my post. Later, I fell asleep and saw in my dream Abu Qilaabah Al-Jarmiyy wearing two pieces of clothes from Paradise which were very nice. I asked him, “What happened to you? Why are you in these nice clothes?” He said, “Allaah has prepared ranks for those who are patient with calamities and thankful when it is a life of ease (when a person has things going right for him), along with fearing Allaah in private and in public.”
Abu Qilaabah Al-Jarmiyy was a very high ranking scholar and judge of Islaam and was detached from the worldly matters. He died in the year 104 A.H. raHimahullaah.
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