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Good Deeds and Dua Acceptance – Islamic Story from Hadith


In today’s short story, which is based on a hadith from Al-Bukhari and Muslim and that is also mentioned in the book Riyadh-us-Saliheen, we will see that how we can ask Allah to accept our Du’as by virtue of any good deed that we may have done for Allah’s pleasure. So, here is the story.

This story was narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with them) and that he had heard this story from the Messenger of Allah (?):

According to the story, there were three men in previous times, who set out in the wilderness until night came upon them and they reached a cave, so they entered the cave to rest for the night. As they were inside, a rock fell down from the mountain and blocked the entrance of the cave. This obviously got them very concerned. After a while, they felt that they had to make a dua to Allah by virtue of a righteous act that they had done in their past.’

So, one of them said: ‘O Allah! I had parents who were old, and I used to offer them milk before any of my children or slaves. One day, I went far away in search of grazing and could not come back until they had slept. When I milked as usual and brought the drink I found them both asleep. I hated to disturb them and also disliked to give milk to my children before them. So, even though my children were crying out of hunger at my feet but I waited with the bowl in my hand for my parents to wake up. However, they kept sleeping until dawn. When they finally woke up at dawn, they then drank the milk that I had in my hands and that I had been holding all night for them. The man then said, “O Allah! If I did that act just to seek Your Pleasure, then relieve us from this trouble and the distress caused by this rock’. As soon as the man made this dua, the rock did move slightly but not enough for them to escape from the cave.

Now it was the turn of the next person. He said: ‘O Allah! I had a female cousin whom I loved more than any one else and I wanted to have bad relations with her but she refused. So, after about a year, drought and famine hit our areas and due to her bad conditions she approached me to ask for help. I gave her one hundred and twenty dinars on the condition that she would surrender herself to the bad desires that I had within myself. As she was quite helpless, she finally agreed to my condition. When we got together to be alone, she reminded me one more time and said: Fear Allah and do not cross this boundary unlawfully. As soon as I heard that meaning her reminder to me to fear Allah, I moved away from her in spite of the fact that I loved her very passionately and wanted to be with her. I also let her keep the money that I had given her. The man then said, “O Allah! If I did that only to seek Your Pleasure, then, remove this trouble and the distress that we are in now.’ As soon as he made this dua, the rock moved again making more room for them but again not enough for them to escape.

Finally, it was the third man’s turn. He said: ‘O Allah! I hired some workers and paid them their wages except one of them who left without taking his dues. So, I invested his portion of the money in a business and the business prospered greatly. After a long time, he came to me and said: O slave of Allah! Pay me my dues. So, I said: All that you see is yours – camels, cattle, goats and slaves. He said: O slave of Allah! Do not mock at me. I assured him that I was not joking and that this was his share. So he took all the things and went away and spared nothing for me. So, O Allah! If I did that seeking Your Pleasure, then relieve us of our distress.’ As soon as he made this dua, the rock slipped aside and the three men got out walking freely”.

This story then should encourage all of us to do a lot of good deeds only for the pleasure of Allah and not to show off to others. Later in life, if we do get stuck in tough times, we can ask Allah to listen and accept our Du’as due to the virtue of those good actions and deeds that we did only for His pleasure and not to please or impress upon others.

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