A Tale of a Servant of Allah

A poet once said:

Ask and never get bored

Because the sickness of asking is boredom

Don’t you see that the rope

Which consistently strikes a rock

Leaves a mark

There is a tale told of a servant of Allah in Mecca who worshipped Allah steadfastly for forty years.  Every day he would rise with the invocation, “Labayk, Allahuma, Labayk (Ever at your service, Oh Allah, ever at your service).”  And every day, for forty years he would hear this response, “La Labayk wa la Sadayk (We are not at your service nor will you be happy).”

Nevertheless, the servant of Allah remained in Mecca calling upon his Lord for forty years, never tiring, never despairing.   It was in this state that a visitor found him, entreating his Lord … “Labayk, Allahuma Labayk…”  As the servant of Allah continued his worship, his visitor heard the identical response to that which the worshipper had heard for forty years.  Immediately, assuming himself to be in the presence of one who had fallen out of the mercy of Allah, he escaped from his friend’s home.  The steadfast worshipper called out after his friend, wanting to know why he had left.  “Oh Master, ” the visitor answered, “when you called out ‘Labayk’ you were answered with its negation, ‘La Labayk'”.

To this the worshipper responded, “You have heard this once and run from fear, I have been hearing this for forty years, and I remain.  Tell me, where else can I go?  Through which other door may I enter upon Him?  Here I stand knocking, and though He may continue to banish me, I will continue to knock.  I will not leave His door.”

Upon this, Allah gave His acceptance and replied, “Labayk wa Sadayk.”  So, he who stands at the door, knocking patiently and continually, will find the door opened for him, and will find himself joined with the Beloved.  This is why the Prophet (saws) has said, “To Allah, the most loved act of worship, no matter how seemingly trivial, is the one done consistently.” (Bukhari/Muslim)

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