.:. A Prize for Piety .:.
A Prize for Piety
Once long ago, a young man named Salman came to perform Hajj. He was poor and had no money for good food. So he stayed at Makkah spending much of his time in the Haram. During the day, he worked to earn his bread which he ate with Zam-Zam water.
One day while in the masjid al-Haram, he saw something glittering under the sun in the distance. "What could that be?," thought Salman.
As he came closer, he found that someone had dropped their purse. When he opened it, he found an expensive necklace along with plenty of money.
"I could buy a lot of nice things with all this money," Salman thought. "I could buy a good house and good food with that money". But his piety spoke to him: "It is haram - it's not your property".
Then Shaitan whispered to Salman to be greedy and to keep the money. Then Salman thought that he could spend some of the money and give some of the money to charity. He thought that he was doing the right thing by keeping the money.
Meanwhile, the owner of the purse came searching for it. Salman saw the owner asking people if they had seen their purse. "I'm a thief," thought Salman, "I have the purse".
But Shaitan again whispered to him, "Don't be a fool. You need this money badly". But Salman remembered the du'a to say to make Shaitan go away from him;
A'udhu bilAllahi min ash-shaitan ar-rajeem
I ask Allah to protect mee from the rejected Shaitan.
Salman quickly returned the purse to the owner who jumped with joy. He kissed and embraced Salman and gave him a lot of money in prize to thank him for his honesty and kindness.
But Salman returned the money saying that it was his duty as a good Muslim. The man was stunned of the piety of this young man. He embraced him again and returned with his family.
Salman continued his hard life of worship and earning halal. He collected some money and planned to return home. He bought some gifts for his parents. He sailed on a boat from Jeddah to the south. After three days at sea, there was a heavy storm, the boat hit a huge rock and the passengers had to abandon it.
Fortunately for Salman, he got hold of a plank off the broken boat and stuck to it. The waves took him to the middle of nowhere. To survive, he drank sea water and caught small fishes for food. It was horrifying to see big sharks preying on the other survivors.
Salman was scared, and prayed to Allah to save his life. After three days, the wind and tide took him near the shore. He swam until he reached the beach and walked to the nearby village.
He entered the mosque, thirsty, hungry, injured and tired. The villagers in the mosque saw the tried looking stranger, and were very kind and helpful to him.
Salman stayed in the mosque, trying to gather his strength after the ship-wreck and continued with his worship. Then he led the people in salat like an Imam and gave them sermons full of good advice and piety. He also used to help people with jobs that they needed doing, and was kind and helpful as much as he could. The people were impressed with this young pious man.
There was a rich man in the village who had a beautiful daughter named Shayma. He wanted to give her in marriage to the pious young man who would also manage his business.
One night, he came to Salman and said, "You are a very loving person to me. I want you to marry my daughter."
Salman could not believe what he heard. He knew that the person was the richest man in the village. Salman kissed his head and the rich man embraced Salman. After three days, a simple nikah was arranged in the mosque and the bride came to live with him. When he entered the room he found a beautiful lady wrapped in silken clothes. She stood to welcome him.
As Salman came closer to greet his new wife, he saw something glisten under the sun. His sight was caught by the necklace Shayma was wearing. It was the same necklace which he had returned in the Haram!
Salman turned his face and fell in prostration to Allah and said, "Thou Art Great. Truly, Thou never waste the reward of righteous ones."
Shayma told the whole story to her father. The next day, the father came to Salman with a key in his hand saying, "This is the key of all my businesses and properties." He embraced Salman.
Piety smiled in Salman's heart and said, "Will you love me not?"
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