Each time I make the intention to be a better Muslim, to do good deeds, a devil will come to me and whispers, “You’re never gonna become that person. You are a sinner. You commit this sin and that sin. How are you gonna be a pious person? You are never going to change. Look at you.”
This whisper always hold me back. This negative perception makes me believe that I’ll never be that person who changes the society. Little that I know, in our pious predecessors were probably even worse than me, and they changed the world!
Look at Al-Fudhayl! He was a thief and a fearsome highway robber. Back in the days when someone would travel, they’ll go walking or riding on horses through desert. It was common back then to get robbed by highway robbers.
Al-Fudhayl also used to climb houses and steal from these houses at night. One night, when he climbed a house ready to steal something, he heard a person inside the house praying. The person read this verse in his night prayer:
ألم يأن للذين آمنوا أن تخشع قلوبهم لذكر الله وما نزل من الحق
“Has not the time yet come for those who believe that their hearts should be humble for the remembrance of God and what has come down of the truth? “
In this verse God is addressing those who believe in Him but disobey and transgress against Him so ‘that their hearts should be humble for the remembrance of God’.
Al-Fudhayl was moved and he knew that God was addressing people like him. This verse was addressing him, it was calling him! Al-Fudhayl responded, ‘Yes, it is the time my Lord!’
Since then he made his decision to change. What did he become? He became a great scholar! A great scholar from what? A thief, a fearsome highway robber. He had no worth in his life, and then he became a scholar!