Malik on Tawbah: Malik ibn Dinar’s story of repentance

Ibn Qudamah reported: Malik ibn Dinar, may Allah have mercy on him, was asked about the reason for his repentance and he said: I was an officer and I was given to drinking wine. When half the night had passed in the month of Sha’ban, which was Friday night, I became drunk from wine and I failed to perform the last evening prayer. I saw in a dream as if the Resurrection had begun, the trumpet was blown, the graves were overturned, and the creatures were gathered, and I was among them. I heard a sound behind me and I turned around to behold a great dragon, nothing more dark and blue, its mouth open and rushing towards me. I passed in front of it, fleeing in panic and terror, then an old man passed by my way. He had pure, clean clothes and a wonderful fragrance. I greeted him with peace and he returned it. I said, “Old man! Protect me from this dragon! I adjure you by Allah!” The old man wept and he said to me, “I am weak and this dragon is stronger than me. I have no power over it, but you must keep running, for perhaps Allah will grant you what can save you from it.” Then, I continued to flee in the other direction and I ascended the cliffs of the Resurrection until I came upon the plains of fire. I looked upon its horrors and I nearly passed away from the terror of the dragon. A voice called out, “Get back, for you are not one of its people!” I was put at rest by this voice and I turned back. The dragon turned back to pursue me and the old man came to me again. I said, “Old man! I asked you to protect me from this dragon and you were unable.” The old man wept and he said, “I am weak but retreat to this mountain, for within it are the lodgings of the Muslims. If it is for you, within it is a lodging and you will be helped.” I looked to the mountain and it was covered in silver, within which were open niches, curtains hanging upon every alley, and skylights fitted with red gold, separated by rubies, the constellation of each skylight was draped with pure silk. When I looked upon the mountain, I turned fleeing towards it and the dragon chased me from behind, until he came close to me and the voice of some angels cried out, “Pull aside the drapes, open the windows, and go inside! Perhaps for this danger among you is a lodging to protect one from his enemy!” Behold, the curtains were lifted, the windows were opened, and children emerged from these niches with faces like moons. The dragon drew closer to me and I was disheartened by my affair. Some of the children called out, “Woe to you! Enter, all of you, for one’s enemy is approaching him!” They entered, group after group, and I beheld my daughter who had died. She entered along with them. When she saw me, she wept and she said, “My father, by Allah!” She darted to me upon a cradle of light until she appeared before me. She reached with her left hand towards my right hand and held onto it, then she stretched forth her right hand towards the dragon and he turned to flee. Then, she gave me a seat and sat upon my lap. She struck my beard with her right hand and she said, “O father, is it not time for those with faith that their hearts be humbled by the remembrance of Allah?” (57:16). I wept and I said, “O my daughter, all of you know the Quran too?” She said, “O father, we know it better than you!” I said, “Tell me about the dragon that wanted to destroy me.” She said, “That was the strength of your evil deeds, so it wanted to consume you in the fire of Hell.” I said, “Tell me about the old man who passed by me.” She said, “O father, that was your righteous deeds, which had been weakened until they could no longer overpower your evil deeds.” I said, “O my daughter, what do you do in this mountain?” She said, “We are the children of the Muslims. We have settled therein until the Hour is established, waiting for it to come to pass such that we intercede for you.” I took this frightening experience to heart and I awoke sober, I broke my vessels, and I repented to Allah Almighty. That is the reason for my repentance.

Source: al-Tawābīn li-Ibn Qudāmah 1/124

عن ابن قدامة عن مالك بن دينار رحمه الله أنه سئل عن سبب توبته فقال كنت شرطيا وكنت منهمكا على شرب الخمر فلما كانت ليلة النصف من شعبان وكانت ليلة الجمعة بت ثملا من الخمر ولم أصل فيها عشاء الآخرة فرأيت فيما يرى النائم كأن القيامة قد قامت ونفخ في الصور وبعثرت القبور وحشر الخلائق وأنا معهم فسمعت حسا من ورائي فالتفت فإذا أنا بتنين أعظم ما يكون أسود أزرق قد فتح فاه مسرعا نحوي فمررت بين يديه هاربا فزعا مرعوبا فمررت في طريقي بشيخ نقي الثوب طيب الرائحة فسلمت عليه فرد السلام فقلت أيها الشيخ أجرني من هذا التنين أجارك الله فبكى الشيخ وقال لي أنا ضعيف وهذا أقوى مني وما أقدر عليه ولكن مر وأسرع فلعل الله أن يتيح لك ما ينجيك منه فوليت هاربا على وجهي فصعدت على شرف من شرف القيامة فأشرفت على طبقات النيران فنظرت إلى هولها وكدت أهوي فيها من فزع التنين فصاح بي صائح ارجع فلست من أهلها فاطمأننت إلى قوله ورجعت ورجع التنين في طلبي فأتيت الشيخ فقلت يا شيخ سألتك أن تجيرني من هذا التنين فلم تفعل فبكى الشيخ وقال أنا ضعيف ولكن سر إلى هذا الجبل فإن فيه ودائع المسلمين فإن كان لك فيه وديعة فستنصرك قال فنظرت إلى جبل مستدير من فضة وفيه كوى مخرمة وستور معلقة على كل خوخة وكوة مصراعان من الذهب الأحمر مفصلة باليواقيت مكوكبة بالدر على كل مصراع ستر من الحرير فلما نظرت إلى الجبل وليت إليه هاربا والتنين من ورائي حتى إذا قربت منه صاح بعض الملائكة ارفعوا الستور وافتحوا المصاريع وأشرفوا فلعل لهذا البائس فيكم وديعة تجيره من عدوه فإذا الستور قد رفعت والمصاريع قد فتحت فأشرف علي من تلك المخرمات أطفال بوجوه كالأقمار وقرب التنين مني فتحيرت في أمري فصاح بعض الأطفال ويحكم أشرفوا كلكم فقد قرب منه عدوه فأشرفوا فوجا بعد فوج وإذا أنا بابنتي التي ماتت قد أشرفت علي معهم فلما رأتني بكت وقالت أبي والله ثم وثبت في كفة من نور كرمية السهم حتى مثلت بين يدي فمدت يدها الشمال إلى يدي اليمنى فتعلقت بها ومدت يدها اليمنى إلى التنين فولى هاربا ثم أجلستني وقعدت في حجري وضربت بيدها اليمنى إلى لحيتي وقالت يا أبت أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْ تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ فبكيت وقلت يا بنية وأنتم تعرفون القرآن فقالت يا أبت نحن أعرف به منكم قلت فأخبريني عن التنين الذي أراد أن يهلكني قالت ذلك عملك السوء قويته فأراد أن يغرقك في نار جهنم قلت فأخبريني عن الشيخ الذي مررت به في طريقي قالت يا أبت ذلك عملك الصالح أضعفته حتى لم يكن له طاقة بعملك السوء قلت يا بنية وما تصنعون في هذا الجبل قالت نحن أطفال المسلمين قد أسكنا فيه إلى أن تقوم الساعة ننتظركم تقدمون علينا فنشفع لكم قال مالك فانتبهت فزعا وأصبحت فأرقت المسكر وكسرت الآنية وتبت إلى الله عز وجل وهذا كان سبب توبتي

1/124 التوابين لابن قدامة

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