RUIN IN THE WAKE OF GREED
One Sheikh narrated the following episode:
“I went on a journey hoping to meet some Abdaal. One day, at about the time of Asr, I reached the outskirts of Basrah. I walked along the river banks. I saw ten men sitting on their musallas. None of them had a water-jug as was the usual practice of the Sufiyaa when they travelled. When they saw me, they all stood up to welcome me. After embracing me, they sat down and became engrossed in meditation. They remained fully absorbed in contemplation until sunset. No one appeared to be even aware of the existence of the others.
After sometime one of them stood up and dived into the water. I did not know what he was doing underwater. However, soon he emerged with eleven fried fish. From among the group one of them stood up and served each one with a fish. He picked the biggest fish for himself and went to one side to eat it. After meals, everyone again became absorbed in meditation. When it was Fajr, the Athaan from the Musaajid nearby could be heard. The group performed Fajr Salaat in Jamaat. After Fajr Salaat, each one folded his musalla and entered into the river. They walked on the surface of the water.
The one who had taken the big fish attempted to follow them, but simply sank down and was drowned.
They looked at him in dismay as he was sinking and said: ‘O man! Whoever among us abuses trust, does not remain in our ranks.’ They proceeded on their journey, walking across the river on the surface of the water while I stood there with a heavy heart gazing at them until they were out of sight.”
[The nafs is an integral constituent of the human being. This episode illustrates that even Auliyaa of high ranks can fall prey to the snares of shaitaan and the nafs. No one besides the Ambiyaa – alayhimus salaam-has the assurance of crossing the threshold into the Hereafter with his Taqwa/Imaan intact.
In this episode, the bigger fish was intended for the guest; the Sheikh who had arrived. However, desire/greed ruined the one Wali in the group of ten. The higher a man’s rank, the severer is the punishment for his errors.]