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 A true story from Syria
 A true story from Syria
From: Al-Housami, Housam (Housam)

Assalam Alaikum

I am not sure if this story is suitable. It is a real story from Syria that I read yesterday and this is my rough translation of it.

The story is told by shiekh Ali Tantawi. He said:[ I went to one Masjid in the city Aleppo (a city in Syria), and I found a young man praying so I thought: "Subhana Allah, this young man used to be of the most corrupt people, he used to drink alcohol, commit adultery, deal with riba, and he used to be so disobedient to his parents that they kicked him out from their house. How come he is in the Masjid?". So I went to him and asked: " Are you Fulan (Joe Bloggs)?". "Yes" he said. And I replied: "I thank Allah that He guided you, but tell me the story of your guidance".

So the young man started narrating his story.

"There used to be a small Masjid in my neighborhood. The Imam of that Masjid was a very old Shiekh. One day he looked at the people praying behind him and enquired: "Where is everybody? Why is it that many people -especially young men- do not come to the Masjid?". The people answered: "They are spending their time at the (Cabaret)". "And what is this (Cabaret)?!"
Asked the Shiekh. So one man answered: "The Cabaret is a big hall with a wooden stage above which young girls dance semi-naked, and people around them watch". "And those people watching are they Muslim people?!!" asked the Shiekh. "
Yes" answered the man with a sad look on his face. "La haol wa la kuwata illa Billah (There is no power or existence except from Allah)" said he with a very sad look on his face, and he cont'd "Let us go to this (Cabaret) thing and advise people there (make naseeha)". " O Shiekh, Are you serious? you want to go to this evil place to advise people there with a sermon? in the Cabaret!!?" shrieked the people. "Yes!" he shouted. So they tried and tried to change his mind, and they tried to explain that he will only be received with ridicule and mockery, and that he might be physically hurt. His answer was: "And are we better than the Muhammad pbuh?", and he asked one man to take by his hand and guide him to the (Cabaret) thing.

When they got there, the Cabaret owner asked them what they wanted, and the Shiekh explained that he wanted to make Naseeha (advice) to the Cabaret customers. The owner was so amazed and suspicious, so he refused them entry.
So the Shiekh and his companions started arguing and bargaining with the owner, with no luck. At the end they offered the owner to pay him an amount of money equal to one day's profit. The owner agreed and asked them to come the next day.
On the next day, the show started with a young girl dancing on the stage,and then the curtains went down. When they were lifted up again, there was an elderly Shiekh sitting on a chair. He started by Bismillah Arrahman Arraheem, he thanked Allah and mentioned blessings upon the Prophet pbuh. Then he started preaching people and making Naseeha to them. The people were so bewildered and amazed. They thought it was some kind of a comedy sketch, and when we realized that he truly was an Imam preaching, some started to make fun of him and laugh loudly at him. He was not bothered and did not care, and cont'd in his sermon. One person asked the audience to be quiet so that they can hear what the Shiekh was saying. Then the place was peaceful and quiet, and we could hear the Shiekh's speech.

He said things we never heard before. He read from the Quran and few Hadeeths of the prophet pbuh, and narrated some stories of righteous people and how they repented and were guided to Islam. And then he said: " O people, you have lived long and disobeyed Allah for long now. But the sweetness of the disobedience that you felt once is gone now, and only your black sheets (he means bad deeds -HM) are left , and you will be asked about them on the day of judgement. And one day will come where everything will perish except Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala. O people, dont you see where your actions will lead you? You can not bare the fire in this world, so how about the hell fire then? Repent now before it is too late...".

The people cried and the Shiekh left, and everybody left behind him with repentance, and even the Cabaret owner repented and was sorry for what he has done...." ]

Wa Assalam