A companion of the Holy Prophet fell ill and became very weak. Rasulullah went to visit him. He was so ill that he appeared to have reached the last stages of his life. When Rasulullah saw the condition, he expressed great sympathy and feeling.
When the sick Sahabi saw Rasulullah, he was overjoyed. It appeared as if he was endowed with new life. It was as if a dead person sprung back to life. He said:
"This sickness has made me a very fortunate person
That it became the cause of the King of believers coming to visit
He also said: "O my sickness, my fever, my sorrow, my pain and sleeplessness by night.
Blessed be you all. You are the cause of Rasulullah coming to visit me today".
Rasulullah asked the sick man upon completion of the visit:
"Do you remember any special duah you made during the time of
your good health?"
He replied: "Ya Rasulullah, I cannot remember what duah I made".
Then after a short while through the blessings of Rasulullah , he remembered and said: "Ya Rasulullah I now remember the duah. It was this:
"I prayed 0 Allah in view of my shortcomings
In my deeds and in view of my faults:
I beseech Thee, grant me the punishment
In this world, which You would give in the Hereafter.
So that I may be exempted from punishment in the Hereafter.
This duah I kept making up till this day.
Until the time came that a heavy sickness covered me
And I found myself in distress because of the illness.
Due to this sickness, I am unable to perform my Zikr and Wazifas
As I did in my healthy days.
And now I am unaware of my relatives and good or evil ones".
Hearing this duah, Rasulullah showed some displeasure and prohibited him from making such a duah: "In future do not make such a duah". Rasulullah declared such a duah does not befit a servant of Allah. He declared it to be against serfdom to Allah. To beg of Allah to send down punishment is tantamount to making the claim that you have the power to withstand Allah's punishment.
Therefore Rasulullah advised him:
"O You, what strength do you possess that on a sick ant like yourself Allah should place a big mountain of calamity?
But pray: O Allah, ease for me my difficulty
So' that He may change the thorns of your distress to a garden of comfort.
Grant to us the good of this worldly life,
And grant to us the good of the life of the Hereafter".
Lesson from this Story
This story teaches us never to pray to Allah for calamities. We should at all times pray for our welfare in both the worlds, while admitting before Him our weakness and our inability. For example, if a person has the illness of looking at evil, he should pray for his rectification and should endeavour to treat the malady through consultation with the saintly ones and ask them to pray for him. He should never become distressed and say: "0 Allah, this malady of mine is not good. It would be better if you make me completely blind, so that I am not plagued by the sins of my eyes".
Such a duah will be foolishness. As far as possible, one should pray for health, safety, protection from calamities and welfare. I heard my Sheikh Hazrat Phulpoori (R.A.) say that Hazrat Mansoor (RA.) used to perform Nafal Salaah in the sun while there was a place to do so in the shade. A saintly elder endowed with 'nisbat' said: "This man will become involved in a great calamity". This means that when there is ease in front of you, then do not prefer difficulty. When you have to choose between calamity on the one side and calamity on the other side, then choose the tighter of the two as is mentioned in the Hadith.