Against All Odds

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Muhammad bin Yazeed Ansaari relates the following:

When the khaleefah, Sulaimaan bin ‘Abdul Malik, passed away, his successor ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (rahimahullah), sent me to the jail to free all the prisoners who had been incarcerated under the rule of Sulaimaan – with the exception of one prisoner, Yazeed bin Abi Muslim. Yazeed bin Abi Muslim was upset over the fact that he alone was being left to languish in prison and vowed that he would one day take my life in revenge.

The day soon arrived when ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) passed away and Yazeed bin Sulaimaan became the khaleefah in his stead. On becoming the khaleefah, he turned to Yazeed bin Abi Sulaimaan and dispatched him to Africa, appointing him as governor of the region. It so happened that I was also in Africa.

One night in the month of Ramadhaan, Yazeed sent his men to seize and bring me before him. When I was made to face him, I saw that he was holding a bunch of grapes. He asked me, “Muhammad bin Yazeed?” to which I replied in the affirmative, confirming that it was indeed me. He then exclaimed, “All praise is due to Allah who placed you at my mercy without me needing to resort to elaborate efforts to capture you! How often it was that I made du‘aa to Allah to place you at my mercy.” Hearing how gleeful he was at finally receiving the opportunity to kill me, I retorted, “How often it was that I made du‘aa to Allah to save me from you!” Yazeed mocked my retort and boasted saying, “By the oath of Allah! Allah will not save you from me! By the oath of Allah! I will not even allow the angel of death to take your life before I do! I will have you killed before I finish eating these grapes.”

The time for maghrib salaah set in just as he confidently completed his “declaration of doom”. Yazeed thus placed the grapes aside and went forward to perform the salaah. He had completed but a single rakaat went the soldiers revolted and killed him. The soldiers then turned to me and said, “You are free now. You may go wherever you wish.”

(Reference: Tareekh Khaleefah bin Khayyaat pg. 326, Siraajul Mulook pg. 282 and Al-Mukhtaar min Faraa’idin Nuqool wal Akhbaar pt. 3 pg. 83)


1. The best security to invest in is the security provided by Allah Ta‘ala. He can save the one who turns to Him even if all the odds are apparently stacked against him.        

2. When there is an urge to commit a sin, ponder over the uncertainty of your lifespan. It is possible that the angel of death will strike while you are in the act or before you get the chance to repent and make amends.